Winnipeg's Jazz Magazine

May/June 2011: Wynton Marsalis (Festival Edition)

The Black Sea Station

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For all of us lovers of Klezmer and Eastern European folk music, an exciting event is on the horizon! The Black Sea Station, a recent collaborative project comprised of five incredible musicians, is slated to perform at this year’s jazz festival.

I had a chance to speak with Winnipeg’s own Daniel Koulack about the genesis of this group. Koulack was the bass player in the world-renowned Klezmer group, Finjan. He teamed up with brothers Myron and Victor Schultz (clarinet & violin), also from Finjan, and they invited acclaimed music producer and musician Ben Mink (collaborator with k.d. lang and Feist, among others) to join them. Mink plays violin with The Black Sea Station, and brings an especially rich understanding of the Klezmer repertoire, instilled from his father’s deep love and knowledge of this traditional music. These four musicians have a musical relationship that spans over 20 years—it’s no wonder they perform together with such harmony!

Nicolai Prisakar (accordion) contributes a unique flair to the group. Originally hailing from Moldavia (Romania), Prisakar led a traditional orchestra that toured and performed extensively throughout Europe. Following the fall of Communism, Prisakar and his family emigrated to the US and he is currently based in California.

Put together, these five diverse musicians make up The Black Sea Station, and they create powerful and exciting explorations into Klezmer and the East European folk genre. Their debut album, Transylvania Avenue, was released in 2010 on Rounder Records, and audiences and critics are responding enthusiastically to the band’s vibrant spirit and rich heritage.

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