The Golden Festival is New York City's massive annual Balkan and East European music and dance bacchanal. For its 26th year, the Golden Festival moves from Inwood to Brooklyn's Grand Prospect Hall (263 Prospect Ave), for a two-night event this Friday and Saturday. On the schedule are 60+ groups from the Balkans and beyond, plus a dance workshop starting things off tonight, and several stations' worth of craft beer, wine, spirits (slivovica, raki and ouzo), and complimentary "meze" (snacks). All proceeds go to charitable causes. The Golden Festival is truly unlike any other event this side of the Dragačevo Trumpet Festival and not to be missed!
WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise will be on-site again this year to broadcast a portion of the festivities from the GPH Ballroom Stage (Saturday Jan 15th, 6-9pm). Previous broadcasts can be heard streaming at WFMU [2009 | 2010] and with mp3 collections available on the Free Music Archive [2009 | 2010]. Host Rob Weisberg previewed the Golden Festival during last Saturday's program with a live in-studio performance by Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band. North America's first and finest Balkan band are also the founders and ringleaders of the Golden Festival. The live session was followed by selections from Slavic Soul Party, Black Sea Hotel, and Raya Brass Band -- just a few of the many local and not-so-local artists who'll be performing this Friday and Saturday at Grand Prospect Hall. Here's the playlist from last week's Zlate Uste preview session, with mp3's below, plus a mix of highlights from last year's Golden Festival. Irene Trudel -- whose engineering virtuosity helps make the Golden Festival broadcasts possible each year -- also previewed the 2011 lineup during her show on Monday, with selections by Zlatne Uste, Veveritse Brass Band, Black Sea Hotel, Zikrayat and the What Cheer Brigade (playlist).