West Philadelphia Orchestra’s Klezmer Band
WPO’s Balkan dance parties at the now-shuttered Tritone were legendary. Your wedding/bar mitzvah/birthday blowout will be, too, if you book their traditional brass klezmer band, a Jewish folk group that plays everything from Busta Rhymes to Neutral Milk Hotel. - Philadelphia Magazine
February, 2015: WPO makes it to the top 10 out of 7,000 entries for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest: “The Biggest Dance Party: West Philadelphia Orchestra – Though not quite the size of the biggest band ever to grace the Tiny Desk (the 23-strong marching band Mucca Pazza), the 14-member West Philadelphia Orchestra filled up every corner of the antique emporium where they filmed their video with their huge, effusive sound. “Zla S’dba” is a joyful Balkan dance number that gets everyone in the room swaying. Bulgarian language skills not required; the song’s irresistibly celebratory spirit needs no translation. – Rachel, NPR
West Philadelphia Orchestra: A Drunken Dance Party (& Cultural Experience). Labeling the group as just a Balkan-influenced band is a gross misrepresentation. Their catalog has layers of influences that synthesize gospel, techno, funk, jazz, hip-hop and even dub. Since their humble beginnings at Tritone, the Orchestra has moved their monthly parties to Underground Arts. Though the venue has changed, their ability to connect the Western populace to Eastern musical arrangements has not wavered. Bulgarian, Serbian and Romani languages are incorporated into vocalist Petia Zamfirova’s lyrics. Despite a sizeable portion of the crowd likely not understanding the various languages of the southeastern Europe region, there always seems to be a supernatural synergy between them and the band. – JUMP Philly
Here we are playing a Martha Stewart “Real Wedding”:
Five members of the West Philadelphia Orchestra played Eastern European and Balkan folk music. During the ceremony, they covered “Postcards from Italy” by Beirut and “On an Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel, in addition to their own original folk songs. After the ceremony, the band led a parade up to the barn for cocktail hour. – marthastewartweddings.com
This one million-member Balkan folk music monster is the only band in Philadelphia that can make you dance till you drop using solely acoustic instruments. A horn section, percussion section, tuba, sax, traditional vocals – this is by far one of the most energetic acts in the city. Check them out, they host the Balkan Dance party at Underground Arts. – Get Lucid
First and foremost, thank you guys so much for making the trek out to South Jersey to visit our camp and entertain our campers and counselors. As soon as the concert ended, there was a unanimous understanding that your show was the best we have seen all year. All the campers are already chomping at the bit to have you guys back next year and I for one agree with them. Everyone absolutely loved it. So, from all of us here at the farm, thank you again. – Wesley Bogan, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center.
They’re one sexy eye and earful, that West Philadelphia Orchestra, even before Petia gets up there. I worked at a restaurant where the WPO played one night and now there is another human being in the world because of it. - Philebrity
they switch it up. They are versatile. They are intriguing.