Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps.

June 20-27, 2020
More info…

August 8-15, 2020
More info…


Scholarships

We award several full and partial scholarships to each workshop every year.
Apply for one.


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Kids at Camp!

A great experience for families. Get the scoop to ensure everyone has a blast!


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Get the FAQs

Find out almost everything you always wanted to know about the EEFC’s Balkan camps.
FAQs

West Coast Balkan Music & Dance Workshop

Mendocino Woodlands, California
June 20 – 27, 2020

Since 1977 the West Coast edition of the EEFC’s Balkan Music & Dance Workshop has been gathering amidst the towering redwoods of the Northern California coast. Each year we welcome new friends along with old, as musicians and dancers and those who love them come together with our extraordinary teaching staff for a memorable week. Our rustic setting makes for a true getaway. Our programming offers numerous opportunities to learn, and our welcoming and warm atmosphere creates a friendly setting for your week at camp.

 


The Facility

The Mendocino Woodlands  is located in a beautiful redwood forest near the Northern California coast, 175 miles north of San Francisco. A half an hour inland from the scenic town of Mendocino, our camp has three clusters of rustic (no electricity), four-person enclosed cabins on somewhat hilly terrain with stone fireplaces and balconies, a spacious dance hall, and plenty of tenting sites. Each cluster has its own bathhouse with lights and hot showers. Between classes you can hike in the forest or take a dip in the swimming hole in the nearby river.

The Workshop

The Mendocino Workshop runs from Saturday evening to the next Saturday morning. Classes begin Sunday morning, and are held each day through Friday. Following a review session Friday morning, participants have the option to perform in a student concert. The week closes on Friday with a Balkan-style lamb roast and the last of the week’s great evening parties. We have part-time attendance and evening party-only options available.

The Program

A broad array of instrumental, vocal, ensemble, and dance classes at all levels are offered across five daily 75-minute class slots. We provide an instrument-lending program to enable new students to get started on harder-to-find village instruments. In the early evenings the program includes folklore presentations and panel discussions, group sings with musical accompaniment, and our fun, community-building auction. Live-music dance parties featuring our world-class staff musicians will rock your socks in the dance hall, and the party continues late into the night in our more intimate cafe-bar, the kafana, featuring a variety of staff and camper musical sets, from the sublime to the floor-stomping. See a sample daily schedule.

Food

The workshop features three delicious meals a day and an evening snack, with selections to please both omnivore and vegetarian tastes.

Families

We welcome families! The Mendocino workshop features a youth band and kids’ dance class; and children are also welcome and encouraged to take adult classes, according to their capabilities. Find more info on Kids at Camp.

Work Exchanges

A few partial-tuition-waiver work exchanges may be available for full-week participants. You may apply once registration is open (see below).

Evening Parties

You may attend just the evening parties, which usually begin at 9 p.m. The cost is $35 per person. Admission includes the evening dance party and late-night Kafana activities until 2:30 a.m. (no overnight accommodations). Please register for evening parties with the EEFC Office before June 21. Tell us what night you plan to attend and the names of others in your party. We cannot accept drop-in partygoers. Registered partygoers may check in and pay at the Kafana when you arrive on site (no earlier than 7:30 p.m.). Click on the Evening Parties tab to see the schedule of evening parties, culture corners and group sings.

Cost, Registration, and Other Information

Workshop registration for 2020 will be open in late winter or early spring. Stay tuned. Workshop updates are announced through our E-newsletter (sign-up if you haven’t already), the EEFC listserv discussion group, and on our Facebook page.


2019 Teachers


Please don’t be confused: Below is the list of last year’s teaching staff. Why? We want to give you a flavor of what our world-class faculty is like! We’ll publish 2020 names later in the season, so Stay Tuned.

Dance

Michael Ginsburg

Balkan Dance

Michael has been director and lead trumpet player of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band since 1983. He accompanied ZU to brass festivals in Guča, Serbia, three times between 1987 and 1990, as well as...Read More

Petur Iliev

Bulgarian Dance

Petur Iliev is a Bulgarian-born dancer and choreographer whose career is deeply steeped in the rich folk dance traditions of his family. He started dancing at the age of five in his father's dance...Read More

Alex Marković

Serbian Dance

Alex Marković holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He spent 17 months conducting ethnographic fieldwork on Romani ethnic identity and musical performance in...Read More

Caroline Simmonds

Greek Dance

Caroline Simmonds is a Bay Area dancer and teacher of northern Greek dances, specializing in regions bordering other Balkan countries. After attending her first dance seminar in Prespes, Greece,...Read More

Instruments & Ensembles

Paul Brown

House Bassist (non-teaching)

Paul Brown has been playing music for 44 years, studying bass and improvisation at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and oud and makam with Haig Manoukian and Necati Çelik. Comfortable in...Read More

Angel Dobrev

Gudulka

Angel Dobrev was born in the town of Omurtag in Bulgaria. He plays the gudulka (Bulgarian: гъдулка), which is a traditional Bulgarian bowed stringed instrument. He expressed an interest in...Read More

Catherine Foster

Clarinet/Sax, Balkan Ornamentation

Catherine Foster has been performing music from Southeastern Europe for over 30 years and has been playing trumpet, clarinet, and saxophone with Borozan Brass Band, Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band,...Read More

Valeri Georgiev

Bulgarian Kaval

Valeri Georgiev is from the Bulgarian Danube town of Ruse. He studied kaval in Kotel with Stoyan Chobanov and Georgi Penev, and graduated from the Plovdiv Academy of Arts with a BA degree in...Read More

Michael Ginsburg

Brass Band

Michael has been director and lead trumpet player of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band since 1983. He accompanied ZU to brass festivals in Guča, Serbia, three times between 1987 and 1990, as well as...Read More

Adam Good

Macedonian Tambura, Makam Theory

Adam Good is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. With a foundation in jazz guitar, his interest in the music of Eastern Europe and Turkey began in the mid-90s. His talent on...Read More

Christos Govetas

Greek Improvisation

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama...Read More

Raif Hyseni

Accordion, Albanian/Kosovar Ensemble

Raif Hyseni hails from The Republic of Kosova, which has a large Albanian majority. He grew up in the town of Mitrovicë, where he studied accordion at music school and performed in amateur...Read More

Greg Masaki Jenkins

Rebetika/Greek Ensemble

Greg Masaki Jenkins is a second-generation American Balkan folk dancer who grew up at the Balkan Music & Dance Workshops. He gigs regularly throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with the...Read More

Jerry Kisslinger

Tapan

Jerry Kisslinger has played tapan/dauli for East European and folk dance communities, classes, concerts, and festivals throughout the United States since his teenage years, and has taught at EEFC...Read More

Stoyan Kostov

Bulgarian Tambura

Stoyan Kostov has been playing Bulgarian tambura for over 40 years. He graduated from the folk music school in Kotel and the Plovdiv Academy of Music and Dance. Stoyan performed with Ensemble...Read More

Ari Langer

Violin

Ari Langer grew up in Ashland, Oregon, where he studied classical violin, performing in solo competitions and with local string quartets and orchestras. He took a sharp left turn to attend the...Read More

Mark Levy

Macedonian Village Ensemble

Mark Levy created the first week-long Balkan Music & Dance Workshop in 1974, and co-founded the East European Folklife Center in the early 1980s. He recently retired from the faculty of the...Read More

Nick Maroussis

Greek Strings, Rebetika/Greek Ensemble

Nick Maroussis is a musician based out of Seattle, Washington, where he grew up playing strings in various rock bands in the greater Seattle area. His involvement in the Greek community and...Read More

John Morovich

Tamburica Ensemble

John Morovich grew up in Seattle's sizable Croatian community. Since 1973, he has studied, taught, and performed traditional music and dance of Croatia and other parts of Southeastern Europe. He...Read More

Maclovia Quintana

Doumbek - Beginning

Maclovia Quintana was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, where she was surrounded by music from an early age. She has been performing Balkan music since college, when she joined the Yale Women's...Read More

Benji Rifati

Brass Band

Benji Rifati is an American-Rom who has spent years studying trumpet from Romani masters of Eastern Europe. His teachers include legends such as Zahir Ramadanov and Demiran Ćerimović, as well as...Read More

Sean Tergis

Doumbek - Intermediate

Drawing on a musical base in folk music from the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and the Balkans, Sean Tergis brings a unique element to his drumming through many different influences. At an early...Read More

Ivan Varimezov

Thracian Bulgarian Gajda, Bitov Ensemble

Ivan Varimezov was born in Bulgaria, studied folk music at Kotel High School for Folk Music and received a B.A. degree in folk instrument pedagogy and choral conducting from the Plovdiv Academy of...Read More

Singing

Christos Govetas

Greek Singing

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama...Read More

Merita Halili

Albanian Singing

Merita Halili is one of Albania’s top performers. Born in the capital city of Tiranë, Merita grew up singing the lyric songs of her native region of Central Albania. Her nationwide debut came...Read More

John Morovich

Croatian Singing

John Morovich grew up in Seattle's sizable Croatian community. Since 1973, he has studied, taught, and performed traditional music and dance of Croatia and other parts of Southeastern Europe. He...Read More

Carol Silverman

Romani Singing

Carol Silverman has been involved with Balkan and Romani music and culture for over thirty years as a researcher, teacher, performer and educational activist. An award-winning professor of...Read More

Michele Simon

Balkan Vocal Technique

Michele Simon has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including the Balkan bands...Read More

Lily Storm

Balkan Singing Survey

Lily Storm is a singer specializing in traditional music, with particular experience in Eastern European styles. She has studied with many traditional singers (Donka Koleva, Kremena Stancheva,...Read More

Tzvetanka Varimezova

Bulgarian Singing

Tzvetanka Varimezova was born in Pazardzhik in Bulgarian Thrace, and started singing and playing accordion at age 9. She went on to master tambura and piano, and studied folk music at Kotel High...Read More

For the Kids

Tano Brock

Kids' Band

Tano Brock was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. At a young age, he began attending various music camps in California with his family, where he picked up his first instrument, doumbek. He...Read More

Eleni Govetas

Kids' Band

Eleni Govetas was born into the musical Govetas family and has been immersed in music since day one. She began performing on doumbek with her parents at the age of nine and has continued to add...Read More

Petur Iliev

Kids' Dance

Petur Iliev is a Bulgarian-born dancer and choreographer whose career is deeply steeped in the rich folk dance traditions of his family. He started dancing at the age of five in his father's dance...Read More

Lily Storm

Singing for Kids

Lily Storm is a singer specializing in traditional music, with particular experience in Eastern European styles. She has studied with many traditional singers (Donka Koleva, Kremena Stancheva,...Read More

Getting to Mendocino

Mendocino Woodlands Camp One is in Jackson State Forest about 175 miles north of San Francisco, roughly 12 miles inland from the coastal town of Mendocino.

From the south, take Hwy 101 North to Cloverdale. Highway 101 bypasses Cloverdale, so take the Hwy 128 Fort Bragg/Mendocino exit (after a couple of Cloverdale exits). Some 60 miles later (twisty road, but gorgeous vineyard, redwood, and coastal scenery), take Hwy 1 North to Mendocino.

From the north (Oregon), take I-5 South to Grants Pass, then Hwy 199 to Crescent City. From there, take Hwy 101 South to Leggett. From there take Hwy 1 South (insanely twisty road to the coast, with the reward of breathtaking ocean views) to Mendocino.

From Mendocino, go east on Little Lake Road (Co. Rd. 408) from Hwy 1
(at stoplight) for 5.6 miles, then turn right on Co. Rd. 700 (winding dirt road). Drive for 4 miles to Camp One. Please drive slowly and carefully on this dusty road!

If you’ve never been to the Woodlands, plan to arrive before dark. Registration will be located just outside the dining hall.

Dine & Dance—Bed & Breakfast

Come for early evening activities, the dance party and the late night kafana. Then spend the night and enjoy breakfast before you hit the road!

Here’s how it works:

6:00 p.m.: Arrive at our lovely redwoods site (see Directions tab above). Check in at the Kafana and set up your bunk. Join us for a delicious dinner, starting at 6:30.

Then take in a folklore presentation, singalong, or join in our auction. Dancing to live music begins in the main hall generally around 9:00.

Our Kafana in the woods is a bar and a club, and a place where much music and merriment happens into the wee hours. Stay as long as you like!

Sleep in a bunk with the bedding you brought from home.

Roll out of bed, have breakfast by 9:30 a.m., and hit the trail by 10.

All this can be yours for $135. A cheap hotel in Ft. Bragg (forget the town of Mendocino), easily runs twice as much and provides no options for gajda, rakija, čočeks, or çiftetelli!

 

HOW TO REGISTER

Use our online form to register for the Bed & Breakfast option. See the red “Register Now” button above.

Mendocino Evening Party Schedule

Stay tuned! The Mendocino evening party and activity schedule will be posted at a later date.