In addition to my managerial duties, I have cut my editorial teeth with the EEFC, having been on the Kef Times production staff since its inception, and as a member of the Forum Folkloristika editorial team. I have also been a contributor to the Forum’s “Balkan Savories” culinary series.
I reside in Oakland, California, where I played baritone horn for over a decade with the Bay Area’s late, lamented Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band. I have continued my Balkan brass adventures with Fanfare Zambaleta.
Amita Vempati, Marketing & Outreach Manager
As a lifelong performer and lover of art from all around the world, I began studying Indian Classical music when I was six and had added Indonesian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian traditions by the time I graduated college. Since then, I have had musical adventures ranging from drumming at Mongolian New Year events, going viral in Tajikistan, and—importantly—ending a business dinner in Belgrade by singing Romani and Russian songs with the house band. After that memorable evening and with a budding love of Balkan arts and culture after a few trips to the region, I dedicated part of a 2019 vacation to Bulgaria to learn the basics of Bulgarian choral singing with the Stefan Kanev choir.
Just a few songs convinced me to join the Washington D.C.-based Orfeia ensemble in early 2020, where I am fortunate to study with the esteemed Bulgarian singer Tatiana Sarbinska. I am excited to continue exploring Eastern European folklife and am honored to support others’ forays into this beautiful world through my work at EEFC.