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Kaba Horo

by Archives January 22, 2008

Balkan and Eastern European music is traditionally very passionate, joyful and lively, with sweet-tempered instruments and delicate strains of harmonies that either tug at your heartstrings, bring tears to your eyes or pick you up from your seat, moving your body in spite of yourself. Lubo Alexandrov and his Juno Award-winning band Kaba Horo do just that.
The name Kaba Horo is a combination of the Turkish word kaba, meaning low or rough and the Bulgarian word horo, which is a traditional Bulgarian dance, suggesting the cultural essence of the music and the variety of inspirations behind the band’s sound.
There is variety within the band as well, with Bulgarian Gypsy and Montreal-based musicians. Singer/lead guitarist Lubo Alexandrov and his double necked guitar and Emil Iliev’s lively accordion are complimented by the jazzy touch of Eric Hove’s saxophone, the groove of Georgi Stankov’s bass and Martin Auguste’s expertise on the skins. Suleyman Ozatilan’s vocals and the sound of the darbuka, a traditional Turkish instrument, infuse a gypsy sound.
Kaba Horo’s inspiration is shaped by the notions of romance and family, which play significant roles in gypsy culture. Most of the ensemble’s songs are about new couples, weddings, or the love of a father for his daughter. The band is also driven by the gypsy concept of fun and dancing, especially the kind that takes place at weddings, a celebration that is a large part of their culture.
“We are a wedding band,” Lubo Alexandrov, the founder of the group, described. “We like making people dance and have fun. We like to party and enjoy ourselves. Our music is for the moment, to make our audience happy.”
Kaba Horo sings mostly in Romany, Turkish and Bulgarian, but if you’re feeling adventurous or crave a dose of culture, discover the delight that is Kaba Horo.

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