Santa Fe Reporter – September 2, 2015
Think of the term “Balkan music” for just a second. Can you hear it in your head? Sort of, maybe? It’s actually a tricky proposition, thanks in part to acts like Gogol Bordello or even the superhuman Beirut adding a sort of indie-rock (read: hipster) layer to the traditionally southeastern European style of folk music and diluting some of the cultural norms. Thank goodness, then, for Rumelia. The local quartet, comprised of Nicolle Jensen (voice and percussion), Sitara Schauer (violin/vocals), Alysha Shaw (vocals and percussion) and Deborah Ungar (clarinet and accordion), has been kicking around town for ages, slowly but surely developing its style and winning fans while cultivating a more authentic homage to the folk music of Greece, Turkey, Romania, Macedonia and oh-so-many other countries.