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Drom, a World-Music Oasis in a Sea of Urban Renewal

This week and next, we present a series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

New York Gyspy All Stars, playing their album release show at Drom. (Photo: Kat Thornton)

New York Gyspy All Stars, playing their album release show at Drom. (Photo: Kat Thornton)

Earlier this month, a funky clarinet tune spilled out of a basement beneath a falafel store on Avenue A. Down the stairs, inside of Drom, the New York Gypsy All Stars were celebrating the release of their second album. The band’s four core members come from Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey, and their keyboard players hail from Chile, Cuba, Switzerland, and the United States. As they played songs that, by the band’s description, cover “all the Balkans melodically,” and “the world rhythmically and harmonically,” a large image of Istanbul’s iconic Galata Tower hangs in the background.

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Discover ‘Iranicana’ at This Variety Show of the Persian Persuasion

1410881790549Don’t call it a Persian show—rather, think of it as looking at human culture through a Persian lens. That’s the aim of Bayan, tonight at Galapagos in Dumbo. The show (the name of which means “expression” in Farsi) features five Iranian and Iranian-American artists, showcasing work that ranges from photography to stand-up.

Last month, Bayan’s organizer Susan Peret ran her first concept show called Bakwas (Urdu and Hindi slang for “nonsense”), which showcased various artists on India’s Independence Day. Peret just filed to start her own corporation, called Clasht, to keep non-monolithic events like Bakwas and Bayan flowing through New York’s cultural scene.
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