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Welcome to Macedonia!

Watch out! The Serbs may out-sing you, the Bulgarians may out-dance you, but the
Macedonians will always out-sing, out-dance, and out-play you!
Situated right at Europes
doorway to the Middle East,
Macedonia is the ancient cultural
crossroads bridging East and West,
Slav and Mediterranean. The very
word itself has come to mean mix
or variety as in the famous French
salade macedoine. And nothing
gives a better taste of this melange
than it spicy folkoric tradition.
Macedonia boasts Europes
best-integrated Romany
population, whose music flows
freely throughout the country,
especially during its now-famous
summer wedding and festival

Etno-Malesh takes it into the streets, where

celebrations join the earthy beats of the Tapan drums
and the call of the Zurli. During the wedding season, the
mobile musical spectacle is the festive companion to
bridal processions throughout the towns & villages.


Local Master, International

Rising Star.
Milaim (Milo)
Destanovski was
brought up in the family
musical tradition learning from his own
father and passing the
heritage down to his
own sons.

Etno-Malesh was born

in Berovo a quaint town
near the Maleshevo
mountains of Eastern
Macedonia renowned as a
hotbed of musical talent
from traditional
Macedonian folk music to
raging Romany (Gypsy)
brass bands.
Comprised of virtuoso
Romany multiinstrumentalists, this
genre-bending ensemble
has mastered the art of
world music fusion,
melding Macedonias
traditional melodies and
rhythms with

contemporary sounds and

international beats.
The band is led by its
founder, Milaim
Destanovski, an awardwinning musician and
choreographer now based
in the United States.
Etno-Malesh has delighted
and inspired audiences at
festivals throughout
Macedonia and beyond
with its unique style and
energetic performances.
They will make their
Australian debut in
December 2015 at the
Woodford Folk Festival.

He was curator,
musician &
choreographer for the
Berovo Folkoric Society
for close to 20 years
before moving to the US.
Milo now travels
extensively bringing his
knowledge of Balkan
and Romany music &
dance to festivals &
workshops around the
Etno-Malesh opening the 2015 edition of the Ethno-Square
Festival with a traditional folkloric cortege. The festival was
founded in 2007 in a partnership between Milaim
Destanovski and Paola Blanton (center dancer), the
Macedonian-born folklorist, teacher and choreographer.
The same year, Paola produced the short documentary
Raqn the Roots with Malesh-Roma, which focused on
Milos enduring contribution to Macedonian cultural heritage.



Representing Macedonia, the Boys from Berovo win the

Guca Trumpet Fest Award 2012 & 2013!

Uska Kan is widely regarded as one of the

In 2012, the bands youngest trumpet soloist

top Balkan brass brands to rise to prominence in and rising star, Demir Kanturovski, won the Gua
the last 10 years. The orchestras great success

Festivals prestigious Golden Trumpet (Zlatna

is largely due to its long-standing history of

Truba) prize, and in 2013, the Uska Kan orchestra

family musical tradition, particularly the multigenerational tradition of the Kanturovski family.

was voted the best international orchestra at

the Festival. Although rooted in tradition, Uska

Uska Kan has won many awards over the years,

Kans music is admired for its unique style,

but they first garnered international recognition

blending the authentic Balkan brass band

and acclaim following two wins at Gua, the

sound with rich harmonies from a variety of

worlds most famous Brass Band festival and

genres, with each of its players being a virtuoso

competition, based in Gua, Serbia.

soloist in their own right.

(Paola Blanton)
Etno-Square 2015


The Next Generation Steps Up! Berovos Youth Culture Leaders Are
Dedicated to the Preservation of Maleshevos Rich Cultural Heritage Following in the Footsteps of Their Great Teachers Like Milo Destanovski.

Metodi Skenderski
studies Ethnomusicology at the
Macedonian Academy of Music in
Stip, specializing in Macedonian
folkloric instruments and dances. An
accomplished dancer & accordeon,
kaval, and tapan player, hes taken
over the training of the Berovo
Folkloric Society Dancers, of which
there are over 250. He is a member of
the Ansambl Makedonija national
performance troupe which represents
the country internationally.

Metodi oers instruction in

traditional Macedonian
instrumentation, traditional
Hora, as well as regional
dances of Maleshevo.

Ansambl Makedonija

During the Ethno-Square

Festivities, there will be plenty of
oportunities to dance these
dances alongside the troupe
members, who always come out
in force!


Your Hostess -

Paolinka (Paola Blanton)

From one of Berovos largest families, Ive returned to

my birthplace over the years because of my love for its
folklore, music & culture. Growing up in the U.S., my
parents organized concerts for Macedonian stars like
Esma Redzepova and taught me the wide repertory of
inter-Balkan dances.
As an international artist, today based in Brazil, I
choreograph Balkan dance in theatrical interpretations
that blend Gypsy Spirit with a touch of modern flair.
Ive brought Balkan Fusion to the World Stage in many
countries and return to Macedonia regularly to dance
with Berovos Folkloric Society and artists like Esma,
Uska, and Etno-Malesh.
I invite you to come and share an amazing ten-day
Cultural Journey with me, your multi-lingual guide into
the soulful world of Balkan and Romany music &
dance. For a detailed itinerary, please email


The Place: Berovo

With an average of 310 days of sun
annually, Berovo is a quaint
highland destination for Europeans
seeking fresh air, mountain beauty,
amazing musical culture, and
delicious regional cuisine.
Mountain pathways lead to tiny
villages, vineyards, ancient
monasteries, beautiful lakes, and
endless fruit groves.
Sample the local wines & cheeses
with our welcoming local
population who take pride in
Balkan hospitality.
English is widely spoken and the
national currency, the Denar, is a
great value for foreign visitors.