By Jenn Watt
Published Jan. 28 2020
For the last 10 years the members of Lemon Bucket Orkestra have travelled the world bringing their high-energy Eastern European folk-punk dance party to venues big and small – and on Saturday Feb. 8 they’ll add the Haliburton Legion to that list.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is a Toronto-based group with roots in busking and the tradition of Eastern European folk music melding the sounds of Russia Romania Hungary Greece and Turkey among others.
“In these kinds of regions you either have music that is based on a horn and drum band or you have music that is played by a string band … we kind of do both of those which is something that allows us to explore a wider range of music as well as it allows for something dynamic in the shows” says band member Jaash Singh who plays the darbouka a goblet drum.
Descriptions of Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s shows include words like “energetic” and “joyous” and video clips online show the 12-member group physically engaged with the music dancing just as hard as the audience.
After a decade with the band Singh says he’s had the chance to meet people internationally and learn about their music and culture.
“It’s been an amazing journey. We’ve toured the world we’ve [had] lots of beautiful and unexpected experiences coming our way stuff that’s unique that we feel that just because of the uniqueness of our position and the music that we play and the context in which we play it we’re privy to a lot of very special experiences” he says.
One of those experiences came when the band was delayed on a flight on the way to Romania and decided to bring out the instruments and perform an impromptu set for their fellow passengers. Someone shot a video and posted it online.
“By the time we landed in Romania we see that this video’s gone viral” Singh says adding that late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel talked about it in his opening monologue.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s visit to Haliburton is being organized by Dance Happens Here Haliburton or DH3. A few hours before the concert a dance workshop will be offered for free for those interested in learning some basics.
“These dances are made so that grandparents can dance with children and everyone in between” Singh says.
Maryssa Danilko is a member of DH3 and says that the performance will be for all ages and the Legion will include seating for those who would like to sit to watch but she notes it is a high-energy night that will feature lots of dancing.
Singh says sometimes there is hesitancy among audience members to dance as part of a larger group but it’s so much fun that most people have no problem joining in.
“It’s rare these days for people in the modern society context … to hold hands with a total stranger and dance with them in a circle it’s not really something that happens a lot” he says. “So people really enjoy it. They’re kind of taken aback at first but then they just get right into it and it’s a really lovely moment.”
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is playing the Haliburton Legion on Saturday Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance $35 at the door $20 for students. You can buy tickets at The Source in Haliburton or online at https://bpt.me/4450056. Call 705-935-1870 for more information. The free dance workshop will be at the Legion at 6 p.m. on the same day.