If, on the streets of New Zealand, you found yourself arrested by the exotic, yet hauntingly beautiful beat of drums, and slow, mournful cry of trumpet, weaving sounds from faraway lands of Balkans where joys and sorrows march together since the time immemorial, you are certainly in the presence of only one group of musicians: Niko Ne Zna. New Zealand’s own very own Balkan Gypsy brass extravaganza. With a history that goes back eight years, this nine piece band has evolved into a true Gypsy juggernaut stunning audiences everywhere they go with their thrillingly energetic performances.
Their music is high energy with dark undertones and sexy gypsy style, combining exotic tunes, fantastic grooves and exciting solos.The band consists of some of New Zealand’s finest instrumentalists who come from a wide array of musical backgrounds. Two trumpets, saxophone, bass and tenor trombones, sousaphone, percussion, Balkan bass drum (tapan) and snare drum produce a cocktail that will make your ears rise to attention and your feet move in a frenzy. Vocalist/percussionist, Nikkie Rich, sings in Serbian, Romani, Macedonian and Greek – ancient languages in which songs like ‘Ederlezi’ have been sung since the beginning of time.
In the best tradition of Roma Gypsy bands, Niko Ne Zna can roam while playing, giving the whole performance that authentic flavour and enchanting the audience into dancing, singing, clapping and stomping all night long.