Since 2010, OrnämatiK has been exciting audiences from the East Coast to the Midwest with their energetic, unique take on Eastern European folk music. Playing music from all over the Balkans, including regions of Turkey, Armenia, Greece, and Bulgaria, OrnämatiK brings you the traditional music with a tight rhythm section and funky horns. The result is in infectious grooves, often in the odd-time meters of traditional folk dances. Audiences can't help but come together and dance when they feel the power behind the music. "There are a lot of ancestors speaking through these songs," says Bethanni Grecynski, trombonist and musical co-curator of the band. "It is a beautiful thing to hear them."
Bethanni founded the project in 2010 with drummer/percussionist Drew Schmeiding, who studies Hip-Hop, Capoeira, Caribbean, Balkan, and African music and dance and has participated in previous music projects including Prhyme Numberz, Midwest Product (ghostly international), Tribe of Zoe, and ICHO. The two players began working together and soon started a series of shows featuring Eastern European music at the Blind Pig and the Yellow Barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The band name, OrnämatiK, is a mix of vocabulary intended to create a unique word for the members' collective sound and approach to this treasured music. "The rhythms and melodies flow through us as we honor the ancestors by listening and playing this music. We reach beyond political or man-made boundaries to speak the language of music. The result is honest expression from the heart that, despite its complexity, is simple enough for even the youngest child to understand," says band founder Drew Schmieding. Below is the entomology for your edification.
1. Ornament - noun |'ôrn?m?nt| • (ornaments) Music embellishments and decorations, such as trills or grace notes, added to a melody.
2. from Greek automatos 'acting of itself', done or occurring spontaneously, without conscious thought or intention: automatic physical functions such as breathing,
3. Matic is a common Croatian family name. It is a patronymic name of Mate, the Croatian variants of the Latin name Mathaeus, English Matthew. According to Croatian-genealogy, the surname Matic is typically of Croat ethnicity, but it is carried by Serbian and Bosnian people as well.
Since 2010 the group has expanded to include a full horn section made up of some of Ann Arbor's most exciting musicians, many of them recent graduates of the University of Michigan's jazz program. The band now features trombonist Bethanni Grecynski, joined by Drew Schmieding (percussion), Darrin James (guitar), Ben Rolston (bass), Eric Schweizer (reeds), and Derek Worthington (trumpet).
OrnämatiK kept a busy performing schedule in 2012 with local shows at the Music School, Canterbury House, Selma Cafe (with dance instruction), and a few now-famous house parties! 2013 looks to be an even bigger year for the band with the release of their forthcoming CD, produced by East guitarist and producer, Darrin James, and many more dance parties to come. Instrumentation
Darrin James - Guitar Drew Schmieding - Drumset, Doumbek, Tupan Ben Rolston - Bass Bethanni Grecynski - Trombone Eric Schweitzer - Saxophone, Clarinet Derek Worthington - Trumpet Matthew Endahl - Keys/Accordian
Discography Ornamatik - Self titled, released January 2014