Based in San Francisco, CA, MWE puts a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. As a five member acoustic wind ensemble, MWE plays traditional and original songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna. Add one more clarinet, a saxophone , and a davul (a shoulder slung marching drum), and you’re about the closest to heavy metal you can get without amplification. MWE’s shows are loud, wild, and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences to their feet in one song or less.
MWE has performed at many of the Bay Area’s world music venues such as Ashkenaz, Amnesia, the Red Poppy, and Yoshi’s Lounge to name a few.
About two years ago on Halloween night, I encountered MWE at an underground venue in Oakland, CA. This was my introduction to music from the Balkan Peninsula and it hasn’t left me to this day. I was pleased to discover only recently their online presence and recordings here – but only through a live atmosphere and audience could this band’s feeling and enchantment be communicated properly. Favorite track: Shalakho.
More on their website mweband.com