Janam’s founder Juliana Graffagna (julianagraffagna.com) fell in love with Balkan and Eastern European folk music in the late 80's and hasn't stopped singing it since. As a veteran vocalist and music director of the internationally acclaimed Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble (kitka.org), Juliana has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Eastern Europe, appearing in projects as diverse as Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares 50th anniversary concert in Sofia, Bulgaria, and on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion". She has studied vocal technique with master singers Tzvetanka Varimezova, Mariana Sadovska, Merita Halili, Donka Koleva, Carl Linich and Christos Govetas and has been featured on numerous recordings and film soundtracks. Juliana also performs with True Life Trio (truelifetrio.com).
Multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music. A member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, the Balkan group Kitka, the King’s Noyse, the Newberry and Folger Consorts, the Oregon, California and San Francisco Shakespeare Festivals, Rose of the Compass, Anonymous IV, the California Revels, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to providing music on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia and Japan, and on the Colorado, Rogue, Green, Grande Ronde, John Day, East Carson and Klamath Rivers.
An extraordinary and soulful musician, Gari Hegedus plays violin, viola and a variety of stringed instruments from Greece and Turkey including lauoto, oud, saz and hand drums. Gari plays in the duo Teslim with violinist Kaila Flexer (kailaflexer.com/teslim), and performs with world music group Stellamara (stellamara.com) and Persian vocalist Hamed Nikpay (hamednikpay.com). He has studied with oud master Naseer Shamma and has recorded and performed with Ross Daly. He has toured with the Mevlevi Dervish (Sufi) Order of America and continues to participate in Turkish ceremonial and devotional gatherings around the country.
Tom has been playing in Bay Area Balkan rhythm sections since 1994. He is a multi-instrumentalist and plays a variety of stringed instruments and drums. He was a long time member of The Helladelics, Brass Menažeri, Anoush, and Top Dog Run. In addition to Balkan music, Tom also writes and records his own folk-rock songs.
It was love at first sight 30 years ago when Dan Auvil saw the large, two-headed drum called the tupan, which is one of the drums he plays in the band. Dan has toured and taught internationally and was a founding member of the Balkan groups Édessa and Ziyiá.
“An innovative ensemble that explores a dizzying range of styles, from Appalachia and Asia Minor to Eastern Europe. They play swirling, hard-driving music that always seems to end up in unexpected places.”SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“This fine group goes on a world tour of Eastern Europe…with no cultural jet lag.”SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT
"They’re a band to watch, with some sterling musicianship and a real sense of fervor about them.”SING OUT!