MWE is a five-piece Balkan and Turkish brass troupe with a loud ass shoulder slung drum to drive it all home. They’re playing today at Desert Gold, poolside, with Alex Pasternak of Lemonade and friends.
MWE put a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. This five member acoustic wind ensemble plays traditional songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna, drawing on the same musical traditions as Gogol Bodello and Balkan Beat Box. Add a 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. Their shows are loud, wild, and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences on their feet in one song or less. MWE are often found playing hit-and-run gigs in San Francisco’s Mission District, they’ve also played at established world music venues including Ashkenaz and Yoshi’s Lounge.