Bio

For 20 years Toronto’s Beyond the Pale has been making its distinctive brand of boundary-busting Eurofolk fusion. Inspired by Klezmer and Balkan styles but influenced by everything from jazz and classical music to bluegrass, newgrass and reggae, Beyond the Pale’s music traverses a vast and exotic musical landscape, bound by no particular idiom and shaped by many. Their stellar musicianship, meticulous dynamics, adventurous compositions, and inventive arrangements of traditional material make them one of Canada’s most innovative acoustic ensembles. Though individual virtuosity abounds within the group, the collective sound always takes precedence, conveying the deep and generous bonds of creativity that unite these longtime collaborators.

Beyond the Pale has performed at festivals, theatres, and clubs across Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia and Brazil, including the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, NY’s famed Carnegie Hall, and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland. The group will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018 with extensive touring. 

Throughout their career, Beyond the Pale has received wide critical acclaim and a number of honours for their recorded work on the Borealis Records label. Their latest release, RUCKUS, has received two nominations from the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards, increasing the band’s career total to seven CFMA nominations, including three wins. With an equal mix of genre-bending original compositions and creative arrangements of traditional material, RUCKUS is a richly textured album that captures BTP’s range from delicate chamber-folk to exuberant, village-style dance rhythms.

Beyond the Pale features Aleksandar Gajic (violin), Bret Higgins (bass), Milos Popovic (accordion), Eric Stein (mandolin, mandocello), and Martin van de Ven (clarinets). They are frequently joined by special guests.

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A bracingly modern, mind-blowing flight into a very new Jewish-Balkan sonic atmosphere ”

— LA Weekly, Los Angeles, CA

A revelation…expertly grounded, and very much of our specific time....post-modern klezmer, in all the best senses.””

— Ari Davidow, Klezmershack.com

A rich musical experience which can touch your soul….Born of tradition but living in the here and now. ”

— Canadian Musician Magazine

NOTABLE VENUES & FESTIVALS

Apollo Bay Music Festival, Australia
Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, Atlanta, GA
Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax, NS
Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto, ON
Aguas Azul World Music Festival, Sarnia, ON
BMW Edge Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
Camelot Lounge, Sydney, Australia
Carnegie Hall, New York
Castlemaine Festival, Australia
Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordeon, Montmagny, QC
Chutzpah Festival, Vancouver, BC
City Winery, Atlanta, GA
City Winery, Nashville, TN
Colony Theatre, Miami, FL
Dizzy's Jazz Club, San Diego, CA
Don Quixote Music Hall, Santa Cruz, CA
International Akkordeon Festival, Vienna, Austria
DuMaurier Jazz Festival, Toronto, ON
Edge of the World Music Fest, QC Islands, BC
Espaco Cultural de Garota, Niteroi, Brazil
Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley, CA
Furth International Klezmer Festival, Germany
Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, ON
Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, Ottawa, ON
Great Lakes Folk Festival, Lansing, MI
Gros Morne Music Festival, Newfoundland
Guelph Spring Festival, Guelph, ON
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON
Home County Folk Festival, London, ON
ICA Folk Festival, Victoria, BC
Islands Folk Festival, Duncan, BC

Jewish Culture Festival, Krakow, Poland
Kent State Folk Festival, Akron, OH
Koerner Hall, Toronto, ON
KlezKanada Festival, Montreal, QC
Klezmerquerque Festival, Albuquerque, NM
Kleztival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Lincoln Theatre, Columbus, OH
Luminato Festival, Toronto, ON
Lyric Theatre, Lexington, KY
Markham Jazz Festival, Markham, ON
Mariposa Folk Festival, Orilla, ON
Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, QC
Mill Race Folk Festival Cambridge, ON
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON
Newmarket Jazz Festival, Newmarket, ON
North By Northeast, Toronto, ON
Oberlin Folk Festival Oberlin, OH
Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa, ON
SESC Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
St. John’s Jazz Festival, St. John’s, NL
Stratford Summer Music, Stratford, ON
Sunfest World Music Festival, London, ON
Swallow Hill Music Center, Denver, CO
TD Toronto Jazz Festival, ON
Tucson Film Festival, Tucson, AZ
University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
University of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
Washington Jewish Music Festival, Washington, DC
West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, MB
Woodsongs Radio Hour, Lexington, KY
Yiddishfest, Miami Beach, FL