Faith i Branko: Serbia’s No. 1 Roma violinist and UK accordionist perform high-energy original Roma/Jazz influenced music with their International Ensemble.
Branko Ristic, described by BBC Radio 3 as a violinist ‘whom Paganini would be proud of’ has joined with Faith Ristic - a UK performer who’s ‘nimble accordion playing provides a beautiful bedrock’ The Guardian. From a foundation of ‘Serbian-Roma’ music, they have created a style that draws from both of their musical heritages and expresses their unique personal connection.
The duo met in Branko’s Serbian Roma village of Gornja Grabovica in 2009, and - with music as their only tool for communication - began a journey that would lead to the creation of their WOMEX award-winning album ‘Gypsy Lover’, their marriage and their success in international touring and media. Branko taught himself the violin, which became a way out of the extreme health, social and economic problems through which he lived in Serbia; he created his own music - intuitively combining sounds of Jazz, Indian, Turkish and Classical music with his Roma traditions. Now based in London, the duo are currently touring with their quartet and quintet.
They have recently returned from their 43-venue tour of Australia and New Zealand with Band Aide Management, including main stage performances at Port Fairy Festival, National Folk Festival, Blue Mountains Festival, Cygnet Festival, Illawarra Festival and The Hub Theatre. Listen to them on ABC Sydney 'The Music Show' with Penny Lomax. They are currently working on finalising their PRS sponsored Album with Emir Kusturica in Serbia, and filming with actress Branka Katic [UK/Serbia. Creds. Black Cat White Cat/ Public Enemies/ Captain America] on a single/music video release to accompany the album. Their Serbian Film Fund sponsored documentary 'Faith i Branko' shall be released to tour film festivals at the end of 2018, and the album shall be released with World Music Network (Rough Guides) after the success of their previous album 'Gypsy Lover' (10th in the European World Music Charts) / WOMEX.
Over the last year they have performed at Rosa Sinta Festival (Netherlands); Culture Nomade (Switzerland); Diobar (Barcelona); Festival of Light (UK); The Royal Festival Hall (UK); Longo Mai (France); The Southbank Centre; Bristol Old Vic Theatre; The Houses of Parliament; Wilderness Festival; Boomtown Festival; Henley Festival; Bestival, and Glastonbury among others.
Branko Ristic – ‘a performer that Paganini would be proud of’ [BBC Radio 3], and UK born ‘nimble accordionist’ [The Guardian] - Faith Elliott, form the core of this international quintet - combining the accordion, violin, effects pedal and tabor pipe with double bass, guitar and drums to take the audience on a journey from melancholy Roma violin laments to storming ‘kolos’ and explorations into jazz improvisation, swing, Gypsy Rumba and Turkish and Indian influenced songs.
They are amongst the 3 most broadcast albums to put their record label 'Riverboat Records/World Music Network' in the WOMEX Top 15 Label Awards. International touring includes Canberra Lights Out (Australia); Kustendorf Film Festival (Serbia); Vienna Roma Festival; Tasmania and Sydney; radio play includes BBC Radio 3 Live Sessions, World Service with Stephen Fry, BBC Radio 6; ABC Sydney and Canberra National among others.