• Ferus Mustafov

Romany music from eastern Europe remains popular in the U.S., with regular tours from the likes of Boban Markovic, Mahala Rai Banda (who made their Chicago debut in September at the World Music Festival), and Esma Redzepova. And there’s a whole lot more we usually don’t have access to. Macedonian reedist Ferus Mustafov has been one of the best-loved and most influential musicians in the Balkans for more than two decades, but aside from releasing the terrific 1995 album King Ferus (Globestyle) he hasn’t gunned for mainstream or world-music audiences in any meaningful way. Though he plays Romany festivals regularly and he certainly turns up on the rosters of the better world-music fests, for the most part he’s earned his bread playing at weddings or giving concerts for Macedonian expat communities.