Concerts & Events

Friday, November 30, 2018  ·  8:30 PM

Ethnic Dance Chicago

featuring music by Balkana and dances led by Paul Collins
Global Dance Party

4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000

Global Dance Party

The Global Dance Party series offers an exciting opportunity to experiment with dance styles from around the globe. Each evening will feature a dance class followed by two hours of music from live bands or DJs in our Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall.

Balkana has been performing as a formal group since 2016, having collaborated earlier as members of the Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society and performing for the Annual Spring Balkan Fest hosted by Balkanske Igri. Our members are Izaki (violin/vocals) and Sophia Metropoulos (Laouto/Guitar/Vocals), Dusko Simic (percussion), and Jim Stoynoff (clarinet).

The group performs an extensive repertoire of Greek folk music from the Central and Southern Mainland, Epirus, Macedonia, and Thrace, Crete, and the Dodecanese and Aegean Islands.

Jim Stoynoff

Jim is a native Chicagoan who began studying the clarinet in 1962. Since that time he has specialized in the research, preservation and performance of Greek Folk Music, with particular emphasis on the regional folk clarinet styles of Epiros (NW Greece), Macedonia, Central Greece and Turkey.

He studied with master of Greek Folk clarinetists Anestopoulos, Stamelos and Halkias and Tukish master clarinetist Saffet Gundeger of Istanbul Radio. They not only taught him the “secrets” of their artistry, but also provided deeper insight into the historical context and subsequent evolution of these musical genres.

Since 1965, Jim has performed regularly at major functions within the Greek, Armenian and Turkish communities and has appeared with various groups throughout the U.S. He also gives lecture/performances and authors articles on the Balkan clarinet for various publications. Since 1986 he has appeared annually at various events sponsored by the Chicago Cultural Center, and performed with the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra.

From his ensemble performed as part of Yoyo Ma's Silk Road residency, and subsequently made two appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for the opening of the Chicago World Music Festival.
Jim also designed and curated the Hellenic National Museum & Cultural Center's exhibit Road to Rembetika and is actively building their archive of Greek Music recordings dating from the 1920's.

He is a member of the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago and the World Music Ensemble at Harper College

Dusko Simic

Dusko Simic is a Chicago native (of Serbian descent) and is currently a PsyD student at Roosevelt University specializing in trauma-related psychopathology. He plays a number of traditional percussive, string, and woodwind instruments from the Balkans and wider Near East. He loves play taksimi and singing aman with friends. He's most passionate about the zurle and tupan, but has, by some miracle, managed to retain his hearing.

Paul Collins

Paul Collins began dancing with his parents at the age of eight and has been an ethnic folk dance leader & square/contra dance caller since high school. While dancing with his parents' adult group, he had the opportunity to call his first square dance at the age of 12.

Paul has been a guest teacher and caller at dances from the North Country to the Deep South and has even called squares and taught folk dancing for the hearing impaired at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Paul led the University of Chicago Folk Dance Club for many years and introduced squares and contras into the group's repertoire. After directing the U of C Folk Dancers' Annual Fall "International Folk Festival" for twelve years, Paul joined Gerhard Bernhard in producing the Door County Folk Festival ( and two years later became a festival co-director.