The band are based in London and frequently play across the UK.
Branko Ristic, described by BBC Radio 3 as a violinist ‘whom Paganini would be proud of’ has joined with Faith Ristic to form Faith i Branko 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. They have performed at The Royal Festival Hall, Kustendorf Film Festival & Edinburgh Festival.
They've realised a WOMEX award winning album Gypsy Lover which was produced by Emir Kusturica and Nicholas Hooper made the European World Music Charts; radio play includes BBC Radio 3 Heritage Tracks. Their many credits include playing on an Emir Kustirica film and on BBC3 and have had chart success in the European World Music Charts with the above album and have played all over the planet from Edinburgh to Sydney to Italy.
How do they sound?
Faith and Branko Ristic form the core of their high-energy live performance, combining the accordion, violin, effects pedal and tabor pipe 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 violin solos. These styles form a set, which – for the majority – is joyous, passionate, boisterous, fiery and spirited. Branko, predicted by UK Froots to become ‘one of the leading Roma Violinists of the century’, soars at break-neck paces whilst Faith’s ‘nimble accordion accompaniment provides a beautiful bedrock’ [The Guardian]. Branko – a self-taught virtuosic Roma violinist with a painful personal history - opens his heart in their slower compositions, revealing at times the sadness and darkness beneath the frantic virtuosic revelry. They source musicians from all over the world and currently perform as a quartet and quintet with collaborating Roma and non-Roma artists.
They can cater their performance around your needs, for intimate occasions they can perform their acoustic duo of violin and accordion - with optional piano if required. This can be styled around the sounds of vibrant and soulful Gypsy, Jazz and Balkan music, or can include a repertoire with known jazz standards and favourite classical pieces. For concerts, events and art projects, they work with a number of top-musicians; this can range from a trio with double bass or guitar, to a fully amplified 5-piece line-up with additional percussion, cello, 2nd vocals, to entertain large crowds: all is possible.
For events and functions, Faith i Branko have a variety of programs in their repertoire:
* A 'mixed repertoire' of music from eastern Europe and the Balkans, from mellow, mournful songs to fast and virtuosic dance and show pieces.
* 'Specialised sets', themed to one tradition or to one specific occasion: Russian, Hungarian, Serbian, Macedonian; or Wedding, Funeral, Christening and Birthdays.
* 'Standard sets', same as the above with some standards / popular pieces of your choosing.
'These virtuosic performers are a major discovery this year' The Guardian
'Moving, breathtaking and virtuosic' Lopa Kothari, BBC Radio 3
'Set to become one of the leading Roma Violinists of the century' Froots
'Totally Amazing' Lily Allen
'One of my favourite new Balkan ensembles' Emir Kusturica
'They made my wedding! The audience was jumping, happy, and astonished by this unusual band with incredible Gypsy violinist Branko. My friends all had standard function bands, but we wanted something that we would remember and would be talked about afterwards. They played romantic acoustic pieces as we walked down the aisle and then blew out the dance floor with their high energy music after we had eaten. Really really great!'. Martina Holder, Bristol (Wedding)
'They played at my daughters Jewish inspired wedding - and got the atmosphere just right for each moment of the ceremony. They came as a trio and really set the scene in our garden to relax and talk afterwards' Leonie Bennet, Oxford (Wedding)
'The band were great! They made our festival and they got quite a few more jobs out of it I think. They were punctual and easy to work with and we'll definitely have them back next year' Leigh Watts (Food Festival, Coventry)
'We love Faith i Branko, they turned our outdoor lunchtime barbeque into a real festival feeling - all the parents were taking about it for the next week!' Patricia Murphy (Childrens Birthday, Oxford)
'Everyone knows Faith i Branko in Oxford, so it was great to have some local celebrities at the event!' Kay Symons, (Street Festival, Oxford)
'We went to see them first at a gig in Bristol - and then immediately booked them for our wedding. They were worth every penny and made our wedding a day I'll never forget' Mel Bate (Wedding, Hay on Wye)
Scroll to view set list
Black Eyes - Standard
Bubamara - No Smoking Orchestra
Mesecina - Goran Bregovic
Serbian Roma Music - Kolo
Minor Swing - Django Rhinehart
Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
Somewhere Over The Rainbow - The Wizard of Oz
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
Variety of own Gypsy/Jazz/Roma compositions
Cajorije Sukorije - Esma Razpoljove
This act's standard set times are as follows: