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Tangi Ropars grew up playing musette and Celtic music in Brittany, the Celtic part of France. He spent more than 15 years performing in the traditional Breton dancing night called 'Fest-Noz.' After a few years of travelling and discovering the countries and culture of South East Asia, South America, and more, he ended in Toronto where he really started to diversify his music style. After playing with many North American singer-songwriters for a number of years, he focussed on the gypsy punk music, forro from Brazil, Balkan klezmer from Eastern Europe, and other genres. Tangi has joined and started many Toronto projects, including the artist collective 'Fedora Upside Down,' which gathered many folk artists together to share their love for tradition and cultural exchange in Toronto. Around the same time, Tangi and Mark Marczyk started Lemon Bucket Orkestra, a 15 piece Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super-Band. In 2013, Tangi started Balfolk Toronto with Emilyn Stam.
Ahmed Salah Moneka
Ahmed Salah Moneka was born in Baghdad, Iraq, where he grew up in a creative, loving, and supportive family. He studied Theatre at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and earned his Bachelor's Degree in Theoretical Acting from the University of Baghdad. After acting in live theatre for 9 years, Ahmed became the first black television presenter in Iraq for a popular television show, Mizan Ramadan, in 2012. He then moved to film and appered in critically acclaimed and award-winning short and feature-length films, many of which have been screened at leading international film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. Much of Ahmed's work focuses on the issues of human rights and freedom in his native Iraq. In 2014, Ahmed starred in the short film The Society. Through its heart-wrenching story and gripping performances, the film exposes the ongoing indignity and danger that homosexuals in Iraq regularly experience. As a result of his performance and involvement in the film, Ahmed received serious threats and was unable to return to Iraq after his film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. He remained in Toronto and is currently working to become a Canadian citizen.
Fethi Nadjem was born in 1983 in Algeria, where he grew up in a family of musicians. He began playing the guitar and oud at the age of 13, and developed his skills within the Fine Arts Association in Algiers, learning Andalusian music, playing violin and Algerian mandole. At the age of 21 he was one of the founders of a world music fusion band named Djmawi Africa, with which he performed on major world stages for 13 years. During this time Fethi also learned to play kora (African harp). Shortly after arriving in Toronto, he started playing with several bands and musicians, and recently joined Moskitto Bar as a multi-instrumentist.
Originally from Athens, Greece, Demetri Petsalakis is a Toronto-based musician performing in a variety of styles, with a focus on Greek and Middle Eastern lutes. He is involved with bands such as Ventanas, Nomadica, Near East, Zephyr, The Maryem Tollar ensemble, Samba Squad, The Ken McDonald quartet and the Heavyset Quartet, where he is featured playing a variety of stringed instruments including guitar, outi (oud), lyra and baglama. Demetri has a Master of Music degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music from York University.