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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Guitar-woodwind-bass band Eastern Blok to perform Feb. 15

Guitar-woodwind-bass band Eastern Blok to perform Feb. 15.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release [2-11-11]

Guitar-woodwind-bass band Eastern Blok will perform a unique international mixture of folk, jazz and world music Tuesday, Feb. 15, at Minnesota State Mankato.

The four-man group blends various musical styles with folkloric traditions of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia. The Performance Series concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. Eastern Blok also will present a program at Jefferson Elementary School, Mankato, Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m.

Classical guitarist and Eastern Blok founding member Goran Ivanovic is a native of Croatia who has been performing music since childhood. Renowned for his nimble guitar playing, Ivanovic studied at the prestigious Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria.

He will be joined by Doug Rosenberg on woodwinds, Matt Ulery on upright bass and Michael Caskey on percussion.

Eastern Blok creates new music by combining Balkan folk sounds with elements of American jazz, world rhythm, flamenco, Latin and classical styles – something the group calls “Balkan Fusion.”

“We love the challenge of taking various elements of musical styles and mixing them together in a way that is satisfying to us,” Caskey said.

“After playing nearly 1,000 shows together, we have something special; we love making music and traveling together,” Rosenberg added.

Eastern Blok has produced an album, “Folk Tales,” with complex, harmonic, free-flowing music, and currently is working on another album.

“We’re still working with a lot of Balkan harmonies, and the rhythms are very much in the Eastern European folk tradition, but using Western-style arrangements,” Caskey said.

Each member of the group also teaches and does freelance musical work in Chicago.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCard. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to Those who want more information should call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive, doctoral university with 15,393 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

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