Raka are a 9-piece ensemble that play traditional music from the Balkans. We take our name after a traditional Bulgarian dance the ‘Raka,’ full of leg kicks, clicking heels and hands held high, the unmistakable groove of a ‘Raka‘ brings everyone to their feet. Our music has a strong focus in the folk traditions of Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as the Romani music that span far and wide across the Balkans. Our meandering musical tributaries have all led us to one communal river: the love and commitment to understanding and interacting with the music of the Balkans. We do not play ‘fusion music’, and neither do we imitate. We bring to life a genuinely authentic repertoire wherever we are, from sweaty back rooms of North London clubs to concert halls on the banks of the Thames. We took the dance for our name as that’s what we love to do. A heart rending lament can move the body as much as a pounding Bulgarian Pravo, and in Raka we have made space for both, and everything in between.
"Absolutely magnificent, no one can sit still listening to Raka!"
DJ Ritu, A World in London - Resonance FM
“Raka burst with traditional Balkan flair, the group earn their title as the essential act of the weekend.” Eva Hibbs, Nightshift Magazine