About WPO

With a line-up of Philadelphia musicians whose influences range from Sun Ra to Bulgarian brass bands, West Philadelphia Orchestra is a unique live ensemble in today’s auto-tuned musical world. They began playing Romanian ballads, Macedonian folk-dance songs, Bulgarian wedding music, and Klezmer in late 2006, and have continued expanding their repertoire of Eastern European music. The band also plays original tunes which blend other sounds, like jazz and classical, together with traditional Balkan sounds. As much a community as a band, WPO’s performances are celebratory events. With blistering beats and walls of brass, they inspire audiences to hold hands, gyrate, howl, and otherwise slip the yoke of the homogenized culture industry.

“‘Zla S’dba’ is a joyful Balkan dance number that gets everyone in the room swaying. Bulgarian language skills not required; the song’s irresistibly celebratory spirit needs no translation.”Rachel, NPR Tiny Desk Contest

“Despite a sizeable portion of the crowd likely not understanding the various languages of the southeastern Europe region, there always seems to be a supernatural synergy between them and the band.”JUMP Philly

“– this is by far one of the most energetic acts in the city. Check them out, they host the Balkan Dance party at Underground Arts [now at Franky Bradley’s].”   – Get Lucid

WPO has had the honor and pleasure of sharing the stage with a great many terrific bands, including:

Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar
Slavic Soul Party!
Fanfare Ciocărlia
Raya Brass Band
Balkan Beat Box
Red Baraat
Rebirth Brass Band
Gogol Bordello
Too Many Zooz

Moon Hooch


Inspector Gadje

Ismail Luminovsky
Man Man
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
YoungBlood Brass Band
What Cheer? Brigade
Hot 8 Brass Band
MarchFourth Marching Band
Opera Co. of Philadelphia
PitchBlak Brass Band
Ismail Hakki Fencioglu

…and many others.