Best of Philly® Wedding Bands 2012

Magnet Magazine: Isolation Drills 2020

West Philadelphia Orchestra’s Klezmer Band

WPO in Suits“WPO’s Balkan dance parties at the now-shuttered Tritone were legendary. Your wedding/bar mitzvah/birthday blowout will be, too, if you book their traditional brass klezmer band, a Jewish folk group that plays everything from Busta Rhymes to Neutral Milk Hotel.”
– Philadelphia Magazine

From the Tiny Desk Contest: The Biggest Dance Party: West Philadelphia Orchestra
“Though not quite the size of the biggest band ever to grace the Tiny Desk (the 23-strong marching band Mucca Pazza), the 14-member West Philadelphia Orchestra filled up every corner of the antique emporium where they filmed their video with their huge, effusive sound. “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.”
– Bob Boilan, NPR

“This is the absolute best Balkan Band in the country.”
– Jawnville

Tubafingers“Labeling the group as just a Balkan-influenced band is a gross misrepresentation. Their catalog has layers of influences that synthesize gospel, techno, funk, jazz, hip-hop and even dub. Since their humble beginnings at Tritone, the Orchestra has moved their monthly parties to Underground Arts [now every Tuesday at Franky Bradley’s]. Though the venue has changed, their ability to connect the Western populace to Eastern musical arrangements has not wavered. Bulgarian, Serbian and Romani languages are incorporated into vocalist Petia Zamfirova’s lyrics. Despite a sizable 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 one million-member Balkan folk music monster is the only band in Philadelphia that can make you dance till you drop using solely acoustic instruments. A horn section, percussion section, tuba, sax, traditional vocals – 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.”
– Get Lucid

“As soon as the concert ended, there was a unanimous understanding that your show was the best we have seen all year. All the campers are already chomping at the bit to have you guys back next year and I for one agree with them. Everyone absolutely loved it. So, from all of us here at the farm, thank you again.”
– Wesley Bogan, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center.

“The most dazzling display of technique, among hundreds of those, was the wild series of glissandos from West Philadelphia Orchestra trumpeter Koofreh Umoren. Their sousaphone player, Jimmy Parker, has terrifying chops as well, at one point taking an intro that hit notes that big fat low-register horns aren’t supposed to be able to reach, not even close. That beast of a band made a good headliner: in a short, barely half-an-hour onstage, they finally gave the night’s younger contingent the chance to cut loose to a pretty much straight-up 4/4 beat after an evening of the hypnotic kinetics that started a little after seven. Although a grandmother who looked about seventy was having plenty of fun taking a circle of oldsters down, down, down: how do you say “rock lobster” in Serbian?” -Delarue, New York Music Daily, from GoldenFest 2017

“They’re one sexy eye and earful, that West Philadelphia Orchestra, even before Petia gets up there. I worked at a restaurant where the WPO played one night and now there is another human being in the world because of it.”
– Philebrity

The West Philadelphia Orchestra performed at Union Transfer“West Philadelphia Orchestra have come out to George School now on two occasions, and they have quickly become a school community-wide tradition. WPO first came to one of our assemblies as messengers of Balkan music, joy, and good will; they next came to one of our live music events as dance-party starters and merchants of musical mayhem. Each time they came, WPO were joyful ambassadors of berserk brass-band beats and blasts, and they have left an indelible impression on hundreds of new young fans, many of whom proudly sport WPO T-shirts around campus. Being able to have WPO at our school was an immense pleasure and part of what makes my job so great!”
– Michael Lo Stracco, Teacher, George School

“WPO is the type of orchestra that could charm all ages – teenagers and upwardly mobile professionals and Baby Boomers and senior citizens. This wide appeal happens, despite any cultural deficits on the part of the listeners, because WPO is just so darn cool. Their music is fluid. It is nomadic, for it roams all the way to the West. WPO counts jazz, ska, reggae, and even a little punk rock among its influences. While its roots rest in history, somehow WPO feels refreshing. WPO plays music we’ve heard somewhere, probably a wedding, but in a new way. Most of the members play several instruments, so they switch it up. They are versatile. They are intriguing.”
– Robyn Meadows, Fine Lancaster Living

“The music has a magical quality, and I mean that in the darkest and most arcane sense of the word. They manage to produce originals that feel both modern and authentic. Raymond Scott has nothing on their inventiveness and verve.”
– Jose Fritz, Stranded in Stereo