After a few lineup changes over the years and the introduction of additional brass the current lineup is undoubtedly the best yet and has been driving audiences wild for the past 2 years. There’s even some more authentic Eastern-European blood in the band with percussionist Vlatko Materic joining bandleader Frankie Curac. After years of being instrumental, the addition of vocals when Nikkie Rich joined the band a couple of years ago took it to a whole new level and she sings in Serbo-Croatian, Roma Gypsy and Greek. The album consists of seven originals and three traditional songs that will take you across the Balkans with a kiwi flavor.
With the current lineup comprising two trumpets, saxophone, vocals, accordion, bass and tenor trombones, sousaphone, percussion, Balkan bass drum and snare drum, Niko Ne Zna are a truly authentic ensemble. They can roam while playing, and enchant the audience into dancing, singing, clapping and stomping all night long. The band consists of some of Wellington’s finest instrumentalists who come from a wide array of musical backgrounds that unite together to produce a cocktail that will make your ears rise to attention and your feet move in a frenzy. Their music is high energy with dark undertones and sexy gypsy style. Niko Ne Zna are a world class act with exotic tunes, fantastic grooves and exciting solos.
“Balkan music has never sounded so good.” – Porky Prime Cuts
“…Niko Ne Zna pull it off with spectacular panache. The playing is extremely tight and the solos are exceptional. ‘Renegade Brass Bandits’ comes highly recommended.” NZ Musician