In the spirit of the eastern european village band, La Panika interprets the gypsy and balkan music of Bulgaria and Macedonia. When Benito Blancquaert, Belgian saxophone player and leader of the group, met Petar Elmazov, Bulgarian gipsy accordion player, it was (musical) love at first sight. Flamboyant French trumpetplayer Jean-Pierre Lietar came in, and the soul of La Panika was born. In formations ranging between 8 and 12 musicians, La Panika gathers highly skilled French, Bulgarian, Belgian and Macedonian musicians.
With their first CD Afan Toufan, La Panika played hundreds of concerts in Belgium, France, Holland, Morocco, UK and Hungary, affirming their European dimension. The CD received positive reviews all around the world. La Panika is highly rewarded by Eastern top musicians like Ivo Papasov, Serkan Cagri and Mladen Malakov, with whom they shared the stage. Who saw La Panika on stage, has witnessed their irresistible madness and virtuosity.
Time for a next phase in the career of La Panika. With their new album ‘Darmadan’ La Panika jumps back onto the forefront of the European balkan brass scene. A unique repertoire of some unknown pearls from the Roma canon, has been arranged with a contemporary sound with respect to the roots. Guests on the album include Neshko Neshev, former accordion player of Ivo Papasov, and Osama Abdulrasol, Iraqi qanun player.