Lache Cercel and The Roma Swing Ensemble
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Lache Cercel and The Roma Swing Ensemble


Band Jazz Folk


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"Press quote"

Cercel is something of a phenomenon. - Victoria Today

"press quote"

On compilations like "Transylvannia" and compositions like "Romanian Rhapsody" Cercel's violin whispered down the spine and seared the heart. - The Telegraph-Journal

"Press Quote"

Polished is also the word for Lache Cercel. The Romanian violinist turned out an impeccable, even flashy program of Romani jazz. - The Georgia Straight

"Press Quote"

Moments of haunting delicacy, soaring violin flights of fancy. - Monday Magazine

"Press Quote"

Cercel is a phenomenon. He's so fast and his sense of timing is so extraordinary. - Times Colonist

"Press Quote"

So clever is Cercel's magic, so utterly enchanting his skill. - Victoria News

"Excerpts from press review"

"When he plays the violin, in traditional material, in jazz standards, or in one of his quite astounding medleys of classical, he is passionate, wonderfully at home on the instrument, and clearly a solo entertainer born to be on stage.
His range of performance encompasses the symphonic, the rich musical heritage of the traditional Romanian music laced with European jazz, American stylings, and exuberant musical performances.
Since arriving in Canada, Cercel has been something of an underground hero amoung musicians: players hearing him for the first time are unfailingly amazed, by the integrity, and by the projection.
Cercel, when playing, tears the place apart with his infectious rhythm, and sheer joie-de-vivre in playing the violin." - Monday Magazine

"Hot Club Of Mars"

On violin, Lache Cercel. Lache is a Romanian born, third generation violinist in his family and a true virtuoso in the music of his culture. I would describe Lache simply as " The Real Thing". In five years of playing music with Lache, I have been constantly astounded time and time again.
Sam Shoichet on bass. Sam is a journeyman bassist, at home in just about any type of band, his bass skills include bowing and the "slam" technique. He is a parttime graphics designer by day.
Don Ogilvie on lead guitar. Don has played guitar since age ten or so, and has played it all at one time or another in his life. His mastery of just about any style of jazz is formidable, but never so much as when he is playing Hot Club style. - Djangofest San Fransisco

"Playing with the stars in their eyes"

Ask the stirring and bewitching Roma violinist Lache Cercel about the constrast between his first glimpses of 1987 Canada and the communist-ruled Romania of Nicolae Ceausescu he had just left behind, and the words he reaches for are "light" and "colourful." - The Province

"Muzika Konkordo-World"

Lache Cercel and The Cercel Roma Swing Ensemble (Jericho Beach Music)

Romania's loss has been Canada's gain.Lache Cercel was one of Romania's leading violinist before immigrating here in the eraly 1990's, bringing a love of his homeland's traditional folk music and fascination with klezmer, Middle Eastern sounds and jazz.
It all comes together in this collection of original tunes, most of them written by Cercel and many of them stamped with swing. Cercel's violin mesmerizes throughout the disc, dark and tragic minute and soaring fancifully the next. And while Cercel's classical training can probably be thanked for his musical sublety, it's the instinctive charm of his light, sure touch that resonates longest.
Backing Cercel are the guitars, oud,accordion, and other instruments of his ensemble, while Rebecca Schoichet takes a memorable vocal turn on Egyptian Girl.
Patrick Langston. - Ottawa Citizen-March 17,2006


The band released their latest 2006 CD in record stores across Canada called "Musika Konkordo." It is also available

and at

LP and single - Rhapsody Of Romania
LP - Lache Cercel and The Cercel Roma Swing Ensemble featuring Rebecca Shoichet
LP - The Cercel Ensemble featuring Felicia Costea
LP - 2006 in stores across Canada - Muzika Konkorde - with special guests Adel Awad and Sal Ferares

We are supported by Lotus World Music Management, Jericho Beach Records, Mainstage Management, the Canada Council For the Performaing Arts, and SOCAN.
We are also working on new film sound tracks and compositions for independent film.

Our website is being built. You may find streaming audio by doing a google search of Lache Cercel and then finding Romania's Best and also Musical Occasions. There is also some radio play on the google search.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Biography: Lache Cercel

Electrifying Romanian violinist, Lache Cercel is on the verge of becoming one of Canada’s next big names on the world music circuit. This year Lache Cercel and the Cercel Roma Swing Ensemble were nominated by the International Folk Alliance as World Artist of the year.

Like the members of the Khac Chi Ensemble, Silk Road Music and other leading figures in Canada’s world music community, Cercel left behind a life as one of his homeland’s premier musicians and chose to settle in Canada. And like the others, he has gone on to study a variety of musical styles and collaborate with musicians from around the world to create a uniquely Canadian musical fusion.

In Cercel’s case, his collaborators include renowned Egyptian percussionist, Adel Awad, noted Vancouver jazz vocalist but Laura Crema and Latin music virtuoso, Sal Fereras. The music is firmly rooted in Roma tradition, styled with Doina Klezmer, Middle Eastern and European sounds, and held together with jazz improvisation. Lache calls his fusion Roma jazz or Roma swing. In the tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephen Grappelli, Lache lays classical and improvisational jazz alongside traditional renderings, which makes for a phenomenal sound.

Cercel was born in Bucharest, Romania and educated at the country’s academy of the arts. He went on to become the first ever soloist with The Romanian Radio and Television Orchestra, with whom he performed for five years. In 1986, he was awarded the Romanian Government’s “Artist of the People” citation.

He spent his early years in the country doing solo performances around BC and teaching Romanian style violin. For several summers, he made annual teaching trips to the Buffalo Gap International Music Camp in Washington, D.C. and Mendocino Balkan Camp in Mendocino, CA. His early performance highlights include The Victoria Jazz Festival, Mission Folk Festival, the Western Premiers Conference and Victoria First Night Celebrations. Cercel also performed with the Original Balkan Jam, appearing at The Winnipeg Folk Festival and Festival by the Sea in St.John, N.B. He even performed at Disneyland with the Ukranian Ensemble, VASELKA.

In 1994, Cercel returned to Romania to continue his exploration of Romanian music. There, he recorded his debut CD, Rhapsody of Romania with well-known Romanian conductor, Paraschiv Oprea.

He came back to Canada in 1996, settled in Vancouver and began further musical studies at Vancouver Community College. Meanwhile, he’s continued to build his reputation as a solo performer, session musician, and composer of music for film and TV.

In 2003, Cercel’s piece “A Cry for Roma” from Suspino earned him a “Hugo” Gold Plaque from the 39th Chicago International Television Awards in the category of “Special Achievement: Music Score.” Cercel also composed music for the National Film Board documentary “Opre Roma,” and the internationally screened independent film “Noroc”

He guests on the CDs Best Hits from Rasputin on Broadway, Klezmyriad by Tzimmes and The Last Arrow by Nur-Jehan and his music is featured on the Westcoast Sacred Music Festival Compilation ’99.

Cercel has performed at the Victoria and Mission Folk Festivals, Festival by the Sea in St. John and on VTV’s (now CTV’s) Vancouver Breakfast program. In October of 2002, he received a standing ovation for his performance at Djangofest Northwest. In November 2002 he performed at the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse for the opening reception of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and in 2005, he performed for an audience of 1700 people at the NTDTV Chinese New Year Gala in Toronto receiving "Bravo" all around from the audience and the other artists. Lache and the band played at the Chinese New Year Gala NTDTV 2006 Vancouver to a full house with a repeat performance.

Lache is a bandleader who lets every musician shine. He plays with the outrageous virtuosity found in contemporary European Roma recordings, and adds his own vision, relaxing the form somewhat. The musicians play with freedom and the listener feels the strong roots and hears the history of tragedy, struggle and ultimate survival that is part of Roma music.

The Georgia Straight once described a Cercel performance as “impeccable…even flashy.” The Victoria Times Colonist calls him “a phenomenon,” adding “He’s so fast and his sense of timing is so extraordinary...(he’s) one of Victoria’s greatest treasures.”

Critical praise for Lache Cercel

Cercel is something of a phenomenon - Henry Porter, Victoria Today

Moments of haunting delicacy, soaring violin flights of fancy - David Dawes, Monday Magazine

On compilations like “Transylvania” and compositions like “Romanian Rhapsody”, Cercel’s violin whispered down the spine and seared the heart - Mark Tunney, The Telegraph-Journal, Saint John, N.B.

Cercel is a phenomenon. He’s so fast and his sense of timing is so extraordinary...One of Victoria’s greatest treasures - J