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Nomadic Orchestra

Western Cape

The Nomadic Orchestra/Orkes/Orkestar is a Cape Town based band dedicated to making dancing happen.

The Nomadic Orchestra is a five-piece instrumental dance band based in Cape Town. The primary goal of the Nomadic Orchestra is to get people moving. The band makes an infectious kind of high-energy dance music – even the most prudish find themselves unconsciously tapping their feet. The Nomadic Orchestra is strongly influenced by traditional music from the countries of South-Eastern Europe: Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. They are also influenced by Klezmer, gypsy and circus music as well as contemporary western party music. Their musical training brings a strong jazz aesthetic to the band, and thus an emphasis on improvisation. The music that the Nomads play is original and composed by members of the band.


The Nomadic Orchestra was born at the party “Balkanology: The Resurrection” in April 2009. Balkanology has been bringing quality Balkan music – both live and electronic – to the Cape Town scene for many years and has presented more than a handful of wildly successful parties.

As well as playing alongside local acts such as Goldfish, Freshly Ground and Prime Circle (to name just a few), the Nomadic Orchestra have opened for and played back to back with international Balkan acts Shazalakazoo , Boom Pam and Balkan Beat Box. On the Cape Town scene, The Nomadic Orchestra have played gigs with Mr Cat and the Jackal, Ma’original, Toby2Shoes, Kimon, Christian Tiger School, Desmond & the Tutu’s, Alice Pheobe Lou, Bye Beneco, Grassy Spark, The City, 7th Son, Touch Wood, Captain Stu, Manouche, The Bone Collectors and Peachy Keen.

The Nomadic Orchestra have played at the festivals Rocking the Daisies, Oppi Koppi, Flamjangled Tea Party, Up The Creek, Synergy, Earthdance, Resonance, White Mountain, Lavender Fest, Park Acoustics, Capital Craft Beer Festival, Balkanology (Resurrection, Metamorphosis, Greek Mythology, Animal Farm) and Splashy Fen.


“The recklessness slips into the crowd and a friendly pogo pit develops. People are smiling and random strangers are sharing drinks. There’s a sense of community, something that’s been missing so far at Nanny Fest [RTD 2011]. And suddenly, it was all about the music again. It was a moment where I laughed with joy, had to re-evaluate my opinion and got to dance. In that brief moment Rocking The Daises was a proper festival.”

-Mahala’s Roger Young reviews Nomadic Orchestra vs Mr. Cat and the Jackal at RTD 2011

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