Juana Ghani is a band based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that performs a mix of Eastern and Central European and Romani influenced original music and Old World traditional folk songs combined with modern melodic punk. Juana Ghani's Gypsy punk music, generally played in a minor key, is more melodic, harmonious and traditional than the usual "punk" genre, but the lyrics reflect punk, often dark and at times macabre.
Juana Ghani interprets the musical heritage of the Romani people, performing musical arrangements using mainly amplified acoustic instruments rather than punk's electric instruments. Most of Juana Ghani's material is original and may be sung in one of a several languages, including English, Romani, Hungarian, Slovene, Russian and Italian.
Juana Ghani is often accompanied by belly dancers, cirque performers and other interpretive dancers performing in the style of Flamenco and other traditional Romani or "Gypsy" styles, presenting raucous and energetic concert experiences.
Juana Ghani was founded in 2009 by Brian Bonell and his wife, Leisl Bonell. After writing and recording several songs in their home studio, the couple began posting these songs online under the name Juana Ghani. In 2010, they compiled these songs into the self-released EP Budmo!.
Mandolinist Tony Semerad and accordionist Nick Newberry soon joined them. Together, these four formed the foundation for the band.
In March 2011, the Bonells joined forces with Salt Lake City, Utah belly dancers Amanda Borba and Kelsey Covington to create the Underground Gypsy Cabaret, an event that featured Gypsy and Middle Eastern influenced bands, dancers and cirque performers performing with Juana Ghani. The Underground Gypsy Cabaret ran four times per year through July 2012. The Underground Gypsy Cabaret disbanded in August 2012.
In 2011, the band performed at the Ogden Arts Festival, returning each year through 2016.) The group also performed at the Utah Pride Festival in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015, the Acoustic All-Stars Festival in 2011-2015, and the Urban Arts Festival in 2016. Between 2011 and 2015, the band performed each year at the Utah Arts Festival.
In December 2011, Juana Ghani opened for the New York City based Grammy award winning klezmer band The Klezmatics.
In September 2012, Juana Ghani opened for world punk band Firewater, currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. In October 2012, Juana Ghani opened for Asheville, North Carolina based dark cabaret band Hellblinki.
In March 2013, Juana Ghani opened for Portland, Oregon-based cabaret band Vagabond Opera.
Juana Ghani's sophomore album, "She Lost Her Head" was released June 13, 2014 and features artwork by Balkan Expressionist Paul Hitter from Bucharest, Romania.
- 1. Quiet and Cold
- 2. Raise Your Glass
- 3. Breathing
- 4. The Incredible Sadness of Sonia
- 5. What It All Burn
Shall We Live Forever (2012)
- 1. Murder of Crows
- 2. Amari Szi Amari
- 3. What Did I Know
- 4. We Don't Remember
- 5. The Incredible Sadness of Sonia
- 6. Kasojeni Bay
- 7. Breathing
- 8. Raise Your Glass
- 9. Whispers in the Woods
She Lost Her Head (2014)
- 1. Watch It All Burn
- 2. Pyaterochka
- 3. One Man Dead
- 4. Na Zdorovie
- 5. Tu Jésty Fatá
- 6. Spanish Raven
- 7. Canta Bella
- 8. Sing, Little Bird
- 9. Third of May
- 10. Voices
- 11. She Lost Her Head
- Bonus. In Winter Time
- Brian Bonell – guitars, concertina, vocals (2009–present)
- Leisl Bonell – lead vocals, concertina (2009–present)
- Nicholas Newberry – accordion, hurdy-gurdy (2010 – 2015; 2016–present)
- Heather Gardner – banjo, vocals (2016–present)
- Phillip Miller – saxophones (2016–present)
- Bryan Bale – doumbek, percussion, bass guitar, vocals (2010–present)
- Darren Farnsworth – drumkit (2014–present)
- Bob Smith – percussion (2016–present)
- Byron Owens – doumbek, percussion, vocals (2011–present)
- Patrick Commiskey – euphonium (2010)
- Travis Pierce – baritone saxophone (2010)
- Allen Mautner – stand-up bass (2011–2012)
- Jean Mautner – violin (2011–2012)
- David Bowen – stand-up bass (2012–2013)
- Allison Martin – flute, vocals (2012–2013)
- Hollace McMeirce – banjo, bouzouki (2010–2012; 2016)
- Georgia Bakintas – zills (2010)
- Hillary LaFrance – backing vocals (2010–2011)
- Jason Deamer – drumkit (2011–2013)
- Jeff Ringle – drumkit (2013–2014)
- Tanya Semerad – parade bass drum (2010–2013)
- Christopher Futral – doumbek (2010–2015)
- Tony Semerad – mandolin, vocals (2010–2015)
- Tiffin Brough – violin (2012–2015)
- Jennifer Klettke – sousaphone (2013–2015)
- "Ride Gypsys!". Salt Lake Magazine. May–June 2015, page 42-43.
- Turk, Savannah (12 July 2012). "Juana Ghani: Gypsy Collective Releases New CD". City Weekly.
- "Local Reviews: Juana Ghani". Slug Magazine, By Brinley Froelich
- Stumpp, Britta Visser. "Shall We Live Forever". Fuse:A Tribal and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance Magazine. Vol. Summer 2012.
- Warchol, Glen (27 September 2011). "Underground Gypsies Run Away with Salt Lake Scene". The Salt Lake Tribune.
- Thatcher, Autumn (23 February 2012). "Big Gypsy Love". Now Salt Lake.
- Diamond, Austen (25 April 2013). "CWMA 2013 Review: Bullets & Belles, Color Animal, Juana Ghani". City Weekly.
- "The Juana Ghani Gypsy Circus visits FOX 13 to preview free show at Gallivan Center". August 27, 2015, FOX 13 News
- Clifford, Beth (7 July 2011). "Juana Ghani: Utah Gypsy Band A Musician's Oasis". City Weekly.
- "Math makes appearance at annual arts festival". The Signpost, by Raychel Johnson · June 10, 2013
- "Urban Arts Fest Entertainment Schedule". Utah Arts.
- Egan, Rick. "Photos: Urban Arts Fest at the Gallivan Center". The Salt Lake Tribune.
- "2014 Utah Arts Festival 06.28 with Better Taste Bureau, Juana Ghani, Red Desert Ramblers". Slug Magazine, Blake Leszczynski June 29, 2014
- Turk, Savannah (12 July 2012). "; Juana Ghani:Gypsy Collective Releases New CD". City Weekly.
- Burger, David (12 July 2012). "Bar Deluxe's Underground Gypsy Cabaret Hosts Juana Ghani Friday". The Salt Lake Tribune.
- "Best of the Beehive 2012". Salt Lake Magazine. 23 (4). August 2012.
- Diamond, Austen (3 April 2013). "Announcing the 2013 City Weekly Music Awards Bands". City Weekly.
- "CWMA City Weekly Music Awards". City Weekly. 18 April 2013.
- "KRCL Presents Devotchka w/ special guests Juana Ghani". Park City Live. July 18, 2015.