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CIRKESTRA with special guests Ashia Grzesik and The Wanderlust Circus
The Lotus Seed
Portland, OR
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CIRKESTRA with special guests Ashia Grzesik and The Wanderlust Circus
SATURDAY NOV. 28th 8:30pm
Wanderlust Presents:
Boston's Premiere Traveling Circus Band


at The Lotus Seed Church
NE 9th and Going


with special Portland guest
of Vagabond Opera and Portland Cello Project

and members of

Formed by former circus clown Peter Bufano in 2004 with violist Kthe Louise Hostetter. Bufano had left the circus to be rich and famous in Hollywood, became bored and ran away with the circus again. Cirkestra has created 4 original scores for circuses, have been heard in television shows, and can be heard on NPR radio stations across the US. The members of the group are tapped from the greatest circuses in the united states. The band members have performed under the bigtop for thousands across the country in Ringling Brothers, Big Apple Circus, Circus Smirkus, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and Kinoshita Cirkus of Japan.

For the Cascadian leg of their tour, Cirkestra are joined by their friend, Ashia Grzesik, who has seen her own share of circus during her time with Cirque du Soleil's "O" show in Las Vegas. Miss Grzesik has since made a home in Portland, where she plays and tours with Vagabond Opera and The Portland Cello Project.

The evening will be rounded by a selection of cabaret performances from the Wanderlust Circus family, assembled beneath the vaulted ceiling of an 80-year-old church called The Lotus Seed. Join us spirit cousins, and witness the forging of another link in the unbreakable chain of the Circus Underground.

The principal members of Cirkestra met in early 2004 in Jamaica Plain, MA. A few weeks later they ran away with the circus. They honed the sound throughout the three month big-top tour, playing for thousands of people in little towns day after day. A sort of Eastern European meets jazz, meets Spike Jones, meets Klezmer sound emerged. Their speciality is the creepy, minor-key circus waltz.
Kthes dad made her fiddle. It has five strings and encompasses the range of a viola and violin combined. Peters accordion was gift from composer Lawrence Shragge
Kthe and Peter went on tour with the Bindlestiff Cirkus early in 2005. Then they worked with them in New York at Theater For the New City for six weeks and were nominated for a New York IT award for Outstanding Original Score
For the 2005 circus tour they had Sammy Lett on sax, clarinet, flute, and didgeridoo; Mike Dobson on drums; and Arvin Zarookian on bass. Guests to the bandstand during the tour included Skye Waggoner, Daniel L. Heat Jr., and Kthe. The band was heard on MTVs Wild Boyz
In 2006 the group accompanied the Bindlestiff Cirkus in New York for three weeks and released a new CD Pinocchio which could be heard on PBSFetch. Also this year Peter could be heard regularly on the bandstand with the 136th edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus while Kthe could heard performing with the Boston Philharmonic or with Beat Circus. Dobson continued with Circus Smirkus that year and Cirkestra gathered in the north east for a tour of non-circus venues that received overwhelming critical appreciation.
2007 Brought Cirkestra back to Circus Smirkus for a 70 show tour under the big top. Peter created an all new score for circus to be released on CD on March 16, 2008. Two Cirkestra songs where heard on NBCs Americas Got Talent hosted by Jerry Springer.
Some of the other musicians that have joined the band in performance and on the CDs are: Brian Carpenter,Stacey Cordeiro, Remi Dapere, Ricardo Frota, Will Gallison,Jack Freeman, Tamora Gooding, Laura Kandziolka, Rick Landwehr, and Jessica Matson.

Harnessing her rousing vocals and whimsical, gutsy cello lines, Ashia creates songs with elements of cabaret, folk, blues, and pop/punk . "Pay to be Loved", her debut album, is described as "exuding a dark outlook that recalls Tom Waits and Edith Piaf...her probing lyrics on the underbelly of romance with delirious results", Brad Walseth, Jazz Chicago.com and "Ashia's unconventional sound is sometimes haunting, alternating among broad ranges of styles, volumes, and speeds at most unexpected moments...an album praiseworthy for its sincere originality and stunning musical range", Melanie Fried, Elmore Magazine. Her talents and hard work in classical cello training were noticed at the age of 21, as she was invited to play cello and sing at Cirque du Soleil's production of "O" in Las Vegas, NV for four months. She returned a year later, after traveling to Europe and studying, to join "O" full-time. Outside of working at"O", Ashia performed alongside band members of BlueManGroup and cast members of sister Cirque du Soleil shows, as well as completing a BA in music at Central Washington University. Her experience with circus performers infected her with a strong interest in theatrical and cabaret performance. Upon leaving "O", she co-formed a dynamic cabaret style duet act with aerial hoop artist, Fernanda Mas Monteiro, where she sings and plays a version of her CD title song "Pay to be Loved". Scratching an itch to travel and squelching a hunger to perform to audiences abroad, she flew across the seas to her birth city Wroclaw, Poland and to Berlin, DE. Currently, Ashia lives in Portland, OR and is extensively performing her solo works as well as with Amanda Richards, The Portland Cello Project, and Vagabond Opera. Her performances vary from the theatrical cabaret such as at Moisture Festival, Seattle, rowdy eastern euro bars, or keen little dives intended for acoustic intimacy.


The Lotus Seed
4635 NE 9th
Portland, OR
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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