20 October: Judeţul (county) Botoşani; Constantin Lupu

I stayed in Iaşi for two days, and then we headed up to Botosani, incidentally the birthplace of my maternal grandparents.
The man to see in Botoşani was Constantin Lupu, almost everyone I talked to in preparation for this trip mentioned him and the Cobza player he played with, Constantin Negel. He knows every folk musician in the region and the villages where they live. Speranţa Rădulescu had called him and gave me an introduction and he was expecting us. Sadly, Negel had passed away three months before I arrived in Romania, but Lupu was definitely alive and kicking. A wirey guy somewhere around fifty, a great fiddle player and a gentleman, except when he was engaged in the kind of backroom lowbrow humor musicians who play private parties anywhere in the world are prone to. It’s funny how that works. No matter how far away I go, the jobbing mentality is the same. It must be something about playing at other peoples weddings. Lupu had great advice for us, starting with some people to see around Botoşani.

More to come...

next: 21 October, Stefaneşte; Blondu