Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bring On the Holidays with Juana Ghani!


The early tentative breaths of winter are whispering sotto voce along the Wasatch Front of the Rocky Mountains.  The dramatic monochrome of early morning snows glisten against the storm gray skies, tempting us to remain inside by the fire, wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping hot cocoa as we look ahead to all the wonderfully exciting happenings to come in the near future.

We have begun recording our debut CD for a hopeful spring/summer release.  The percussion on this is, as Tony says, “epic!”  We are really very excited to share it with you all!  

We also have some very exciting shows coming up over the next couple months, everything from dive bar mayhem to supporting high class Grammy award winners to an international music festival.  Pull out your calendars and take note!

December 3  --  We’ll be playing at The Woodshed (60 East 800 South) in Salt Lake City along with good friends Tabla Arabia and new friends FOLK HOGAN.  The scuttlebutt around town is that this show is going to be the one people will be talking about for quite some time … once the hangovers are gone.  

December 12  --  We are incredibly excited to be opening for the Grammy award winning band The Klezmatics at the State Room (638 S. State St.) in Salt Lake City.  Klezmer and underground Gypsy edge!  This is going to be an amazingly fun night!

December 18  --  It’s a private party.  We’d love to tell you about it, but we’re sworn to secrecy.

January 13  --  The Underground Gypsy Cabaret is returning to Bar Deluxe (666 S. State St.) in Salt Lake City!  The night will feature Juana Ghani, underground jazz band Haywire Outfit and the Gypsy vagabond Americana of Hectic Hobo along with a wild assortment of dancers, aerialists, and macabre magicians.  It’s a perfect way to celebrate Friday the 13th.  And it’s Leisl’s birthday to boot!

January 15  --  Juana Ghani has been invited to play at the Orion Independent Music Festival!  We will be playing with David Hayes at Molly Bloom’s (1680 Ute Blvd.) in Park City.  We are so very honored be a part of this prestigious international festival.

In other news, the song “In My Thoughts You Were Mine” (lyrics by Jason Crannell, music by Brian and Leisl Bonell, performed by Brian and Leisl Bonell of Juana Ghani) is featured at the end of the independent film, Christina’s Kiss.  

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving here on Thursday.  There’s a bit of controversy over this holiday (there seems to be controversy over every holiday these days) as people polarize and politicize the events that lie behind its creation.  We won’t get into any of that here, as we choose to focus instead on celebrating any opportunity to gather together with friends and family and to give thanks for all the wonderfulness that fills our lives.  With that in mind, here are a few of the things we are thankful for:

Nick  -  I am thankful for unusual instruments, the key of 'C', and my families, both my band family and my actual family, for their love and support.
Leisl  -  I’m so thankful for my family, my friends, my band, my music … and coffee.  And a good wooden spoon.  And cannoli.   I LOVE cannoli! 
Bryan  -  I'm thankful for music, for a job that keeps me off the street, for friends who put up with me in spite of my astounding stupidity.  Thank you.
Byron  -  I am thankful for friends, family and MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC! :)
Tony  -  Thankful for love and the accordion.
Brian  -  I am thankful for boomy drums and A minor, ‘cause it doesn't hurt my thumb. Mostly all my wonderful friends who make such wonderful music together!
Jason  -  I'm thankful for my really fast right foot, and thankful for the friends who think of me when they don't have room in their house for really cool gear. :)

Happy holidays and much love to you all!


Juana Ghani

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 2011 - Newsletter

Hello, wonderful people!

What a busy summer this has been for us!  And so much fun, too.  We’ve played some fabulous shows and exciting festivals and have met some truly wonderful people along the way.  And through it all, we’ve experienced the camaraderie of friendship and family as we’ve gone through a few changes in our line-up. 

We’ve had to say farewell to Naiya this summer as she and her husband have taken jobs and moved to southern Utah.  Being the band-family that we are, however, she will never truly be gone from us and may very well join us on occasion in the future whenever she returns north to visit … or we head south.  Until then, we wish them both the very best of happiness in their new life adventures!

We are thrilled to welcome into the family double-bass player Allen Mautner, drummer Jason Deamer, violinist Jean Mautner, saw and percussionist Byron Owens (of La Decollatage) and Allison Martin (of Bellrave and The Last Look) on flute, percussion and vocals.  That’s what I call a growth spurt!  We are so incredibly happy to have each and every one of them in our midst!

Now that the season is winding down, we have some very exciting things in mind as we begin to focus on a completely new stage show, writing new music and heading into the studio to begin work on a full length CD.  We will still be playing a few shows during this time, but the bulk of our energy will be focused on creating a new and wonderful creature that I am sure will take your breath away!  We are very excited to begin on this next leg of our journey.  A small taste of this direction can be experienced in the Underground Gypsy Cabaret, next appearing at Bar Deluxe in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 23rd. 

Until then – and as always – here are a few of the things we love:
          Cucina Vanina - - We do love authentic Italian cuisine!

          Honig Sauvignon Blanc - - Mmmmmmmm!

          Katzenjammer - - Hot Norwegian band with a new CD on the way!

Much love to you all!
Juana Ghani

P.S. – We have new shot glasses!  These are frosted glass 2 fl.oz. beauties tinted with a hint of purple.  $5 each.  Make sure you get some at our next show! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer with Juana Ghani - newsletter

Hello everybody!
Maybe it's the extended spring and all the rain we've been receiving here in our part of the world, but the creative seeds we planted less than a year ago have all begun to take root and are growing and blossoming with excitement.  We have grown from a solid core group of 4 to an amazing kumpania of 11 fabulously talented musicians and have a stunning array of beautiful dancers and fire artists that accompany us to most of our shows, much to the delight of our audiences.  We've played dives, cabarets, festivals and private parties.  And the summer continues to be filled with these wonderful experiences!

Tuesday, July 5 we will be at Burt's Tiki Lounge located at 726 S. State Street in Salt Lake City opening up for The Inheritance, an amazing eastern European influenced band out of Austin, Texas.  Tickets are $6 at the door.  Must be 21 years or older to attend. 

July 9th will find us playing at a private party.  If you're on that guest list, you're lucky.  There will be fire and belly dancing and all sorts of Juana Ghani fun!

Saturday, July 16th we are heading back to The Sugar Space (616 Wilmington in SLC) for another Night at the Casbah!  This one is an all ages event, so bring the family for a bellydancing extravaganza ... and Juana Ghani, of course.  Tickets are $10 in advance ( ) or $12 at the door.

Wrapping up the month of July is the Acoustic All-Stars Music Festival, held at The Downstairs in Park City the weekend of July 29-31.  This is a 3-day music festival featuring some the best acoustic musicians and bands from around the country.  And, yes, Juana Ghani is proud and honored to be a part of it.  We will be playing Saturday, July 30th, but really do encourage everybody to enjoy all 3 days of this event.  Again, it's for the over 21 crowd.  Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 for a 1-day pass or $20 for a 3-day pass.  You can also get your tickets from any member of the band or order them online from our blog (for a discount) at

Other exciting events include The Brown Bag Concert Series - Juana Ghani will be playing August 17 from 12:15-1:00pm at City Creek Park - and a couple fundraisers in September.  There's even another Underground Cabaret in the works for this fall! 

Yes, all in all it's been a very exciting spring and summer is looking to be just as much fun! 


Juana Ghani

P.S.   Check the July 7th issue of City Weekly for a nice little JG surprise!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Month of Juana Ghani Begins!

Fasten your seat belts - here we go!

June is going to be a jam packed month of Juana Ghani goodness.  Are you ready?  Pull out your calendars and start marking these dates:

Friday, June 3 - The Underground Cabaret returns with Juana Ghani and La Dècollatage, complete with belly dancers, burlesque, fire dancers, pole dancers, and more!

Saturday, June 4 - Baktalo Drom at Utah Arts Alliance - Juana Ghani and some amazing belly dancing and the grand debut of the wonderful new THE WICKED!  

Sunday, June 5 - Juana Ghani will hit the International Stage at the Utah Pride Festival at 4:00 p.m.  This is guaranteed to an amazing afternoon!

And that's all just this weekend!  The party just keeps going all month long!

Saturday, June 11 - Juana Ghani will be playing on the Acoustic Stage at the Ogden Arts Festival at 7:00 p.m.


Saturday, June 18th is a private party.  If you're a part of that, it's going to fun, Fun, FUN!

And on Saturday, June 25th, Juana Ghani will be bringing the party to the City-County steps for the Utah Arts Festival at 8:00 p.m.

Of course, we'll have some of our EPs (set your own price for these) and our very special 2 fl. oz. shot glasses ($5 each) with us, if you'd like to buy some.  They make great gifts, too.  Jus' sayin'.

And if that's not enough Juana Ghani good times for you, you can always log in to Utah Musicians Radio where you can hear our music played everyday! 

So ... here we go!  BUDMO! Hey!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Earth Jam ... and stuff

Oh, Earth Jam!  What fun that was!  And what better way to celebrate Mother Earth than by experiencing, embracing and celebrating Her in all Her glorious moods ... and all in one day!  We began the morning with snow, creating a bit of a costume panic amongst the belly dancers, then moved into a soft rain that enhanced the smells of fecund earth and Creation, and by performance time found ourselves illuminated by an early afternoon sun.  Personally, I think it was a perfect day.

We'd like to extend our love and gratitude to everybody who came out to celebrate with us that day: Our dancers, as always but especially, for braving the inconsistent weather to bring that extra something special to our set and for sharing their joy with us and with the audience; Our band for just being so damned fabulous;  Byron Owens and his oh-so-sexy saw for sitting in with us (we love it when he does that!); Our audience for loving what we do and for coming out to support us regardless of the weather conditions; Circus Pandemonium for letting us sit in with them and share their celebration of Earth.

Check out this fan-made photo montage of our Earth Jam set:  (Thanks, Dick Marler!  Wonderful photos!)

Earth Jam was also our last show with brother Travis Pierce who has been playing baritone saxophone and bass with us.  He has been such a gift to us and is so amazingly talented!  We are really going to miss him being a part of our kumpania and we wish him the very best!  Perhaps we can persuade him in the future to join us for an occasional tune or two in a ninja capacity.

We are welcoming new brother Allen Mautner to our family on stand-up bass.  Born and raised in Rome, Italy, he is a world traveler and gifted multi-instrumentalist.  He is coming to us straight from San Diego, California, and will be joining us onstage for the first time at our upcoming show at The Woodshed in SLC on Thursday, May 19th.  Come out, check him out, and welcome him to the kumpania alt-Gypsy style!  Budmo!

Before I step outside to enjoy some of this beautiful spring weather in my garden, here a few dates to circle on your calendar (check our EVENTS page for more info):
  • Thursday, May 19 - Juana Ghani with special guest N.I.N.A. at The Woodshed
  • Friday, June 3 - Underground Cabaret at Bar Deluxe - Juana Ghani, La Decollatage, belly dancers, fire dancers, and more!
  • Saturday, June 4 - Baktalo Drom at Utah Arts Alliance - Juana Ghani, The Wicked, and Gypsy dancing
  • Sunday, June 5 - Juana Ghani will be on the international stage at the Utah Pride celebration, downtown SLC
  • Saturday, June 11 - Juana Ghani will be at the Ogden Arts Festival
  • Saturday, June 25 - Juana Ghani will be at the Utah Arts Festival, downtown SLC
Have a beautiful day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Festival Time Has Begun! (newsletter - 4-15-11)


Ah, spring!  That beautiful bi-polar time of year is in full swing here, with each day dancing between drenching rains, blinding bright sunshine and yes, even winter’s last grasping snows.  To be perfectly honest, this is my favorite time of year.

Just as the wheel of the year turns, ushering in changes and new beginnings, so spins the world of Juana Ghani.  We had so much fun playing the last few shows with Filthy McWhiskey that he has brought along his banjo and joined our family full time.  He brings so much creativity and texture to our performances and we are beyond happy to have him.  Unfortunately, due to some circumstances beyond everybody’s control, our fabulous bari-sax man, Travis, has had to step down.  We are going to miss having him with us, but we are all confident that there will be times he’ll still join us on stage as a very special guest performer.  While Travis can never be replaced in our hearts, we are looking at bringing in someone new to fill out our low end.  We have been in talks with some very talented people and hope to make an announcement about a new family member soon.  Keep watching our facebook pages and our blog for more on that.

And finally Festival Season is upon us!  The dates are coming in and there will many opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to see Juana Ghani play this summer.   We are thrilled to be invited to play at The Meeting of the Tribes on April 23 at the Salt Lake Masonic Temple.  The show will begin at 1:00pm, tickets are $7.

The next week, April 30, will find us playing on the Earth Stage for Earth Jam at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park.  We will play from 1:30-2:15pm and admission is free for everybody.

May 19th we will be headlining at The Woodshed located at 60 East 800 South in Salt Lake.  Joining us for the evening will be our special guests N.I.N.A. (No Irish Need Apply).  Cover is $5 at the door, must be at least 21-years old to attend.

You’ll find us at Bar Deluxe (666 South State St in SLC) on June 3, along with our good friends La Decollatage.  This will be a night of dancing and mayhem as only Salt Lake’s alt-Gypsy underground can bring.

That same weekend we’ll be playing on the International Stage at the Utah Pride Festival.  Come out Sunday, June 5 and help us celebrate!  Our set begins at 4:00pm.  

This is shaping up to be a very busy summer as more dates continue to come in.  Still in the wings we have Utah Arts Festival, Night at the Casbah and Autism Awareness fundraiser, Park Silly Sunday Market and more!  Keep watching our Events page to stay up to date with where we’ll be next!

And now, a few recommendations:
  • Strawberry Risotto – Perfect with a salad of mixed spring greens and tall glass of honey sweetened iced herbal tea!
  • Walking – Nothing clears the mind and calms the spirit like a long, leisurely walk in the spring sunshine.
  • Daffodils – Seriously.  How can anybody look at daffodils and not feel like smiling?

Oh!  I almost forgot!  JUANA GHANI shot glasses!  These 2 fluid ounce frosted glass beauties will be available for purchase at our shows for $5 a piece.  

Have a beautiful day!  Budmo!

Juana Ghani

Monday, March 14, 2011

Urban Lounge and the Underground Cabaret

Holy canolli!  Last Thursday's Underground Cabaret at Urban Lounge kicked some serious arse!  Beautiful belly dancers, amazing pole dancers, incredible music and the best audience ever!  So much love and gratitude to everybody who came out and made it all so much fun!

Budmo!  HEY!  Budmo!  HEY!  Budmo!  HEY!  (Now drink.)

And for the curious amongst us, our set list for the night:
     What Did I Know?  (dancer: Isis)
     Lolitta's Lament  (dancer: Kairo)
     The Incredible Sadness of Sonia  (dancers: Liz & Kelsey)
     Breathing  (dancer: Amanda)
     Kasojeni Bay
     Amari Szi Amari  (dancers: Natassia & Naiya)
     Raise Your Glass

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's almost Spring!

Hello, Lovely People!

As the seasons begin to change and we here in the Northern Hemisphere inch our way closer to Spring and the land begins to awaken the new life that has been lying dormant all winter long, we, too, are beginning to awaken to so many wonderful adventures.

On Saturday, February 19 we will be performing at the Utah Arts Alliance located at 2191 South 300 West in Salt Lake City. 

This is for the event “Sending Love: A Benefit for Mike Sheffield”  – This is a fundraising benefit for a local musician diagnosed with male breast cancer.  Entertainment includes performances by Juana Ghani, La Décolletage, belly dancers, pole dancers, burlesque, henna artists, tarot, & more.    The event begins at 9pm.  Admission is $15 at the door.

On March 10 we will be playing at The Urban Lounge, 241 South 500 East in Salt Lake City as part of the Underground Cabaret , an exciting night of alt-gypsy music and dancing.
Juana Ghani, La Décolletage & Tabla Arabia will be playing with some the area’s most beautiful and entrancing belly dancers.   Doors open at 9pm.  Admission is $5 at the door.

Then on April 23 we will be playing at the 2011 Meeting of the Tribes at the Salt Lake City Masonic Temple, located at 650 East South Temple.  The details are still coming together, but we are very excited to be a part of it this year.  We’ll be sure to pass the details along as the date gets closer.

We’ve also been confirmed to play at the Earth Jam celebration this year.  The organizers are still working out the final line-up, but we’ll pass that information along, too.

We have recently finished up two new songs that are now posted on our website – - and are available for download .   “Breathing” and “Whispers in the Woods” share our nightmarish carnival atmosphere with disturbing lyrics and haunting music that will follow you throughout your days and nights.   Enjoy!

 “Breathing” was played on Amazing Radio’s Amazing Folk Roots show this past Sunday.  If you missed the original broadcast, you can always find it in the Rewind at .  (By the way, you get can a FREE download of “Breathing” in exchange for a tweet or facebook post by going here: )

We just learned yesterday that “The Incredible Sadness of Sonia” has been placed in regular rotation on the Women’s Radio program Global Vision - - airing from 8PM – 12AM PST (11PM – 3AM EST - time zone converter here: ).


All this brings us to our recommendations for the month.  Are you ready?  Of course, you are!

Ouzo of Plomari - - Most of our music was created with the inspiration of this heavenly elixir.  Opa!

La Maddalena, Sardegna - - Leisl lived on this small island as a child and it is one of her favorite places on the planet.  It is home to the best arancini in the world, too.

Hubble photos - - Sure, it’s a little (lot) geeky, but oh, so beautiful!  The power of creation, the energy of destruction, the unending possibilities of eternity – it’s all there!

So, in the words Sir Bedivere to King Arthur (from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Passing of Arthur”), “Arise, go forth and conquer as of old!”  That is what we intend to do.  So, look out world – Juana Ghani is coming at you!

Juana Ghani

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photos are posted!

Photos from the Liquid Joe's show in December and last week's Night of the Casbah are on the website now!  Click HERE and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a party!

You know it's a great party when days later you're still riding the high from all the fun you had.  That's how we're still feeling after this past weekend's show at "Night of the Casbah".  By the end of the night that line between audience and performer had been successfully erased and we were joined on stage by an army of drummers and so many belly dancers that it was near impossible to count them all.  Everybody was shimmying and singing and having a fabulous time!  (There'll be photos of the hoopla on our website within the next day or two.)

Look for us next at a fundraiser for a local musician who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Sending Love: A Benefit for Mike Sheffield will be held Saturday, February 19th from 9pm til 12:30am at the Utah Arts Alliance located at 2191 South 300 West, suite 18 in Salt Lake City.  We will be joined there by the incomparable Filthy McWhiskey and a plethora of beautiful belly dancers, burlesque dancers, pole dancers, henna artists, tarot readers, and so much more!  It is recommended that those attending be at least 18 years old. Admission is $15 at the door with a discount to $5 for each ticket after you've purchased 2.                  

Now on to our recommendations!

Little Heads - Wearable art created by our very own Leisl.  Each piece is handcrafted and one-of-kind.  Guaranteed to turn heads!

Katzenjammer - Four of the hottest, most energetic, incredibly talented and imaginative musical ladies around!  Check out "A Bar in Amsterdam" - I completely run out of breath just listening to it.

Nutella - Hazelnut goodness in a spread!

Let the party continue!  Opa!