(pronounced SVEE-rah-chee, the c really should be c-hacheck)

Sviraci is a 3 member band that plays traditional village-style Macedonian and Bulgarian music for folkdancers, plus some Scandinavian tunes. We play for folk dance parties, schools, coffee houses, weddings, etc. Sviraci is based in the South San Francisco Bay Area.

Sviraci consists of three members:

Melissa Miller (Bulgarian and Macedonian vocals, Bulgarian and Macedonian kaval, dumbek, tambourine)
Lew Smith (Bulgarian and Macedonian tambura, tupan, dumbek)
Jim Little (Bulgarian and Macedonian gajdas, tupan, Swedish säckpipa, fiddle)

Click here to see a sample of our repertoire. We are occasionally joined by other muscians.

Contact persons

Melissa Miller & Lew Smith
408-246-7646 voice/-6746 fax
Jim Little


In 1974, after the very first week-long Balkan Music Camp (at Sweet's Mill, above Fresno, CA) a number of us South-Bay/Peninsula residents who had attended decided we should get together again and play together. Members of the original early-days Sviraci included Peter Ward (accordion, tambura), Mike Gage (clarinet, Bulgarian kaval), Gary Breitbard (violin, gudulka) as well as the current Jim Little (string bass, gajda), Melissa Miller (flute, kaval), and Lewis Smith (percussion). We had an urban as well as a village repertoire back then, because we had the instrumentation; however, within a few years, as Pete, Mike, and Gary had changes in their personal lives, they left Sviraci and we settled into exploring the village repertoire more deeply. Melissa began singing in public with the group at about that same time. For a time in the 1980s, Kip McAtee, now living in Hawaii, joined us on tambura. When Jim took up playing Swedish bagpipe, we added some Scandinavian music to our repertoire. We also have  more urban style pieces using fiddle, guitar, voice and percussion.

You are visitor number since November 5, 2008.
Last update 6/2/2016