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A Venue Returns to Its Roots

IMG_9021Joe Puglisi Drom, 85 Avenue A.

Drom, the world music venue on Avenue A, is undergoing rebirth after several months closure.

The club exists down some stairs set back in a building between Fifth and Sixth Streets, so it’s easy to miss. The entryway, usually crowded with bar-hoppers, is gated during the day, with only a sign to indicate its location. Some may have assumed it had closed for good.

Drom was founded three years ago by Serdan Ilhan, a seasoned music producer from Istanbul. According to Mr. Ilhan, Drom started as a stage for “world music, especially gypsy music.” Gypsy style, originating with the Romani people of Eastern Europe but now a global phenomenon, is essentially a blend of European and Indian folk styles.

Mr. Ilhan has been involved in the music business since 1994, working with world music events at Lincoln Center and Summerstage. He has also toured with several acts. But operating a venue is his main passion. Drom is the third in a series of attempts to curate a stage in the East Village. “I’ve been in the business a long time,” Mr. Ilhan said. “And venue and the music are together for me.”
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