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Domenico Bonassi

2018/19 Athens

Domenico is a multi-organist musician and a multilingual translator from Metaxourgeio area of Athens. He is one of the founding members of Agia Fanfara, a Balkan brass band formed by 20 people who had absolutely no idea how to play their respective instruments (although there are some musicians among them). Within 2 years, their passion for Balkan music made Agia Fanfara finally sound like a real band, and you can see that on the face of everyone who follows her lead (it is a she!).

Throughout his extensive music experience in Greece and Germany, as well as his studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Domenico has always practiced cultural projects with a social character and self-organized structures. Constant establishment of strong binding relations between collaborators from every corner of the world has been his primary goal. Domenico is a persistent worker for this solidarity network. In 2018, Domenico saw the START Fellowship Program as a possibility to enhance his project management skills in social culture; skills that help open up his project to children and allow Agia Fanfare to be a tool for providing access to music. Because music is life and life is joy.

Project Progress Phase III Phase II Phase I

Phase III

Scaling the projects in Greece

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Sep onwards

Project Title


I have witnessed several times what a life changer music can be. I feel proud to see my project being part of this. In the past 6 months we gathered 21 kids from 8 different countries, with a multitude of complications but one common thing: their passion for music. They managed to form a team, work together and produce an operational Balkan Brass Band with a rather satisfactory repertoire, although they had little time. Their parents and friends as well as their respective communities joined us in several occasions, events, classes, workshops, sometimes with no particular reason. The neighborhood has also supported all of our initiatives. Institutions and several people who heard about the project donated music instruments to guarantee the continuity of the program. Others helped by giving their free time escorting kids to a meeting point or their knowledge and craft, such as repairing an instrument.

Communitism hosted us under a very inspiring and vivid roof. This is an essential mark during the implementation of MakeSomeNoiz because offered us the chance to work together with other projects and provided the kids with a multitude of possibilities opening their minds to infinite freedom of choices. They could play music by their own, jam with others, use a maker-space, watch a movie, take a yoga class, participate to a theatrical performance etc.

We count with a solid team of 13 musicians from the Agia Fanfara Balkan Brass Band, a community of its own, which, during the past experience in Phase II considers itself indivisible from MakeSomeNoiz. And the kids, of course. We never tell them what to do. We only suggest and the final decision is always theirs. This way we have gained their confidence. They play without music scores by memorizing the pieces. We teach them only the basics to follow a specific tune in order to enjoy playing with each other as soon as possible. And they always do. For those who want to take a step forward, we would like to be able to grant them scholarships. We even started an instrument repair and preservation workshop, fundamental for the sustainability of each musician. Now, we would like to preserve the weekly meetings, increase the number of events, implement a youth exchange program, propose our academic plan to institutions and set up a legal entity.

MakeSomeNoiz by Domenico Bonassi, credits: Rachil Galanopoulou
MakeSomeNoiz by Domenico Bonassi, credits: Rachil Galanopoulou
MakeSomeNoiz by Domenico Bonassi, credits: Fabio Gorchs
MakeSomeNoiz by Domenico Bonassi, credits: Fabio Gorchs
MakeSomeNoiz by Domenico Bonassi, credits: Fabio Gorchs

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Dec - May

Project Title


MakeSomeNoiz is a Balkan Brass Band project in the center of Athens for kids 12 to 16 years old.

It aims to create a Balkan Brass Band.

Balkan is a musical definition for feeling sad and happy at the same time, for rhythms that shake the body and melodies that move the soul. It is also an easy music to learn and perform, and its sound is alive in everybody’s ears and hearts to unite everyone in this multicultural community.

Brass instruments are the tools that will help kids to express themselves. They also happen to be impressive, shine a lot, and play really loud.

Band stands for music, a group of people, a small community, a team. A band whose purpose is to become the center of inspiration, creation and gathering for young people.

The project’s vision is to train kids to train other kids. To promote solidarity, collegiality and friendship. To create an environment where they can feel totally free. A context that permits them to express themselves, self organize and, above all, enjoy music, have fun and play.

‘Cause music is a game!

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Make some NOIZ, Balkan, Brass Band for kids

The goal of the project is to teach the children of the Metaxourgio neighborhood to play and perform in a Balkan Brass Band. 

The Balkan Brass Band is an initiative that emerges from the need to play Balkan music and the absence of such a band in the center of Athens. When we first created such a band in the summer of 2016 we could not imagine the impact such an initiative had to the people. It starts with a smile as a reaction to the sight of 15, 20 people buried by brass, followed by screams full of joy and dance as soon as we play the first tunes, regardless if we play well or not. It is an interactive game that everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to blow a trumpet, or hear how a tuba sounds and especially children.

You can find children playing in the streets of Metaxourgeio or working in the bazaar on weekends. Sometimes they sell flowers and handkerchiefs, and sometimes break into cars or houses or steal a purse or a bike. All the people involved to the activities above mentioned are scientists, doctors, psychologists, teachers, professors, professionals of any kind. All the band members are members of other bands. But above all, they are friends. And they share the idea of having children in the band, teach them to play, and promote the ideas of diversity, collaboration, group working and cultural exchange, under the pretext of a Balkan Brass Band. Furthermore, it will provide them an extra qualification in a place where opportunities
rarely appear. The outcome of this project is reflecting on these children’s faces.


Host Institution


Built in 1906, the landmarked Honigfabrik was originally a margarine factory. A honey factory moved in after the Second World War, giving the building its current name. The honey production ceased in 1997 and a cultural institution moved in in 1979. 

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