2021 Staff Bios


Michael Ginsburg

Michael has been director and lead trumpet player of Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band since 1983. He accompanied ZU to brass festivals in Guča, Serbia, three times between 1987 and 1990, as well as in 2003 and 2005, where he and ZU were able to play and party with local brass bands and experience the music in its natural setting.

Michael and Zlatne Uste worked with Ekrem Sajdić and Zlatni Prsti brass band in 2003, and in 2005 with Vranjski Biseri, both in Vranjska Banja, Serbia. Michael performed in the summer of 2010 with Zlatne Uste at the first competition of international bands at the Sabor Trubača in Guča, Serbia, representing the United States.

For many years, Michael has been interested in Balkan music and dances, especially Macedonian and Serbian. He is an expert in the complicated rhythms of Balkan music and has made several research trips to Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia, and studied in Macedonia with Pece Atanasovski, with whom he made research tours of the country. Michael has been on the teaching staff of the Macedonian Pearl seminar in Berovo, Macedonia. Michael lives in Yonkers, NY.


Don Weeda

Don is a master accordionist and well versed in many musical styles.  He plays with many ensembles, and his folk music career spans over 30 years as a performer, recording artist, and workshop conductor at festivals and camps all over North America.  For many years Don has led the Texas Camp band and has provided much delightful live music for camp parties and other events.


Shirley Johnson

Shirley grew up singing, dancing, and playing the accordion.  She sang with the Duke University Chorale, performing at Carnegie Hall in NYC and at Disney World.  From 1992 to 1994 in Rome, Italy, she sang with the “Coro Misto” of “L’Accademia della Filarmonica,” performing throughout Rome.  She has performed with various bands around Austin, and has been a popular singing teacher at numerous Texas Camps.