Russian Gypsy Music

Made up of legendary guitarist Alexander (Sasha) Kolpakov, his nephew and one of the most renowned gypsy guitar virtuosos in the world, Vadim, and the phenomenal violinist Arkady Gips, Kolpakov Trio made international headlines last year performing as part of Madonna’s ‘Sticky & Sweet’ tour. ‘Grastoro’ is previously unreleased and the talent of Sasha and Vadim can be explored further on the Kolpakov Duo bonus CD. Violinist Nikolai Erdenko is one of the most important performers of Gypsy music in Russia and on ‘Gori Lubov Ziganski’ he combines the intimacy of Russian romance and the passion of Gypsy folk songs. His daughter, Leonsia Erdenko, is also featured on this album playing a Russian version of a Macedonian Gypsy anthem on ‘Lumba’.

The trio Talisman is led by the remarkable guitarist Vadim Kulitskii, who has collaborated with the likes of Ravi Shankar, Gidon Kremer and Yehudi Menuhin. He was a member of the renowned ensemble Loyko before founding Talisman which also features Oleg Nehls on bayan (button accordion) and Oleksandr Klimas on violin. Loyko are led by classically trained violinist Sergey Erdenko and they take music from the Gypsy repertoire and give it a magical makeover, fusing timeless folk songs with classical virtuosity. Another musician from the Loyko stable, violinist Oleg Ponomarev performs ‘Deda’ (‘grandfather’) as a magnificent tribute to his musical deda.

Performing Gypsy music and regularly appearing on Russian television, Russka Roma had a Russian Top 20 for an entire year in 2000 when they collaborated with the Russian pop star Dmitrii Malikov. Here, they perform the compelling ‘Khop Khop’. Producer and singer Nikolay Vasilyev became a star after singing in the award-winning film Zhestokiy Romans (A Cruel Romance) and here his group Ilo combine the traditions of Russia’s urban and nomadic Gypsies. The singer and actor Igor Krykunov has starred in numerous films, including Gypsy Woman Aza, and on this album he performs ‘Ney Smushai’. Another film-music star, M. Buzilev starred in the popular movie Muzhiki (Lads) and his captivating vocals can be heard on ‘Vanka’.

This album also features the legendary ensemble Gelem, the St Petersburg-based band Trio Rita, violinist and singer Alexeji Dulkevich and previously unreleased music from contemporary Roma singer Vyacheslav Vasil’ev among other Russian Gypsy gems.

Bonus Artist Album by Kolpakov Duo

The legendary guitarist Alexander (Sasha) Kolpakov with his nephew and protégé Vadim Kolpakov combine on this recording as The Kolpakov Duo. Sasha began playing the unique Russian seven-stringed guitar as a young boy and throughout his long career developed his own distinctive style – going on to perform with a number Russian-Romani ensembles and later becoming the musical director of the famous Gypsy ‘Romen Theatre’. Vadim has become one of the most renowned gypsy guitar virtuosos in the world, giving performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kremlin and countless Romani festivals. In 2008 and 2009, the Kolpakov Trio (Alexander, Vadim and the phenomenal violinist Arkady Gips) made headlines, performing as part of Madonna’s ‘Sticky & Sweet’ tour.