A Grammy Award contender for “Best Traditional World Music” in 2003 and 2008, Kalinka has thrilled audiences in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Spain and (NOTE: Remove comma) the US in five different languages.
Vladimir Kaliazine (on bayan, the Russian accordion) and Sergey Vashchenko (on balalaika) met as professors at a music conservator in Spain. The duo performed throughout Russia and Europe before moving to Texas. From Old World melodies to classical and jazz favorites. Kalinka has been the star of many festivals, including the Russian Winter Annual Festival of Dallas, the Classical 101 Radio Anniversary Series, the Montage Annual Festival and the International Museum of Cultures Artistic Festival. They have also participated in several music series throughout Texas and with Pop Symphonies, creating a unique interpretation while blending Russian folk instruments with American orchestral music.
Kalinka offers concerts, educational programs, workshops and collaborations with other musical groups and orchestras. Whether performing spectacular classical and traditional Russian works, or international favorites, Kalinka’s charm and virtuosity is a joy to behold.
Classical, Jazz and Folk Bayan Master
At the age of five in his native Latvia, Vladimir Kaliazine began studying the Russian, five-row chromatic button accordion known as the bayan. He received a high honors degree from St. Petersburg Conservatory.
His own improvisations revealed such a mastery of the accordion that he went on tour as a featured performer with the famous Dance Ensemble of Siberia. Mr. Kaliazine performs, arranges and composes music for Café Noir, one of the most popular jazz and synthesizer pop bands in the country.
the Jimi Hendrix of Russian Balalaika
Ukrainian-born Sergey Vashchenko began his musical training as a child on the bayan and balalaika. He earned a master’s degree in music, with a focus on performance and conducting, from the Ural Conservatory in 1985, and later served as Musical Instructor and Dean for Balalaika at the Perm Cultural Institute for Arts.
Mr. Vashchenko toured throughout Europe with several groups, including Lira and Bubliky. Now residing in Austin, Texas, he performs regularly as a solo artist, as well with Kalinka and The Flying Balalaika Brothers. He also has been conductor of the Houston Balalaika and Domra Association.
FLYING BALALAIKA BROTHERS
The Flying Balalaika Brothers made their debut in 1995. Originally comprising of three members who were born in Russia, these virtuoso musicians combined their classical training with folk traditions. Presenting their music to small festivals (including the Gilroy Festival, the Sawdust Festival, the Valencia Street Market, the Pecan Street Festival, Music Under the Stars and the Kerrville Folk Festival), they were soon invited to perform in concert halls around the nation.
Appearing in traditional costumes, The Flying Balalaika Brothers introduce the unique rhythms, harmonies and sounds of Russian and Eastern European folk and classical music by combining ethnic folk instruments (balalaikas, spoons and the accordion) with styles such as bluegrass and jazz using traditional American instruments (banjo, guitar and drums) to create an invigorating and innovative fusion of world music.
Based in Austin, and currently comprising of six amazing musicians, The Flying Balalaika Brothers have been featured on KUT (Austin) radio and on Fox television network. They have also been featured artists at numerous international festival celebrations.
Between touring and performing, The Flying Balalaika Brothers also present educational programs in three languages to students of both public and private schools in Texas.