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The Balalaika Russe - Russian balalaika band photos and story

Since its inception in the early 1970's, the BALALAIKA RUSSE has grown in popularity and proficiency and was considered the finest ensemble of its kind in the USA. This colorful sextet has performed from Washington to Maine and Europe, at such venues as society balls and affairs, at local church halls, outdoor concerts and festivals, weddings, club dates, and on the concert stage. "The Balalaika Russe" was the preferred band of the Russian nobility emigre society, performing at such functions as the Petrouchka Ball, the Nobility Ball, the Theological Ball, and at the Tolstoy Society. The members all come from the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The Balalaika Russe photo

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Photo by Martin Koenig
Photo by Martin Koenig, 1986

The Balalaika Russe members

GARY NOVA (voice and guitar) has been singing Russian and Ukrainian songs ever since he can remember, starting out as a youth in his native Ukraine, and picking up the guitar somewhere along the way. Known as "The Russian Crooner," he has made many appearances throughout the United States and Europe, in places such as Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Palace in Gstadd, Switzerland. His recording on the Armen label of "I Remember Russia," a fine example of his talent, has been extremely popular in the Russian emigre community in America. In 2008 Gary Nova published a cook-book 30 Days Around The Stove.

Gari Nova with Barynya Balalaika Orchestra
Gari Nova with Barynya Balalaika Orchestra, Petroushka Ball, 2006, The Pierre Hotel, New York City

GARY NOVA's funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 10 AM at St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church in Howell, NJ (although usually referred to by Russians as being in Lakewood), which is a few hundred feet from Rodina Society Hall on Route 9. The burial should be at St. Vladimir's Cemetery near Rova Farm right after the service.

BILL MELICK (prima balalaika), leader of the Balalaika Russe, has got his exposure to balalaika music from his family, who owned several Russian restaurants in New York City. His performance in Khovanshchina (the Mussorgsky opera, Eve Quiler conducting) with the New York Symphony Orchestra, highlights a long career of club, stage and television appearances throughout the United States and Europe.

STEPHEN M. WOLOWNIK (July 22, 1946) - (May 18, 2000) was a pioneer in the Russian and Eastern European music community in the United States. He was a co-founder of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America. Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, Wolownik grew up with Russian and Ukrainian music. As a child and young adult, he participated in the balalaika orchestra at St. Nicholas's Russian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia under the tutelage of Paul Kauriga of the Kovriga Balalaika Orchestra. He also played under Anastasia Karnow... read more

STEVE WOLOWNIK
click to view bigger image

ALEXANDER ALEXANDROVICH (prima domra), as lead player, made a tremendous contribution to the group's distinctive sound. His devotion to Russian music has made him one of the finest prima domra players in the country.

JUDY SHERMAN (alto balalaika) started her balalaika career in the UCLA Balalaika Orchestra, and went on to sing, play balalaika, and record and tour with the Los Angeles-based Odessa Balalaikas for seven years. She has directed the Penn Balalaika Orchestra at the University of Pennsylvania, and on numerous occasions was featured vocalist with various groups such as the Detroit Balalaika Orchestra and the Atlanta Balalaika Society. Judy is a also member of the Gypsy Balalaikas of Philadelphia.

ALAN ZEMEL (bass domra) started playing Russian music with the Penn Balalaika Orchestra while he was still in high school. He has been involved in Eastern European music, playing in numerous Greek, Russian, Romanian and Balkan groups in the Philadelphia area. A versatile musician, Alan plays with true skill all the Russian folk instruments, from prima domra to contrabass balalaika. He is lead player with the Gypsy Balalaikas in Philadelphia.

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Gary Nova's Fest
GARY NOVA with Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe"
Picture taken at Gary Nova's Festival by Mikhail Smirnov

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Gary Nova's Fest
"The Balalaika Russe".
Picture taken at Gary Nova's festival by Mikhail Smirnov

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Gary Nova's Fest
picture taken at Gary Nova's Festival

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Gary Nova's Fest
singing "Korobushka" (Gary Nova's Festival)

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Russian Nobility Ball Hotel Plaza, New York City
"The Balalaika Russe".
Picture taken at Plaza Hotel by Mikhail Smirnov

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Russian Nobility Ball Hotel Plaza, New York City
"The Balalaika Russe".
Picture taken at Plaza Hotel by Mikhail Smirnov

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe" Picture taken at Gary Nova's Fest
singing "Gori-Gori"

Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe"
Photograph from the Petrushka Ball

The Balalaika Russe album "Heart On The Snow"

Balalaika RusseThe Balalaika Russe - "Heart On The Snow" Album Since its inception in the early 1970's, the BALALAIKA RUSSE has grown in popularity and proficiency and is now considered the finest ensemble of its kind in the USA. This colorful sextet has performed from Washington to Maine and Europe, at such venues as society balls and affairs, at local church halls, outdoor concerts and festivals, weddings, club dates, and on the concert stage.... MP3 samples, order

Tracks from this recording are available to download for free for all members of a Russian dance, music and song ensemble BARYNYA group on Yahoo. Email addresses of group members never shared with anybody ever. Mikhail Smirnov, director and founder of Barynya posts there dates of upcoming performances, news, new albums and dvd releases. Group is moderated, unrelated spam is not welcome... read group archives.

Track 01: Gori, Gori, Lyubov Tsyganki ("Burn, Burn, Gypsy Love") MP3
Track 02: Krasota Rossii ("The Beauty of Russia") MP3
Track 03: Moyi Tsyganochki ("My Dear Gypsies") MP3
Track 04: Odesskaya Panama ("My Dear Wore a Panama Hat") MP3
Track 05: Shto Mne Gore ("What's Grief to Me?") MP3
Track 06: Bandura Medley (Ukrainian Folk Songs) MP3
Track 07: Serdtse na Snegu ("Heart on the Snow") MP3
Track 08: Konfetki, Baranochki ("Candy and Cakes") MP3
Track 09: Propil Styopa ("Steve Got Drunk") MP3
Track 10: Uralskaya Ryabinushka ("The Ural Rowan Tree") MP3
Track 11: "Springtime" Polka MP3
Track 12: Cheremshyna ("The Cherry Tree") MP3
Track 13: Bal'naya Lezginka (Ballroom folk dance "Lezginka") MP3
Track 14: Khochu Lyubit ("I Want to Love") MP3
Track 15: Podmoskovnye Vechera ("Moscow Nights") MP3
Track 16: Rushnychok ("The Embroidered Cloth") MP3
Track 17: Kohanochka ("Sweetheart") MP3
Track 18: Snegopad ("Snowfall") MP3
Track 19: Korobushka ("The Peddler's Pack") MP3
Track 20: Russian Tango Medley MP3
Track 21: Polso ("Why Fall in Love?") MP3
Track 22: Laska Waltz ("Caress Waltz") MP3
Track 23: Soldiers' Songs MP3

New York based Russian folk dance and music ensemble BarynyaNew York based Russian folk dance and music ensemble BarynyaNew York based Russian folk dance and music ensemble BarynyaNew York based Russian folk dance and music ensemble Barynya

Dedication of Steve Wolownik’s Garden
Mount Laurel Library, June 12, 2004

RUSSIAN FOLK | Russian entertainment database | Russian balalaika band "The Balalaika Russe"

Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library
Russian Balalaika Duo Alex Siniavski, Mikhail Smirnov
Russian Balalaika Duo Alex Siniavski, Mikhail Smirnov
Steve Wolownik's memory Garden in Mount Laurel Library: Alex Siniavski, Sergey Rogozin
Russian folk instruments Domra and Volynka
Russian folk instruments Domra Volynka Baraban

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For fast price quote contact Mikhail Smirnov at Barynya Entertainment

 
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is the best Russian dance and music ensemble outside of Russia (New York, USA). Russian, Gypsy, Cossack, Ukrasinian dances, songs and music with live accompaniment of balalaika, domra, garmoshka, Gypsy guitar, bayan and contrabass balalaika

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