The date of the band’s birth is quite conventional; it can be the first gig, the first rehearsal,
the first concert or some brand new idea. In a case with «Kukuruza» it can be the time when already formed band got a job
in a philharmonic and was given an official status. By that time the band had already recorded a smash hit
(you can still hear «Vasya, sing!»
on the radio) and took part in quite a big number of TV programs.
From today’s view it seems to be a great promotion. But let’s get back to the concert.
One could get the «proper mood» right at the entrance where nice girls treated guests with the very «maize» drink. («kukuruza» is a Russian word for «maize»).
The master of ceremony Erkin Tuzmuhamedov, a big specialist in music, journalism and whisky, asked the guests for a precise definition of
word «bourbon»and promised
a whole bottle of Jim Beam. Though only a few people knew the definition, quite a lot drank «Kukuruza»’s health.
All three female vocalists took part in the 20-th Anniversary. After Svetlana Shebeko’s performance of «modern period» songs, «Julia & Friends»
and “Russian Banjo» greetings a «nostalgic period» happened. «Kukuruza» hadn’t played the song «Old Fiddle» for about 10 years,
but a little bit paunched fiddler Sergei Mosolov played the tune perfectly. Today’s fiddler Sergei Novikov showed his high musical energy to all the guests as well.
The first vocalist Larisa Grigoryeva sang a song “Road” (which was recorded in 1988) very dramatically. She touched everyone to the quick.
Legendary Aleksandr Kazankov played his best. Then Michail Venikov who played with “Kukuruza” 13 years joined the band on the stage.
After that followed «Apple Jack», «Cheerful Diligence» , Pavel Titovets from legendary «Nuance» played his guitar solo,
Konstantin Voskresenski (now he is keyboard player of «Dynamic»group) and Michael Vladimirov with his magnificent harmonicas.
Irina Surina’s appearance on the stage led to the storm of applause. «The Red Bananas» and a special «hairy guest» with a banjo were quite a surprise at the end of the evening.
Finally “Kukuruza” performed the most famous and deeply-loved song
“Za Kamen” by Andrei Shepelev (who could visit only second “informal” part of the evening) and encored “Porushka-Poranja”.
Among the guests and the audience were former contrabass player Alexei Aboltynsh with his family, guitar player Rostislav Prisekin, vocalist Gennady Tarasov. Anatoly Belchikov was late and tired because of the evening rehearsal,
but found enough strength to replace the drummer of «Cheerful Diligence» right in the moment of the performance. Fortunately American road manager of «Kukuruza» Victor Logvinov turned to be in Moscow at the same time. And many-many friends
and acquaintances came to the concert as well.
Central House of Artist is not a simple place from the acoustic point of view, and thanks to sound engineers Dima Volkov and Dima Sukhin and their beautiful helpers
for their work. Sound was really good, considering the fact, that there were a lot of musicians and rearrangements on the stage.
We would like to congratulate Dima Sukhin with 50th anniversary and 25-year work experience as a sound engineer.
On the occasion of anniversary record company “Alpha – Records” produced Kukuruza’s
«Anthology» on 3 CDs.
It contained many songs, released before and a large number of rarities and memorables.
Then party moved to the cozy club «Road House». Though it was a weekday, everybody stayed till late night.
«Cheerful Diligence» opened the jam and it was more than amazing. So young and so talented – hope they’ll be successful not only abroad,
but in a home country as well.
Afterwards more mature musicians appeared on the stage, performing their own and other famous songs.
At the dawn a little mess and a lot of positive emotions were left on the warmly welcoming «Road House».
We’d like to thank once again all the people who took part in the preparation and conducting of the anniversary concert.
Thanks to everyone who loves «Kukuruza» in its past, present and future!
Photos by Max Muromskiy