At the end of the 1970's, a group of student's started a music group and called themselves "Ornament". They were brought together by a common interest in American folk music and wanted to sing these foreign songs. They recorded several country titles that had been broadcast by the "Voice of America" or which had been published in books of folk songs. At that time, this kind of music was quite frowned upon, if not outright forbidden, but despite these ideological obstacles, the group took part in various music festivals and even toured.
In the mid-80's the group changed its name to "Kukuruza", and in 1989 Irina Surina, a talented singer, joined the group replacing Larisa Grigorieva. From that point on Irina's clear and bright vocals became the trademark of "Kukuruza" and the group began developing its own musical style.
During that period the group went on tour in their home-country and abroad, taking part in various big festivals: among them were "Golden Orpheus'89" in Bulgaria, "Country Picnic'90, '92" in Poland, "Harku-Jarve'89,'94", "Rock Summer'93" in Estonia, and twice at "Visagino Country" in Lithuania.
During the 1990's, "Kukuruza" toured the USA six times. Taking part in many of the most popular and prestigious festivals, while also performing on several American radio and TV shows, the group found recognition among both professional musicians and critics in the birthplace of Country Music. The band was quite honored by being invited and performing seven times on the stage of the legendary Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2000 Irina Surina left the band and started her own project.
However "Kukuruza" could not live long without female vocalist and Svetlana Shebeko joined the group. Since that time the band is a well-tuned team consisting of highly professional musicians.
Svetlana Shebeko - lead vocal
Michael Kljagin - guitar
Pavel Titovec - guitar
Sergej Novikov - fiddle
George Palmov - acoustic guitar, mandolin and harmonica
Roman Majboroda - bass
Dmitri Krichevskij - drums
So the reborn "Kukuruza" continues its concert activity. The band has recently taken part in several great festivals in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland where it confirmed its title of the Best Russian Country Band. They play traditional country and country-rock, a bit of blues and rock-n-roll, and their own original songs in Russian. Nowadays "Kukuruza" is working on a new album.
"Kukuruza" style is a combination of clear sound, endless improvisation and great emotions.