2003 - 2006
This period of life can be presented as a chain of small, but memorable events, which were not so important worldwide, though quite significant and pleasant for all of us.
On June 6 2003, more than 200 guests, colleagues, friends and patrons
gathered to congratulate the American Center. Alexander Vershbow,
Ambassador of the U.S. to Russia, opened the ceremony.
Representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, the U.S. Embassy
in Moscow, leading American Studies researchers, Moscow librarians and
journalists expressed their gratitude to the Center for its work.
It was very pleasant to play again at
Country Bauska 2003, great Festival, excellent musicians and only positive impressions!
At the end of October an old American friend and road manager of Kukuruza Victor Logvinov came to Moscow. At the same time club Black Bull Bar was celebrating its 5th anniversary, where Kukuruza was performing. Victor came to this party and many Kukuruza’s friends and former musicians did as well, as the administration was quite loyal and welcoming.
Sergei Mosolov was in charge of the event, though he was making a video instead of playing a fiddle. Always loud speaking Ira Surina was taking part in the event, too, sitting at the table together with Anatoli Belchikov. Aleksei Aboltynsh with his wife was present as well. Among other guests there were a lot of friends and just funny people. A slightly dark atmosphere in the club didn’t spoil the fun; everybody was singing, dancing and remembering the reason why they came here.
Once George Palmov came across a nice 2-storied building with a basement in the North-East of Moscow. He managed to persuade administration to organize a musical studio there. Some time later a studio began to work with not only Kukuruza rehearsing there. Other bands started to use its services as well.
Total freedom provoked many musicians to realize their creative potential in different bands, projects and studios at the same time. As a result of this constant search many temporary and more stable bands started to appear. For example, “Composite Orchestra” (Michael Klyagin – guitar, Andrei Baslyk – bass, Kirill Sergeev – keyboards, Michael Vladimirov – harmonica, George Palmov – mandolin, clarinet, Eugeni Lipendin – drums, Vladimir Chinakov – percussion). There were quite a few performances, though all were pleasant. Mini jazz fest “On the Water” in Myachkovo organized by the College of Improvised Music in 2004 accepted both “Kukuruza” and “Composite Orchestra”.
Thanks to old friendly ties with America and help of Judy Augsburger from NBC guitarist and journalist Michael Lipton, (also leader of the band «The Carpenter Ants» from West Virginia) came to Moscow. His band toured in Moscow in 1997 quite successfully. On the 9-th of April Michael and Irina Surina performed in “JVL Art Club”, which was a great pleasure for “Kukuruza” fans.
Banjo is a great thing for country music, so Kukuruza often performed with Andrei Goltsin, who added Hillbilly coloring into the band’s music. Unfortunately he played his last concert in Mozhaisk at the end of July. He passed away on the 10th of August in 2004.
Vladimir Ambros (fiddler from “Ornament times”) visited Moscow after a long time of absence, first with delegation a famous Czech singer Karel Got and then on his own business. On the concert of Kukuruza he took his harmonica and played it, which proved that he didn’t change much!
The beginning of 2005 saw further work on the some new songs. Alexander Ostrovski from «Bering Strait» took part in the recording in winter.
From 15th to 17th of March in Moscow Expocentre on Krasnaya Presnya there was an exhibition “Showtex 2005”. “Kukuruza”, “Apple Jack” and “Casagrande” represented “Tehnologija Prazdnika" (“Event Technology”) journal and proved that you don’t need any technology at all to make a holiday. Cowboys and action men added excitement to the business atmosphere of the exhibition according to the opinion of visitors and managers.
Country barge “Okski 46” started sailing on the 8-th of May at 10 a.m. sharp and moved up Moscow River from Nagatino bottom land. In a couple of hours on the command “Pipe all hands on deck!” both country bands gathered on the deck, so-called stage. After the command “Eyes left!” audio track started to play and our company in bright and colorful clothes began to say Hello to honored guests, who were at the same time quite pleased with our arrival.
So one after another barges with symphonic orchestra, puppets and children were passing by, but one had high hopes for future… During free time a small country fest, devoted to Victory Day, was held. After the party finished all the musicians had their own ways, regretting that they didn’t manage to see the faces of their audience.
In the summer of 2005 we’ve been to Latvia. This country loves Kukuruza, and we love this country too. “Country Cream” fest took place in 3 small and cute cities of Madona, Preli and Resekne. Among the performers only Estonian band “Jesters” was unfamiliar, but they were awesome after the show! We met Swedish band “Highway 40”, Latvian “Dakota”, «Teqila» and «Sesta Judze» in Bauska previous years. Everything was great and we did our best!
Now unfortunately there’s no “Open Radio” in Moscow, but it still works in Cheboksary. As well as “Country Club”. There was a project – “Open Radio” – “Handmade Music”, where we took part and even a small film was shot, which was issued on DVD in a limited edition. It was very hot, but really nice. Cold beer and warm Volga-river. Thanks to caring hosts, who organized everything perfectly!
By the end of summer 2005 a new fiddler came to Kukuruza. In the official web site of the band «BOBRI» (Beavers) you can read: Sergei Novikov. Plays violin, sings. Likes to go on tour, have fun, play in casino, tell funny stories, play country music, AC\DC on Dronson drums. Doesn’t like instability, disorder, irresponsibility. Before «BOBRI» he was playing in folk bands, such as «Holy Water» (1984-1992), «Country bandits» (1997 – 1999), «Kukuruza»...
Quite a realistic portrait! In fact, Sergei recorded some songs with Kukuruza before we started to play together. You can play in Kukuruza if only you have the above mentioned traits of character, talents and tastes!
In the autumn of 2005 something incredible happened. Few people believed and hoped that country fest will ever happen. Especially in the centre of Moscow. But a good beginning is half the battle!
«BIG COUNTRY MUSIC DAY». DETAILS
24-th of November 2005 we congratulate Svetlana Shebeko with the birth of daughter! It’s unbelievable, but considering all the difficulty of such a process and uneasy first weeks of being a young mother she missed only one concert!
20-th of June 2006 in the Central House of Artist the band celebrated its 20-th Anniversary. 20 years…it seems that what we call Kukuruza started not long ago, but how many events passed and still a great future is waiting! Many former Kukuruza musicians, friends and guests took part in the event.
KUKURUZA 20-th Anniversary.
Kukuruza took part in the biggest Russian festival “NASHESTVIE 2006” (Invasion) for the first time. We had to take a long way to Ryazan, coming through traffic jams, corn fields, being late and so on. But we were not alone! Finally there was sound check, rearrangement of the stage, lively and funny performance, interview and giving autographs. Generally it was success!
Recently Pavel Titovets on the guitar and Nikolai Gorenko on the bass (both musicians from the legendary rock band “Nuance”) have been performing with Kukuruza. As a result the old songs of Kukuruza under the influence of art rock acquired a new coloring and sound. The band can even be given a blended named “KukuAnce”!
Since the autumn of 2006 Pavel Mescheryakov became a new bass player of Kukuruza. One more Moscow Aviation Institute grad came to Kukuruza on the 21st year of its existence. This institute is really unique in preparing such creative specialists!
In spring we got acquainted with a remarkable person – an artist and a musician – Konstantin Prozorovski through the Internet. His picture “The Bug” formed the basis for the design of the anniversary album «Anthology». He lives in Voronezh and often helps Kukuruza to take part in many town events.
By the end of December 2006 a big rock fest “Schurf” – “Winter – Heat” was held in Voronezh. It’s been organized for many years by Dmitri Malakhov. Kukuruza turned to be on the stage with such bands as “Tarakani” (Cockroaches), “Elysium” and some others. I should tell you for sure – it does not sound like bluegrass! But everything was great!!!