DOM Cultural Center

26 January 2007

Birthday of the band

The “Marimba plus” program is based on the works by the group leader – Leo Slepner, whose composing talent was marked by a Russian reward “Triumph”. The main concept of his work is in fusion of various music genres. "Marimba Plus" also performs the works by contemporary Russian (Gorsky, Lakhuti, Shilkloper) as well as foreign (R.Galliano, L. Schifrin, H.Silver) composers in original arrangements, written for the special set of instruments. The unique, energetic performance of the group leads the listeners to real delight. The combination of classical instruments makes the music acquire classical sound while the saxophone solos, the rhythmic parts of the contrabass and percussion add the jazz drive. And all this is intertwined with the mild sound of marimba.

The members of the “Marimba Plus” are the young professional musicians, who have graduated from the Russian Gnesin Music Academy and Moscow State Conservatory, and have won prizes at foreign competitions and festivals.

The members of the group are:

Leo Slepner – marimba
Ilia Dvoretsky – flute
Sergey Nankin – clarinet, bassethorn
Anton Chumachenko – Contrabass, bass-guitar
Nikolai Solonovich – chello
Alexander Zinger – percussion
Andrey Krassilnikov – alt and soprano sax

The first concert performance of the group took place in 1999 in a well-known Moscow club The “Chinese Pilot Jao Da”. After that the group started to be more and more popular and appeared very often at prestigious Moscow clubs and concert-halls.

In 2000 the “Marimba Plus” became the laureate of the Moscow competition “Rockpower 2000”, having won the second prize. Soon after that the group took place in the folk-marathone in Petrozavodsk at a traditional spring jazz festival “Bohema-Jazz”.

In 2001 the first album was released and the group took part in the annual Moscow festival “Jazz in the Hermitage Garden”. The same summer they were invited to the TV program of D. Dibrov “Anthropology”.

In 2003 together with the French violinist Didie Lockwood the musicians went on tour through Russian cities (Perm, Tumen, Samara, Nijni Novgorod and others). The tour was organized by Daniil Kramer - a famous Russian pianist. A few times the group appeared in TV programs (“What do we perform&” and “Music Time”) at the “Culture” channel as well as on radio “Culture” in the program “Laboratory”.
The same year the leader of the group Leo Slepner became the “Triumph” national prize winner as the best composer and jazz performer.

In 2004 the group has taken part in a number of the jazz festivals in Suzdal, Obninsk, Tomsk as well as in such prestigious happenings as the festivals “All the Stars of Jazz” (curated by Anatoly Croll) and the “Jazz in Archangelskoe Mansion”.

“Marimba Plus “ has become the participant of the Second International jazz festival in Petropavlovskoe (St.-Petersburg), where it performed with the jazz stars - the vibraphonist Mike Manieri and the vocalist Miles Griffith.
In summer the group performed at the Theatre awards ceremony “The Crystal Turandoth”. Another important event for the group was their participation in the jazz festival of Montabane (France) together with such stars as Monti Alezander and Patricia Kaas. The group has recently took part in the subscription concerts organized by Daniel Kramer ("Classics and Jazz” which took place in the Svetlanov hall of the Moscow International House of Music).

The combination of energy and professionalism, of jazz playfulness and academic conservatism, of drive and meditation, of virtuosity and thoughtfulness makes the career of the “Marimba Plus” so successful. At present the group has a broad concert activity, takes part in lots of festivals (e.g. the annual “Tea Festival”) gives concerts in clubs (“The Dom”, “Le Club”) as well as in academic concert halls (The Chaikovsky Hall, The hall of Central Artist’s House). The group often cooperates with the leading jazz musicians – Daniel Kramer, Arkady Shilkloper, Felix Lakhuti.

The group has the three albums for the present. The first was released in 2001. The presentation of the second one (“The Charmed World"), which was recorded together with A. Shilkloper, took place in the Chaikovsky hall in February, 2004. The third solo album "Zebrano" was presented in the Moscow International House of Music in April 2005. Now the musicians have got to the work at a new album.

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(C) 2004 Девоцио Модерна,

works with a support of Ford Foundation