DOM Cultural Center

14 September 2007

Va-Ta-Ga (Petrozavodsk)
[world music]

The band was formed in 2000 in the city of Petrozavodsk (Karelia) and until 2004 has been known under the name of «Reel». Among its members the group counts four graduates from the Petrozavodsk' State Music Conservatory while their leader Alexander Leonov, besides being a main vocalist and a multi-instrument performer, has been for years collecting folk songs as well as designing and making traditional music instruments.

The musicians themselves call the Va-Ta-Ga style an «art-folk based on the Northern folk songs». The musical journalists refer to their music as either «ethno-ambient» or «folk jazz».

Having roots in the karelian and north-russian culture, Va-Ta-Ga's members also draw inspiration from other parts of the world as well, including Tuva in the east and the global World Music scene.

Va-Ta-Ga players use acoustic instruments as well as modern digital and analogue sound treatment. Besides a classical guitar and a double bass the band has a great variety of traditional wind, strings and percussion instruments.

Va-Ta-Ga recorded its first album «Stranniye Ludi» (Strange People) in 2002 and very rapidly became famous outside of Karelia. Va-Ta-Ga has performed at such jazz and world music festivals as «60'th parallel»(Surgut), «Live Water» (Altai), S«KIF» (St.Petersburg), «Ethnolife» (Moscow), «Ethna» (Moscow), «Kihaus» (Finland), «Folklandia» (Finland), «Golden Mask» (Moscow), «RidduRiddu» (Norway), «On culture's corssboard» (Poland), took part in programs of the German Jazz Institute, Frankfurt Book Fair and Sibelius Academy of Finland.

Va-Ta-Ga are:
Alexandre Leonov - vocal, winds, strings, saw
Olga Gaidamak – vocals, violin
Alexey Derevlyov – acoustic guitar
Arkady Sokolov - percussion
Sergey Shelyapin – double bass

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