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December 7, 2005

Swingling in the USSR

The Swingle Singers have just returned from a hugely successful tour of Russia and Latvia and before they left for Japan sent us the following report. They also sent us an hilarious holiday video greeting which I will share with you here.

"We have just returned from the first-ever Swingles tour of Russia and Latvia! It was truly breathtaking! Since jazz music was forbidden under Soviet rule, swingle singers records had only been available on the black market. As you can imagine the reception was rapturous - all concerts in Russia were completely sold-out. Moscow saw us perform in its newest concert hall, the 1600-seater International House of Music - all major Russian TV channels followed our every footstep. In St. Petersburg we were guests of the Terem Quartet, Russia's best and most well-loved Balalaika Quartet. They have recorded for Peter Gabriel's Real World label and are superstars not only on the world music circuit but also in their home country. Terem invited us not only for their festival but for a musical collaboration and an artistic encounter. We spent three days with them in their inspiring city, making music, discussing, socializing, exchanging ideas. As a result, we performed two pieces together in the two sold-out shows in the Shostakovich Philharmonia Hall - the place where most of the great works of Russian composers had been premièred. Full of impressions and inspiration we left for Latvia. The reception here was similar like in Russia - the two performances in the beautiful Riga Opera House were well received and reaction from audience, media and promoters great. We shall be back soon!"

Posted by acapnews at December 7, 2005 12:20 AM