24 mars 2009

DOBRANOTCH From Nantes to Saint-Petersburg

Dobranotch is a band of five musicians from Russia, Moldova and Lebanon.The group was founded in 1997 in Nantes (France) by Dmitry (Mitya) Khramtsov, Oleg Drobinsky and Stas Zubtsovsome where they were "in search of Celtic music," as the band's official biography puts it, but were actually busking. Khramtsov said he went to Europe to avoid the army draft. The band recorded and self-released its debut CD, "Musique Russe & Yiddish," in France in 1999. "It had an immigrant touch; we were abroad, homesick," said Khramtsov. "We played folk music from different countries and styles - Celtic, French, whatever - but we decided to concentrate on one style, so it was mostly Odessa-style Jewish urban-folk music."
Dobranotch moved down to Saint-Petersburg (Russia). Such a well-renowned klezmer musicians as Michael Alpert, Frank London and Merlyn Shepherd appeared on stage with Dobranotch as a guest. The band worked also with Frank London for the Russian production of his “Green Violin”.
With its third album, "Gagarin Chocked" the band documents its new style and lineup."We mix Moldovan and Balkan elements with Jewish and Oriental ones," said violinist Mitya Khramtsov, Dobranotch's sole original member.
The musical blend comes from the mix of people in the band that now features :
-Lebanese percussionist Ussama Shakhin, grew up in a family of musicians in Lebanon. He learned to play darboukka from his uncle Josef Mussa ;
-Andrey Sapkevich, button accordion, is a Saint-Petersburg Conservatory trained classical musician. His father is a traditional musician, playing fiddle and accordion and his main teacher is Bulgarian accordion player Fiodor Jekov, so Andrey grew up with Moldavian and Bulgarian traditional music.
-Mitya Khramtsov fiddle, voice, provides the Jewish musical influence in the band's unique sound. "I was studying Klezmer from recordings and reading music, and from people I met on tours in Europe and even more at KlezFest where musicians come from everywhere and mix with locals," said Khramtsov. "My family was not traditionally Jewish, though there was a certain atmosphere. I've always been interested in the Jewish culture, and even when we played Irish folk, we had one Jewish tune." He appeared at Krakow Jewish Festival with Kharkov Klezmer Band and participated in “East meets west” program at KlezCanada in 2005. He worked with Merlyn Shepherd for his coming out solo album.
-Jeka Lizin on cimbalom, big drum, screaming has been introduced to klezmer music as a kid while playing in Saint-Petersburg Jewish Community Center Youth Band. Jeka appeared at Krakow Jewish Festival with Kharkov Klezmer Band in 2005 and worked with Merlyn Shepherd for his coming out solo album.
-Alexey Stepanov on tuba studied and performed Klezmer in an amateur band at the Jewish Community Center.
- Dumitru Hanganu, trumpet, from Moldavia, is also a member of the "Russian Festive Brass Band" in Saint-Petersburg.
Dobranotch mainly performs at underground rock clubs where its audience frequently feels the urge to get up and dance. "We like people to dance ; it feels like a wedding," said Khramtsov. "Even if we try to play a slow number, it speeds up, all by itself... We just want to play good, fun music."


JEWISH CULTURE FESTIVAL KRAKOW - Vidéos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKNpTcTawXE

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