MARIMBA PLUS (art-fusion, jazz, world music) (Russia)
Marimba Plus is the first and the unique music group in Russia for that marimba is the leading instrument and the creativity basis. Marimba Plus is an instrumental group that combines jazz, ethnic and contemporary music into a stylized musical cocktail able to satisfy the taste of any music connoisseur. The musicians reinterpret classical, academic traditions and ethnic rhythms and tones with jazz improvisation and modern tendencies and technologies. They call this style – art-fusion.
Marimba is an instrument which originated in Africa. It’s a wooden relative to xylophone incorporating in its sound the ethnic shades and extraordinary timbre power, which is capable to touch any listener.
Marimba Plus was created in 1999 by the young professional musicians, who have graduated from the Russian Gnesin Music Academy and Moscow State Conservatory (currently our pianist Evgeny Lebedev studies at Berkley College of Music) and have won prizes at foreign competitions and festivals. After that the group started to be more and more popular and appeared very often at prestigious Moscow clubs and concert-halls. The Marimba Plus program is based on the composer works by the group leader – marimbist Lev Slepner, whose composing talent was marked by a Russian national reward “Triumph” in 2002. The main concept of his work is in fusion of various music genres. Marimba Plus also performs the works by contemporary russian (V.Gorsky, F. Lakhuti, A.Shilkloper) as well as foreign (R.Galliano, L. Schifrin, H.Silver, G.Benson, H. Hancock, S. Wonder etc.) composers in original arrangements, written by Slepner for the special set of instruments. Lev Slepner is the unique composer in Russia who writes especially for marimba and this instruments set.
The obvious images are especially involves in this music - often there is a sensation, that musicians simply tell and draw music. East philosophy and African holiday, French elegance and Russian dances, celestial elephant and movie adventures, cosmic travel and nibelungen epic, nature, people, feelings and dozens of other images come together at this ethno-jazz mystery. The group maintains a broad range of concert activity, takes part in numerous festivals in Russia and abroad, and gives performs in different halls and stages, including best Moscow Concert halls: Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and Moscow International Performance Arts Center, and open-airs for thousands people. Marimba Plus has different programs for different halls, places and situations: club performances, philharmonic concerts, art events, chamber music, festivals, open-airs. 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 successful.
“Uniqueness of Marimba Plus is that possessing the refined features of academic music, they have comprehended also jazz secrets, and added modern tendencies, surprisingly organically having made related these not always related qualities. So they reached trust and recognition at each of adherents of these musical directions, having united them in one indivisible audience with identical delight perceiving them,” - told Anatoliy Krall, famous Russian musician, pianist, composer, conductor, academic, professor of Russian Music Academy.