THE KOLPAKOV TRIO BIOGRAPHY
The Kolpakov Trio was created in early 90s by Russian Roma (Gypsy) 7-string guitarist, composer and singer Alexander (Sasha) Kolpakov.
The Opre organization in Zurich, Switzerland, produced the Kolpakov Trio’s first CD, “Rodava Tut ” (“I Look For You”). Their second album came out in Russia under the title “Sing, Gypsy”. The Trio has been toured in many European countries, as well as North America.
In 1999, The Kolpakov Trio participated in the major concert tour ‘Gypsy Caravan’ in the US. Selected as leading representatives of the Russian Romani musical tradition, The Kolpakov Trio gave several unforgettable concerts in America and Canada together with premier Gypsy musical groups from 5 other countries: Taraf de Haiduks (Romania), Antonio El Pipa Ensemble (Spain), Musafir (India), Kaly jag (Hungary) and Yuri Yunakov Ensemble (Bulgaria/USA). The New York Times singled out The Kolpakov Trio’s virtuoso guitar playing, singing and dancing while playing on that tour, which was organized by World Music Institute and included over 15 major American and Canadian cities, including an appearance at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (Washington D.C.) and Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.
In 2003, the Russian American ensemble TALISMAN invited The Kolpakov Trio to reconstruct and record music of the Russian Roma of the 1820s. The resulting recording, A Tribute to Stesha, was released by NAXOS in 2005.
With TALISMAN, The Kolpakov Trio has taken part in performances and lecture/demonstrations at Harvard University, Boston University, Oberlin College, University of Iowa and Grinnell College, and interviews on NPR, teaching audiences about the Roma nationality and cultural tradition through music and dance.
The Kolpakov Trio has also performed at venues such as the New York Gypsy Festival (USA), Barbican Center in London (UK) and others.
The Trio performs and has recorded few Russian Romani songs with Eugene Hutz (the lead singer of Gogol Bordello), written by Alexander Kolpakov.
In August 2007, The Kolpakov Trio and Eugene Hutz was exclusively invited to perform at the English residency of the famous popular singer Madonna for her birthday.
The Kolpakov Trio has been on Madonna’s world tour “Sticky&Sweet” 2008.
Alexander (Sasha) Kolpakov, the group’s director, virtuoso Russian 7-string guitar player. He was born in 1943 in the district of Orienburg in Eastern Russia. Born to a musical family, he began playing the Russian seven-string guitar as a young boy and throughout his long performing career developed his own, unique style on this instrument. From the early 1960s he has lived in Moscow, working with a number of Russian-Roma ensembles. Alexander served as the musical director of the Moscow Romen Gypsy Theatre for over a quarter of a century. In addition to his superb skills on the Russian guitar, he is also a popular composer and an extremely charismatic vocalist. Alexander Kolpakov has toured in many European and Asian countries, as well as North America.
Vadim Kolpakov is one of the most prominent and renowned Russian Roma (Gypsy) 7-string guitarists in the world. He was a lead musician of the Moscow Roma (Gypsy) Theatre Romen, where he performed as a guitarist, composer, vocalist, dancer and dramatic actor. Hailing from Saratov, Russia, Vadim graduated from the Roma performing arts school Gilori and studied guitar with his uncle Alexander Kolpakov. At the age of 15, Vadim began work at the Romen Gypsy Theatre and has performed extensively in Russia and abroad. He has given concerts in Carnegie Hall (New York City), as well as in the Kremlin (Moscow). Vadim has also performed in Russia and Europe with the Russian Gypsy group Gelem as lead guitarist. He has performed in innumerable other musical projects on Russian, Canadian and American television and radio and was invited to record his own compositions for the soundtrack of the Finnish motion picture Mire Bala Kale Hin. He has recorded several CDs with Alexander Kolpakov and the group Gelem. In 2004, Vadim assembled his own group VIA Romen in USA, which has performed in many venues in the US and Canada. Vadim also performs with Zingaresca, which he co-founded with Dr. Oleg Timofeyev (world specialist in Russian seven-string guitar, University of Iowa) and which is dedicated to the Russian and Russian-Gypsy guitar repertoire, and as a special guest with various artists and bands in the US, such as Barynya (Russian Folk music and dance ensemble), Gypsy Klezmorim (Jewish-Romani cross over project band), and others. Vadim’s musical repertoire includes Russian- and Gypsy-style compositions by Alexander Kolpakov, music by Sergey Orekhov, 19th-century Russian 7-string guitar repertoire and his own compositions and improvisations on Gypsy, Russian, classical, rap and world music. He works exclusively in the oral tradition and has been teaching traditional Roma guitar, dance and vocal repertoire two semesters in 2006 and 2007 as an Artist-In-Residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Genuine world-class artist, Arkadiy Gips began playing violin at the age of three and at six, he was admitted to the School for Talented Children in Kiev. After school graduation, Arkadiy started performing with chamber and symphony orchestras as well as performing solo acts. Being a laureate of many national and international music competitions, he continued his education and graduated from the Rostov Music Conservatory. Mr. Gips became a well-known violinist in Eastern Europe where he played with a variety of orchestras. His performances included Ukrainian, Jewish, Romani (Gypsy), Hungarian and Polish music. In addition to ethnic music, his interests varied, among them country, folk and jazz. In the U.S., Arkadiy has performed with many noted musicians, playing jazz and country in addition to ethnic and classical style of music. Today, Arkadiy not only plays, but conducts, arranges and composes music. Arkadiy Gips is also a member of the well-known trios, such as “Amazing Strings” and “American Gypsy”, as well as of the duo “Dialogue,” with pianist and composer, Mikhail Popov. For many years Arkadiy Gips and world-known Russian Roma 7-string guitarist Vadim Kolpakov have been performing Romani (Gypsy) music in the USA and Canada. On this days Arkadiy and Vadim together with master of Russian Roma music Alexander Kolpakov are members of “The Kolpakov Trio”. The “Kolpakov Trio” was invited to perform in Madonna’s “Sticky and Sweet” tour and has brought very colorful music to it.
The other member of The Kolpakov Trio, Ludmila Kolpakova, daughter of Alexander Kolpakov has toured in France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Austria, and the US. Ms. Kolpakova began to sing and dance on professional stage at the age of 5. She worked in Moscow’s Romen Theater from the age of 15. Today, she is highly in demand in the contemporary Moscow Gypsy scene as a dancer and singer.