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Although not the oldest in the world, Roma (Gypsy) music is certainly the most traveled, covering thousands of miles in a journey that lasted centuries.  As the Roma traveled, their music influenced, blended with and took on the colors of the musical traditions of many places visited along the way.  Over the centuries, Gypsies managed to survive because of a variety of crafts, fortune-telling, and performing music. They kept absorbing all kinds of music around them, while their own musical performances became famous everywhere, including the US.  It became commonplace to see Gypsy and Jewish Klezmermusicians playing together, this influenced the Klezmorim to take on some of the characteristics of Gypsy music and vice versa.Russian composers and writers have always been fond of Roman music.  “Aleko” by Pushkin, “Zhivoy Trup” by Tolstoy, “Yama” by Kuprin, “Bespridannitsa” by Ostrovsky are only a few of the many Russianliterature creations which where influenced by Gypsy culture and music




We present a showcase of  Gypsy music.



Vadim Kolpakov playing 7-string guitar, singing and dancing. Kolpakov has performed extensively in the USA and Europe, including such venues as Carnegie Hall at Harvard University, The Colony Theater in Miami, Florida, and the Kennedy Concert Hall in Washington D.C.

 Arkady Gips playing violin, which is certainly the instrument most associated with Gypsy music. The instrument is also a complement to singers, but the violin is often played as a solo instrument, and Arkady Gips embraces this image as a well known soloist. For many years he played in Kiev’s gypsy theater “Romance” and traveled with the show all around Europe. He’s been included in many recordings of gypsy music well known in Russia, such as “Skylark” by Diniku, gypsy folk songs like “Kiobergi,” “Nevetcherniya” and “Shatritsa.” Arkady performs here in the U.S. with the ensemble

“American Gypsy” with composer and guitarist, Neil Jacobs, and bass player, Steven Fox. Neil Jacobs is truly a masterful performer on the 12 string guitar. With his own captivating style of playing that the St. Louis Riverfront Times describes as "mesmerizing" and the Austin Chronicle describes as "the rockin'est since early Leo Kottke". Neil covers the world vibe with music diverse as Gypsy, World, Balkan Folk, Jazz, Classical and Modern Fingerstyle, while transforming his 12-string guitar into his own personal orchestra. Both Neil Jacobs and Arkady Gips have a history of performing and traveling with the Gypsies of Europe and the two have extensive knowledge of Balkan and Slavic folk music and have performed with and composed for the internationally acclaimed group “Zivili” on a large number of occasions. “American Gypsy's” debut CD has been nominated for the American Independent Music Awards’ "Album of the Year.”

 A versatile performer with superb improvisational skills, Mikhail Popov enjoys a busy career as a collaborative pianist in the areas of dance, chamber, and sacred music. Prior to immigrating to the United States from Russia in 1990, he studied music theory and composition at St. Petersburg Conservatory. In Columbus, he serves as an organist for Temple Israel and Olentangy Christian Reform Church. He has been an accompanist for Koleinu, the Jewish Community Chorus of Columbus, since its inception.

Mr. Popov joined BalletMet in 1995 as Company Pianist and currently serves as Music Director.

Lucy Smirnov, an accomplished and highly acclaimed singer, graduated from Minsk Conservatory of Music. Her versatility as performer of jazz, folk, and pop repertoire took her to the national festivals in Poland, Germany, Belarus, and the US. With over twenty years of teaching experience, Lucy shares her talent and knowledge with her voice and piano students in Columbus.

Oleg Timofeyev's recording debut occurred in 1999 with a solo lute album “The Wandering Lutenist”, and the groundbreaking “The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar”. A reviewer for Guitar Player wrote: "The Golden Age of the Russian Guitar” succeeds on many levels - emotional, technical, historical - and is essential listening for anyone who is passionate about guitar." The German magazine Gitarre & Laute granted this recording five stars out of five, while the British journal Classical Guitar stated that "Timofeyev emerges as a specialist player of the highest order."

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