Under the auspices of
The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission

With support from
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow
& The American FolkLife Center

| Schedule | Blog
| Photo | Press | TAM 2012

For the second year in a row, CEC ArtsLink brings American musicians to Russia who exemplify traditional American music values while pushing the boundaries of their genres. From March to May 2013, conjunto group Los Texmaniacs, Western swing ensemble The Quebe Sisters Band, and blues trio Modern Blues Masters will perform in St. Petersburg, Moscow and seven other cities. With support from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the exciting concert series Festival of Traditional American Music will present a view of American cultural life that makes a distinct statement about the diversity of our artists and the vitality of our communities. The performers are true masters of their genres, dedicated to sharing their knowledge and ensuring endurance of these art forms for generations to come.

The first Festival of Traditional American Music, last spring, was one of the most popular and memorable events of Russia’s concert season. Seventeen concerts in eleven cities sparked genuine and enthusiastic interest in audiences across Russia. The American musicians captured the public’s hearts during these warm and engaging concerts; frequently audiences could not resist their urge to get up and dance. Photographs from last year's festival can be seen to the right.

The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) was created in 2009 by Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev to increase cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. It marks a fresh start in relations between the two countries to contribute to future progress and shared prosperity. “American Seasons in Russia” is a year-long celebration of American arts and culture in Russia supported by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow under the auspices of the BPC. It is designed to bring a wide spectrum of cultural offerings to the Russian public in order to introduce them to contemporary artists from the United States to showcase the breadth and depth of American culture.




The Quebe Sisters Band
In 2000, The Quebe Sisters burst onto the music scene and immediately began captivating audiences, ultimately winning them the nickname “The Pride of Texas.” The band consists of sisters Grace, Sophia and Hilda Quebe as well as Joey L. McKenzie on guitar and Gavin Kelso on upright bass. Their repertoire consists of a combination of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, jazz and swing standards, and Texas style fiddling. They were awarded the Crescendo Award by the Western Music Association as well as Western Swing Album of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. During its twelve year existence, the group has performed at various festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the National Folk Festival. In addition, The Quebe Sisters have appeared in concert with Ricky Skagg & Kentucky Thunder, Merle Haggard, Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Riders in the Sky and Marty Stuart. The band is currently supporting their latest album, Timeless on a world tour.


Blues trio Modern Blues Masters:
Phil Wiggins
, Guy Davis and Samuel James
The Modern Blues Masters is the ultimate acoustic blues trio, performing music that brings a new dimension to blues by combining cross-cultural and contemporary influences. The Modern Blues Masters Trio members are:

Phil Wiggins- besides being a renowned harmonica player, is also a gifted songwriter and singer whose material helped to define the sound of harmonica and guitar duet Cephas & Wiggins. This duet uniquely exemplified the synthesis of African and European elements which co-exist in the blues. With over thirty years of experience, Cephas and Wiggins has become one of the most important American blues duets, touring the world extensively. Following Cephas’ death in 2009, Wiggins continued collaborating with Guy Davis, Rev. John Wilkins, and other leading blues musicians.

Listen: ;

Guy Davis- is a musician, composer, actor, director, and writer. But most importantly, Guy Davis is a bluesman. Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to reviving the traditions of acoustic blues and bringing them to as many listeners far and wide through the material of the great blues masters, African American stories, and his own original songs, stories and performance pieces. Davis has been nominated for nine Handy Awards over the years including the categories “Best Traditional Blues Album”, “Best Blues Song” and twice for “Best Acoustic Blues Artist”. After the release of Call Down the Thunder, the album was named a top ten album of the year in the Boston Globe and Pulse. Most recently Guy Davis was an honored guest at the Kennedy Center Awards.


Samuel James- is a virtuoso guitarist, poet, singer and pianist. He is considered one of the most promising young blues musicians of our time. James calls himself a storyteller, who chose a blues "get-up" for his stories. James has recently released his second album, Songs Famed for Sorrow and Joy. The album was written with by himself over five days with nine microphones, two guitars, a banjo, and two legs as percussion. The album’s producer was David Travers-Smith, who worked with Ani DiFranco, Harry Manx and Russell Crowe. The Boston Phoenix wrote "James has recorded an album that is more than classic or contemporary. He's out of time.” James’ solo acoustic performances have received standing ovation full houses in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Norway, Belgium, Poland and Turkey.




Los Texmaniacs
Los Texmaniacs is a conjunto group hailing from Texas, founded by legendary musician Max Baca. Baca plays the bajo sexton, a twelve string instrument similar to the guitar, and is credited as turning the traditional folk/roots/conjunto instrument hip again, attracting young, new audiences while maintaining his traditional roots. Los TexManiacs are a product of his wide-ranging experience touring and recording with everyone from his father's family conjunto group, Flaco Jimenenz, to the Rolling Stones. Max has participated on ten Grammy winning projects including the double-platinum CD for the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge. His most recent Grammy was earned in 2010 for Los TexManiacs’ album Borders Y Bailes. Los Texmaniacs has been awarded proclamations as ambassadors of good will from government entities in four US cities. The band has performed at the Smithsonian Folk Music Festival, the International Accordion Festival and many other major international festivals throughout Europe.


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The Quebe Sisters Band
March 11-23, 2013
March 14 Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Hall
March 16 Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad State Philharmonic
March 18 Yekaterinburg, Theater of Musical Comedy (Emerald City Festival)
March 19 Chelyabinsk, Prokofiev Concert Hall
March 22 Moscow. DOM Cultural Center

The Modern Blues Masters Trio

April 1-12, 2013
April 4 Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Hall
April 6 Nizhny Novgorod, National Center for Contemporary Art
April 8 Kirov, Theatre on Spasskaya
April 11 Moscow, DOM Cultural Center

Los Texmaniacs
May 8-18, 2013
May 11 Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Hall
May 13 Tolyatti, Tolyatti Philarmonic
May 15 Ulyanovsk, House of Culture
May 17 Moscow, DOM Cultural Center

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The Quebe Sisters Band / March 11-23, 2013

The Modern Blues Masters / April 1-12, 2013



March 19, 2013: The Moscow Times: "Texas Swing Takes On Russia"

March 19, 2013: The Moscow Times

March 19, 2013: Russia Beyond the Headlines

March 18, 2013: The Moscow News: "Texan Sisters Play Second, Third Fiddle"

March 14, 2013: Voice of America (Golos Ameriki): (in Russian)

March 1, 2013: Interview with Program Director Susan Katz
(in Russian)

February 2013: Where St. Petersburg: "A Musical Hurricane"

Our Russian press sponsors include:

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