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Bibs Ekkel

Bibs Ekkel
Associated acts
Tziganka, Russian Tornado,
Birth name
Vyvyan John Ekkel
(1946-01-11) January 11, 1946 (ageĀ 70)
Russian Folk, Russian Gypsy,
Balalaika, Garmoshka, Guitar, Seven-string guitar, Piano
Balalaika player, Composer, Singer, Songwriter, Bandleader, Author
Brighton, U.K.
Years active
1960s - present
Bibs Ekkel (born 11 January 1946 in Brighton) is one of few exponents of the balalaika outside Russia. Bibs is of a mixed Polish-English background. His career as a professional balalaika player has covered concerts, cabaret, recordings, films and innumerable radio and T.V. appearances throughout Europe and North America. It has earned him recognition too in the balalaika's Motherland, where he has performed on radio and TV as well as at Moscow's prestigious "Hall of Columns" and "Tchaikovsky Hall". He has lectured on Russian folk music at American Universities, co-authored a BBC radio educational series on the subject and worked as Russian music adviser for several BBC TV productions. He has also had Russian or Polish speaking roles in a variety of movies. In addition to his activities as a soloist, Ekkel runs a highly successful Russian music and dance ensemble, "Tziganka", which has toured internationally since 1975, an instrumental quartet "Balalaika Potpourri" (started by him in Vancouver in 1989, soon after his move there from London) and the duo "Russian Tornado", specifically aimed at school concerts. Some of his many recordings have been issued by "Russkiy Disk" Moscow, CBS Israel, and "Decca" in London.
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