Koshka World Gypsy & Jazz Band
This will be – literally as well as metaphorically – a big night for the Glasgow-based trio Koshka, and one that should make up for the disappointment of the late cancellation of the project last year, one of a number of events in the festival which had to be dropped when the newly re-opened City Halls was not quite ready to mount them.
Koshka are familiar enough guests at the festival in their own right, but will host a greatly expanded line-up for this gig. It is an event the band have been working towards for some time, and reflects the various musical and national strands that galvanise their own music.
For those who don’t know them, Koshka are a multi-national trio with an equally multifaceted range of musical backgrounds. Guitarist Nigel Clark, once of Hue & Cry, is the native Glaswegian, and is best known as a jazz musician, whether leading his own bands or working with Carol Kidd and the Scottish Guitar Quartet, among many others.
Violinist Oleg Ponomarev is from Habarovsk in Russia, and first grabbed attention in these parts as a member of the explosive gypsy-folk outfit Loyko. Violinist Lev Atlas is also from Russia, and has a distinguished track record in classical music – including the Rostov String Quartet, Rachmaninov Trio and currently the Orchestra of Scottish Opera – as well as a passion for Klezmer and eastern European folk music.
That combination has given Koshka’s music its distinctive sound, and it will be writ large in this concert when the trio are joined by Russian guests the Lialia Shishkova Band, playing authentic gypsy folk music, and the specially convened Celtic Connections Festival Orchestra, led by another noted eclectic, violinist Greg Lawson of Mr McFalls Chamber.