Meet Marimba Plus, the first and only Russian band based around a marimba as its leading instrument and the core of all musical ideas. We call our style ‘jazz fusion’: a modern mix of jazz and world music, its roots based in academic tradition and blended with ethnic rhythms and tones, jazz improvisation and latest technologies.
Marimba is an instrument of African origin, a wooden relative of the xylophone with ethnic flavors in its tone and an extraordinarily powerful timbre which can get through to any listener.
The band’s latest project, Flight Over the World, is all about traveling the globe to pick up musical cultures and colors and channel them into original instrumental music and vocals with authentic lyrics in different languages.
Marimba Plus was created in 1999 by a group of young professional musicians, alumni of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and the Moscow State Conservatory. Since then, the band has grown in popularity and has made numerous appearances at prestigious Moscow clubs and concert halls.
Photo by Natalia Gabbasova
The band is led by the award-winning Russian marimba player and composer Lev Slepner. Marimba Plus also performs music by composers such as Richard Galliano, Lalo Schifrin, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, in unique arrangement for the marimba and a special set of instruments.
The band’s songs tell stories and paint images: Eastern philosophy and African holidays, French elegance and Russian dance, celestial elephants and the Song of the Nibelungs, movie adventures and cosmic travel come together in a jazz fusion mystery.
Lev Slepner - marimba, percussion, keyboards, composer
Ilja Dvoretskiy - flute
Sergey Nankin - clarinet, bassethorn, vocal, percussion
Ivan Akatov - trumpet
Michael Zuyev - saxophone, keyboards
Evgeniy Yaryn - bass
Peter Vakulin - Sound