Chervona
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Chervona

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
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"The Alberta Street Pub will be throwing an Immigrant Community Party later this month, combining the energy of the Russian and French Revolutions,to revolutionize your groove. The Pub will also be playing Russian and French short films to accompany this dance-off....
Chervona (one of The Deli’s Band of the Month winners for August, 2009) will be headlining this event, and will be naturals to such a party, as they have been packing this pub every Last Thursday. They are a fun, Balkan-gypsy punk band, and one of Portland’s favorites." - --Tanya Silverman The Deli Magazine 15 Oct 2009


What is the essence of life? If you ask members of Portland’s Chervona, they might tell you it’s “gypsy passion and unrestrained love of life spilling into the night like red wine.” That’s a liberal translation of what “chervona” means — but according to the band, “chervona” is the essence of life, translating to “red” and or “beautiful” in Ukrainian and Polish: “chervona vino” is what you’d say if you wanted red wine; a “chervona devchina” is a beautiful girl.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that Chervona means Balkan-gypsy-punk-dance music. Well-known in Portland, Chervona are making their fourth visit to Diablo’s in Eugene. The 7-piece band — comprised of immigrants from Russia, Armenia, Kazakh, Poland, Brazil and Argentina — regularly pack in crowds up north for a sweaty, nonstop dance experience.

If you’re familiar with Gogol Bordello or the Red Elvises, you already have a sense of the dance madness a band like this can create. Chervona is a bit different than those two bands, however, as frontman Andreyshka Pitersky plays traditional Russian military songs, folk songs and drinking songs (in English and Russian), but allows influences to sneak in from all of the other band members’ ethnic backgrounds. Throw in some accordion, trumpet, tuba and maybe a black-and-white-stripes-clad mime for the makings of an unforgettable evening. And whether your Russian accent is real or fake, songs like “Girlfriends Are Pain In the Ass” or “I Know Who Is Hiding Osama Bin Laden” are easy to understand.

Chervona and Mood Area 52 play at 10 pm Saturday, April 24, at Diablo’s. 21+. Free. - -- Vanessa Salvia, Eugene Weekly


Russian-influenced band Chervona plays to support Haiti relief
What happens when the Mt. Tabor Theater fills a stage with singers and musicians that are Russian, Brazilian, German, Lithuanian, Caribbean, Argentinean and Polish, all in the same band? The answer? A party. Chervona, a Portland-based band that is best known for its high-energy shows, seeks to create just that.
“I’m coming from the angle of the audience,” said Andrei Temkin, lead singer and guitarist for Chervona.
He and Chervona’s crew of musicians want to connect with the audience in a way that most Portland bands fail to do. They want to see people dancing, singing, shouting and having some serious fun.
“If us happy, then we make everybody happy,” said Temkin, who was aghast at the difference between the riotous Russian weddings he saw back home and the sulking, sweatshirt-hooded youth who comprised concert audiences in Portland.
Chervona will play this Saturday at Mt. Tabor Theater as part of the Groove Movement Fundraiser for Haiti relief. They will be headlining next to local bands Intervision, Voltronic, Mimi Naja of Fruition and Groove Movement. The show will be an eclectic set of R&B, soul, funk and folk. The bands are all worth a listen, but count on Chervona to get the dancing started. Proceeds from the show will benefit earthquake relief in Haiti.
Hungry for some fun and upbeat music, Temkin started out 10 years ago in a Russian punk band called MiruMir! He then transitioned into Chervona and translated many of the original MiruMir! songs into English. The band still uses old Russian songs but often translates them into English to make it easier to reach the local audience.
“We had an idea that we wanted to shake hands with every Portlander,” said Alma Laskoniene, who, aside from acting as a songwriter and muse for Chernova, also heads the art and design.
Their music takes cue from all the band members’ heritages, and more. The mix of Eastern European, Spanish and Brazilian beats is only a taste of the band’s versatility.
The bouncing rhythm is carried by a lot of horns—tuba, trumpet and trombone, to be exact—and a drumbeat that doesn’t stop. The clarinet and violin lighten up the tone, while the guitar and bass are naturally essential components in a rock band. And, of course, who can play eastern European-influenced music without a sizeable dose of accordion?
As if this great gathering of instruments wasn’t enough to jumpstart a party, most of the band sings along with the songs so that the audience feels as if they’ve just been dropped off at some sort of wild Russian wedding. The lyrics add to the fun and refuse to take anything too seriously.
“They’re uplifting,” Temkin said of the song lyrics. “We’re always trying to find an uplifting subject that everyone can relate to.”
With song titles like “Girlfriends Are Pain in the Ass” and “I Know Who Is Hiding Osama Bin Laden,” the intended humor is obvious. Just because a subject is heavy, they said, doesn’t mean the song has to be dark.
“To be happy is the final destination,” Temkin said, so don’t expect to find anything but a good time when it comes to Chervona." - --Bianca Blankenship The Daily Vanguard, Jan21 , 2010


It is impossible to describe Chervona's sound without sounding ridiculous. Vagabonding gypsy
folk-punk? Russian fever-folk? Neo-Bohemian dance-rock? Punk/big band fusion? Regardless,
Chervona's musical styling is raucously unique. Formed in Portland in 2006, Chervona's members
hail from all around the world in places that even the Lonely Planet series has a hard time getting to. With roots ranging from Russia to Portland's suburbs, Chervona is what happens when you blend Soviet Bloc drinking songs with American punk and throw in an accordion. Front man Andreyshka Pitersky sings his hearty droll in both Russian and English, which leads to a varied set that includes a mix of vaudevillian choruses, brass-punk versions of traditional Russian folk songs and some of the best covers on the market (their version of Boney M.’s “Ra Ra Rasputin” is particularly great).
What stands out the most about the band is Chervona's lack of reliance on flimsy kitsch. They are adamant about being seen not as another band that uses its Eastern European heritage as a gimmick. Rather, they set out to make the best possible music they know how, regardless of
their background. Chervona's songs spill over with a peasant authenticity that bands like the Decemberists can only dream about. Even the most stoic of hipsters will find themselves caught up in the whirling dervish of Chervona's fist-pumpingly fun set.
If you have been bitten by the “everything sounds the same” bug, then you owe it to yourself to grab your best “Ushanka” (or giant furry hat) and see Chervona as soon as possible."
--Pat Moran, Deli Magazine: - --Pat Moran, Deli Magazine:


Russian-influenced band Chervona plays to support Haiti relief
What happens when the Mt. Tabor Theater fills a stage with singers and musicians that are Russian, Brazilian, German, Lithuanian, Caribbean, Argentinean and Polish, all in the same band? The answer? A party. Chervona, a Portland-based band that is best known for its high-energy shows, seeks to create just that.
“I’m coming from the angle of the audience,” said Andrei Temkin, lead singer and guitarist for Chervona.
He and Chervona’s crew of musicians want to connect with the audience in a way that most Portland bands fail to do. They want to see people dancing, singing, shouting and having some serious fun.
“If us happy, then we make everybody happy,” said Temkin, who was aghast at the difference between the riotous Russian weddings he saw back home and the sulking, sweatshirt-hooded youth who comprised concert audiences in Portland.
Chervona will play this Saturday at Mt. Tabor Theater as part of the Groove Movement Fundraiser for Haiti relief. They will be headlining next to local bands Intervision, Voltronic, Mimi Naja of Fruition and Groove Movement. The show will be an eclectic set of R&B, soul, funk and folk. The bands are all worth a listen, but count on Chervona to get the dancing started. Proceeds from the show will benefit earthquake relief in Haiti.
Hungry for some fun and upbeat music, Temkin started out 10 years ago in a Russian punk band called MiruMir! He then transitioned into Chervona and translated many of the original MiruMir! songs into English. The band still uses old Russian songs but often translates them into English to make it easier to reach the local audience.
“We had an idea that we wanted to shake hands with every Portlander,” said Alma Laskoniene, who, aside from acting as a songwriter and muse for Chernova, also heads the art and design.
Their music takes cue from all the band members’ heritages, and more. The mix of Eastern European, Spanish and Brazilian beats is only a taste of the band’s versatility.
The bouncing rhythm is carried by a lot of horns—tuba, trumpet and trombone, to be exact—and a drumbeat that doesn’t stop. The clarinet and violin lighten up the tone, while the guitar and bass are naturally essential components in a rock band. And, of course, who can play eastern European-influenced music without a sizeable dose of accordion?
As if this great gathering of instruments wasn’t enough to jumpstart a party, most of the band sings along with the songs so that the audience feels as if they’ve just been dropped off at some sort of wild Russian wedding. The lyrics add to the fun and refuse to take anything too seriously.
“They’re uplifting,” Temkin said of the song lyrics. “We’re always trying to find an uplifting subject that everyone can relate to.”
With song titles like “Girlfriends Are Pain in the Ass” and “I Know Who Is Hiding Osama Bin Laden,” the intended humor is obvious. Just because a subject is heavy, they said, doesn’t mean the song has to be dark.
“To be happy is the final destination,” Temkin said, so don’t expect to find anything but a good time when it comes to Chervona." - --Bianca Blankenship The Daily Vanguard, Jan21 , 2010



"Franco-Russian relations are about to get a boost -- at least here in Portland, where an assortment of European immigrants and visitors has arranged the Immigrant Revolution Party at the Alberta Street Pub.
The event promises to be more like a soiree than a regular club show: a cultural celebration with Russian and French MCs, films and painting, plus three truly exciting musical acts whose roots stretch back across the ocean.
For starters, there's French singer-songwriter Tete. The soulful artist is in town recording a new album with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin and will debut that material.
Portland's French troubadour Eric John Kaiser and Russian ex-pats Chervona round out the bill. Kaiser brings a seemingly effortless chic to his eclectic folk-pop, while Chervona's rambunctious waltz through Eastern European musical territory is guaranteed to bring down the house." - -- Barbara Mitchell, The Oregonian, Oct 23, 2009


"When Chervona took the stage to wrap up a night billed as "Revolution Party!" the crowd was fired up. People danced as the band soundchecked. The temperature in the room steadily rose during the first dance/punk/polka songs led by Andreyshka B. Chervona Pitersky, who comes to Portland by way of Russia and whose band plays the Alberta St. Pub every last Thursday.
You know that fake Russian accent you do when you're drunk? It's actually not that far off if Pitersky is any indication – bald, wildly optimistic and dressed entirely in red, he could have been mistaken for a sketch comic mocking his own band.
But in a demonstration of revolutionary cred, Chervona played a traditional song from the Russian revolution. The military drum beat and early 20th Century style actually mixed with the band's Gogol Bordello-like sound quite well.
Along with Pitersky's over-the-top personality, gang vocals from the rest of the band made the performance quite theatrical. Mustached and mime stripe-clad trumpet player and accordionist, Anton Van Oosbree, made wide eyes as he shouted lines like "I know who is hiding Osama bin Laden" with his band mates. Madness was in the air. Someone passed around a giant box of chocolates. Strangers twirled one another in the crowd. The woman in the front row who wore her zombie Halloween costume danced until her makeup ran right off. And the drummer with a nose ring whose sombrero was too big to fit on the tiny stage never stopped." - --Jason Simms, Oregonian Oct 30th


Cut from the same goofy fabric as their friends Gogol Bordello, this Portland combo deftly slices and dices gypsy, Russian, klezmer-punk, Dixieland, comic cabaret, and German beer hall oompah-pah into a soul-satisfying stew, and possibly the most infectious dance-and-drink music you’ve ever encountered. You are advised to request “Girlfriends Are Pain.” ~ Portland Monthly, Dec 2011 - ~ Portland Monthly, Dec 2011


Friday, January 11, 2008

If you're Russian, the holidays aren't over: the Old Russian New Year can be like Christmas and New Year's all rolled into one, celebrated two weeks later.

The same crew of Russian musicians and pranksters who've been throwing events around Portland the past few years are hosting one Saturday night to celebrate the Old Russian New Year, featuring live music, figures from Russian mythology, food and a re-creation of sorts of "The Blue Light," a "traditional Russian reality show."

The ringleaders are Andre Tempkin and his partner, Alma Laskonis. He moved here from St. Petersburg, Russia, 12 years ago. She's from Vilnius, Lithuania, and arrived seven years ago. They finish each other's sentences, and insisted on being interviewed together.

What is your Old Russian New Year event about?

Alma: It's like Christmas. There was no Christmas in the Soviet Union after the revolution. I didn't celebrate Christmas but I celebrated New Year's. Andre: It's a good chance for the adults to get together and party! Alma: Eat some good food, drink some vodka!

What will happen at this party?

Alma: There won't be any English speaking at the party -- or thinking. Andre: But we're going to try out a new idea. I think we're going to have a pool of interpreters, students -- we have contacts with all the institutions in Portland which teach Russian. Alma: We'll hire them for very little money or all they can drink. You can have a personal interpreter.

What will your band, Chervona, be playing?

Andre: Songs that are three to 30 generations old and still kicking. There are some originals, too. I've started writing songs in English and translating my Russian songs to English. We're trying to re-create something. We'll take you back to the '80s and '90s in Russia. We'll have other singers, but for now . . . Alma: . . . it's a secret. We can't make it too traditional because we have minds of our own. We can't give you all the details because if you write it in the newspaper all the surprise will disappear. Andre: Sometimes we surprise ourselves.

You've booked Ded Moroz and Little Snow Girl from Russian mythology?

Andre: Ded Moroz is Russian for Santa Claus and Snegurochka is the Little Snow Girl. Alma: They always come and bring presents to the children if they were good, but they're also entertainers. I will be the Little Snow Girl. Andre: We have a group who teach Russian kids, who came with their parents, how to speak Russian. One of them will make an appearance here as Ded Maroz. There won't be kids here but every adult is kid inside. Alma: And we're planning to open our new travel agency to Russia.

Should I believe that?

Alma: No. Andre: This is the cheapest ticket to Russia. For the price of a ticket, you come here and go to Russia and back. 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, Bitter End Pub, 1981 W. Burnside St.; cover charge, 21 and older only; www.myspace.com/chervona

-- Tom D'Antoni - The Orgeonion


Chervona describes themselves as an “International Nuclear Folk (Gypsy, Klezmer, Jazz, Punk) band and ultimate dance party machine.” They will be taking Vancouver by storm via Portland, Oregon and I am sure that this gypsy caravan will leave a trail of dead!

Chervona has appeared alongside Gogol Bordello and Manu Chao. This band is certainly a giant among giants! Their talent, energy and presence ensures that this will be a night not to miss. So, please join us at the Gnarly Barnacle for a night of dancing, drinking (please bring your own wine, bambus or beer) and many other forms of merriment!

May the music play long and our legs dance strong!
- Will Nikolai Varda


Come celebrate the beginning of Spring with the most fun, the most energetic, the most amazing band that I've personally ever danced to - Chervona! Living in Portland, Oregon, this semi-Russian sextet is well known throughout their state and the entire West Coast. These guys take the music that we all know so well and have loved since childhood (Ochi Chernye, Konduktor, Nochka Tyomnaya, etc) and play them with so much life and energy that you want to start dancing and never stop. These are greatly complimented with the same songs translated into English and many original titles. They started as a different band - Miru-Mir, and songs from both Chervona and Miru-Mir repertoire will be performed. - Dimitri Afanasiev


Clowns, demons, jesters, fire dancers and Russians fill the street. This is, roughly speaking, the fan base for the band Chervona, whose chaotic, multicultural act is equally appealing to those who like to dance around in face paint and tutus, and those who can actually understand the group’s lyrics, sung mostly in Russian by frontman and St. Petersburg native Andre Temkin...

...It’s time for Chervona to play. If you like the Clash but wish they’d played more instruments, been more influenced by Euro disco and sea chanties, and sang more in Russian and Japanese, then you’ll love Mirumir.

After a song, frontman Temkin tells the audience, “You’re going to watch, and I’m going to show you something you’ve never seen before.”

And we believe him. - By Anne Marie Distefano, Portland Tribune


Temkin aims to re-create the close-knit, ceremonial feeling of Slavic family traditions and Russia's famous festivals through music, food, dance and a bit of good old-fashioned nostalgia. Some of his methods go beyond the mainstream, but his goals remain educating Americans about Russia's urban culture, and having a good time.

He represents a slice of Oregon's diverse Slavic community, whose members range from Ukrainian evangelical Christians to Russian Jews to agnostics, from villagers to city folk.

"He's a model of bicultural fusion," says Anya Valsamakis, who is active in the Slavic community. "There's quite a bit of (Russian) people here that are towards his end. He's the visible one, he's like a lightning rod."

Born in St. Petersburg -- Russia's second-largest city -- when it was still called Leningrad, Temkin gravitated toward underground rock music as a means of free expression.

It was the 1980s, and the communist Soviet government considered rock subversive. It was heavily censored. Recordings were hard to get, so Temkin traded reel-to-reel tapes in subway stations.

"I was getting inspired by the music. It was a way to try to live in a different way," he says, "try to get some freedom by doing that."

But KGB agents photographed dissident musicians. And the government didn't allow bands to play, so they held private shows in apartments -- including Temkin's flat. Hosts and attendees risked arrest.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, Temkin helped start a commercial radio station, rising to program director and working as a DJ.

The Portland beginnings were tough. Temkin, now a U.S. citizen, didn't know English then. He washed dishes in a Nordstrom cafeteria. Occasionally, he set up music events.

"I'd be going everywhere, asking for any job," he recalls, "and dreaming of future recording studio while doing the dishes."

As his language improved, so did the jobs. He even eventually was hired to do sound design for popular video games.

But he never let go of his goal of playing rock 'n' roll. He built a home recording studio and formed a band with Russian and American musicians called MiruMir -- meaning "peace to the world," a message that was peppered on signs throughout Leningrad during the Cold War. The group performs its music, a mixture of American punk and Russia's rough melancholy, in Russian and English.

Temkin and friends also recently started an acoustic band, Chervona ("red" in Ukrainian), which plays covers of traditional Russian and gypsy songs.

Temkin says he is now able to play with the language and make jokes in English, too. He sees his shows as an opportunity to educate. His slogan goes something like this: "Come to our party, celebrate like Russians do."

At the Old Russian New Year's party, he whipped out a PowerPoint presentation that included tips on how to raise proper toasts, drink vodka the right way and avoid a hangover. At Eugene's Slavic Festival last year, he followed another old Russian ritual: at the end of the night, visit the gypsies and hear them sing. So Temkin and friends holed up in a bar with a gypsy band from New York City and kept singing and drinking until the place shuttered.

The April Fools' show, modeled after a three-night Russian carnival, was just as intense. Seven live bands and dozens of bizarre solo performers occupied three stages at Rotture, the Southeast Portland club. Tickling mermaids and a fortune teller mingled with the tightly packed crowd. DJs spun international dance music. When MiruMir and Chervona took the stage, Russian fans swayed and belted out songs in unison.

"I traveled all the universe and nowhere could I find my dear," Temkin crooned in Russian, his voice full of nostalgia and rugged, Old World sound. "But I came back to Russia and my heart is hearing privet! Hello!" - Gosia Wozniacka, The Oregonian


Discography

Chervona’s first 6 songs EP “Quick and Dirty” was self produced published. Thousands copies was sold during Chervona shows in 2008 – 2012.
Chervona’s second EP “Chervona beat my heart!” will hit the streets only by the spring of 2011.
Album “Chervona Live at Mississippi” recorded at Mississippi Studios is available in 2011.

Photos

Bio

With their authenticity and genuine fire Chervona has stolen many hearts. Shining with their brass section and capturing soul with the traditional sounds of the old world and new interpretations, Chervona transforms a celebration into an ultimate party!

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and pretty underwear - Chervona's parties are known for people dancing all night and taking off their clothes!

In addition to countless street and club performances around pacific NW Chervona has played quite a few big stages, among them: Bite of Oregon, Northwest Folk Life festival in Seattle, Slavic Festival and Oregon Country Fair in Eugene, Red Marines festival in California, Under Volcano Festival in Vancouver (BC), Portland Polish Festival, Portland Pirate Festival, April Fool’s Day Carnivals, Revolution Party in Portland and many others. During its first 6 years Chervona has played over 350 performances all over NW of America. Thousands of people from Vancouver, BC to Los Angeles watched, listened and danced to Chervona's music calling Chervona - Best NW Party Band!

REPERTOIRE:

Chervona's repertoire includes traditional hits from the late 19th century with a Gypsy, Klezmer, Russian and Eastern European and flavor. That's not the limit of what Chervona plays. They easily adapt pieces from a diverse number of cultures and are constantly composing original material as well. Their songs have been described as "funny, sarcastic, educational, socially conscious and beautiful." Their lyrics aren't limited to a single language, either; they sing in
English, Russian, Spanish, Polish and German.

WHO IS CHERVONA?

This unique multicultural ensemble has Russian, Armenian, Jewish, Italian, Brazilian, German, Argentinean and Kazakh roots. Three of the band members are immigrants from the former USSR and the rest were born in the United States.

CRITICAL PRAISE:

"It is impossible to describe Chervona's sound without sounding ridiculous. Vagabonding gypsy folk-punk? Russian fever-folk? Neo-Bohemian dance-rock? Punk/big band fusion? Regardless, Chervona's musical styling is raucously unique... What stands out the most is Chervona's lack of reliance on flimsy kitsch. They are adamant about being seen not as another band that uses its Eastern European heritage as a gimmick. Rather, they set out to make the best possible
music they know how, regardless of their background."
-- Pat Moran, The Deli Magazine

WHO LOVES CHERVONA?

Oregon Country Fair - Chela Mela Stage, 2011
Rose Garden Amphitheater – featured band for Washington Park Concert for City Of Portland 2011
Live Wire! - guests for the OPB program at Alberta Rose Theater in March 2011
Portland Community College - Art Beat Festival , 2011 and featured band in 2012.
Bite of Oregon – Portland, Oregon, prime time, main stage performance 2008
Bite of Salem – Salem, Oregon, prime time, main stage performance 2008
Portland International Film Festival and Art Museum – closing party band in 2010
PICA - Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts
Seattle Folk Life Festival- 2008, 2009, 2010 Main stage performer. Included on in 2010 Best Bands CD compilation.
Portland Polish Festival - Chervona headlined the festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011, scheduled for 2012
Portland Pirate Festival - headlined the festival in 2010 and 2011, scheduled for 2012
The Deli Magazine - Chervona won Portland Best of 2010 Fans' Poll and was recognized as N6 best emerging
Portland’s artists 2010.
City of Portland and Mayor Sam Adams - Chervona played for Burnside Bridge renovation ceremony in 2010.
Live Wire! - guests for the OPB program in March 2011
McMenamin’s – Chervona has marched through many big celebrations in their kingdom
Rogue Brewery - Imperial Red celebration and Bones and Brews block party festival 2008
McMinnville’s UFO Parade, 2008
Portland German American Society – played numerous events for the community members
Slavic Festival Eugene, OR 2007 and 2009
Slavic Festival