Flying Balalaika Brothers
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Flying Balalaika Brothers

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1995 | MAJOR | AFM

Austin, Texas, United States | MAJOR | AFM
Established on Jan, 1995
Band Rock Experimental




""US, Russia: The Flying Balalaika Brothers Bridge Cultural Gaps in Texas"."

Like many of their compatriots, musicians Zhenya Rock and Sergey Vashchenko emigrated from Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. They have since established themselves in Texas, USA, and through the formation of a band called the Flying Balalaika Brothers and a non-profit called Musical Connections, they work to bridge cultural gaps by exposing Texans to international art.

- Global Voices - an international nonprofit news agency

"Texas Music Museum celebrates 3rd Annual International Music Festival at the Carver Museum in East Austin"

Texas Music Museum celebrates 3rd Annual International Music Festival at the Carver Museum in East Austin A melting pot of eclectic music and performances from a vast variety of cultures resonated through the Boyd Vance Theater at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Arts center on September 7th and 8th. The Texas Music Museum (TMM) signature International Music Festival
continues to preserve not only Texas music history but Austin’s diverse music from Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Russia, Germany, India, Middle East, Africa and many more. Performances by Dr.Mario Garza, The Texas Dragon Lion Dance Team, The Flying Balaika Brothers, Zoumoutchi, Atash, Gumbo Ce’Soir, Martina Mai Li and many more unique musicians and performers. And special performance by Austin’s legendary“Marimba Tropical” Javier and Julian Rangel who
continue to honor their father and marimba legend the late Albert
Rangel. The festival turned into an International music success thanks to the Texas Music Museum’s collaboration with George
Washington director and curator Bernadette Phifer,
Austin Community College recording studio manager
Kurtis Machler, Chinese music coordinators Jinyu Wang,
Fei Son, host-Kevin Lee and the many dedicated volunteers.
The Texas Music Museum of Austin continues to expand
and exhibit one of Austin’s largest collection of Mexican
American music history and artifacts. For more information
about TMM events visit
TMM Mission: The Texas Music Museum of Austin collects
and preserves artifacts, documents and reference material
surrounding the diverse traditions of Texas music, and
utilizes these collections in the presentation of exhibits,
educational programs, and performances. - La Prenca

"Austin Dining"

Rainey Street positively screams Austin Nightlife! So I thought it was high time we wrote a little about it. As you probably know, Rainey Street is a street of houses that have been transformed into bars. There was initially some controversy when the sleepy residential neighborhood acquired the first bars. Pretty quickly, however, home owners on the street recognized the financial opportunity and started renting and selling their homes to interested bar owners. Now, Rainey Street is a super chill, laid back bar strip with lots of fun bars, good food, and entertainment.
Over Labor Day weekend, we were looking for a show by the Flying Balalaika Brothers. We had some pretty heavyweight New York musicians visiting and we wanted to show off one of our favorite local bands. Their website pointed us to G’Raj Mahal, one of Austin’s most talked about food trailers. I’ve never been there before, and I was extremely excited to try them out.
G’Raj Mahal is an Austin Food Trailer which converted its lot into a tented/bohemian seating area/restaurant. It’s hard to say the G’Raj Mahal is a food trailer gone to brick and mortar, because there’s no brick or mortar, but the seating area definitely defines the space as contained. If you weren’t really looking for walls you wouldn’t know you were outside (other than the heat and the occasional tree). What I can say for certain, however, is that the space is wonderful. It’s tastefully decorated with elaborately designed tents, beautiful tables, and soft decorative overhead lights. The atmosphere is very peaceful and relaxing.
The first thing that struck me about G’Raj Mahal was that they take reservations! That’s pretty rare in Austin and something that really takes the stress out of planning dinner for five.
Upon entering, you felt transported out of the hustle of the city and into a relaxing, natural landscape. G’Raj Mahal is a great place for friends to meet for a quite dinner, or a romanic spot to enjoy a dinner just for two. The tables are small and cute, so it’s a very cozy intimate place. When we got there the staff was really friendly and accommodating and recommended the perfect spot to have dinner and listen to the band.
The cozy/comforting atmosphere is further emphasized by the food at G’Raj Mahal. Indian food is one of my favorite comfort foods. I always feel too full after a meal, but I’m always happy. The spices and creamy flavors of the dishes really warm you up and make you feel cozy inside. My favorite Indian dish is Saag Paneer, which is creamy spinach with Paneer, a semi-hard cheese with a mild flavor. I especially love it for its texture. G’Raj Mahal’s was creamier than I’m used to, but non the less, very good. I also tried their Malabar with fish, tilapia in a creamy coconut and caramelize onion sauce. I’ve never had that before, but I really enjoyed it. The sauce was spicy and flavorful and the shaved coconut was soft and tender. I’m usually not a big fan of shaved coconut because it dries out quickly and gets chewy, but their’s was fresh and a delightful texture.
While we were eating, the Flying Balalaika Brothers started playing, but we almost didn’t notice. I’ve seen them at various venues where they played for a boisterous crowd that was eager to dance, so that’s what I expected this time, but nope. The Brothers were acutely aware of the crowd and played a relaxed set of their slower songs acoustically. The music complemented the atmosphere and food perfectly.
I had a wonderfully relaxing evening at G’Raj Mahal. We hope you had a good Labor Day weekend and the opportunity to enjoy the bountiful Austin Nightlife! - La Prenca


1-st CD: Kuma (2009)
2-d CD: Op,Op,Romale! (2014)

3-s CD: Panorama (2015)

4-s CD: Taz So Svistom (2016)



The Flying Balalaika Brothers represent a near perfect example of cross - cultural communication and assimilation, thereby demonstrating unto the world the true potential and beauty of multi-cultural cooperation and harmony. There are blue sin blue grass and blue grass in blues and a Russian polka is just heartbeat away from a Country two beat which is only an exhilarating breath away from a Tejano Polka. The Latin cumbia's combine nicely with the smooth bossa novas which are then catapulted into sweet swinging jazz standards. A large order of gumboils then served up as musicians stretches they accordions and then watch out when he takes out a Gretch guitar for red-hot rock-a-Billy and excitable rock and roll and jump blues that follow. The Flying Balalaika Brothers are appealing to audiences of all ages. Children enjoy the infectious beat,teenagers scratch their heads in wonder of the new wave of music they are experiencing, and adults seem captivated by the nuance and sophistication of the music. Those with experience with Russian and/or Gypsy music are dual enthralled by its authenticity and taken by its touch of Americana. This is the beauty of the Flying Balalaika Brothers, in two words, Authenticity and Assimilation. This morphing of cultures, whether Russian, Serbian, Hebrew, Gypsy, Hispanic, South or North American is a definite breaker of barriers. The band draws inspiration from a plethora of performers including Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, among others.


Band Members