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STILL SWINGING IN MOSCOW
(Down Beat, april 2000)

The Oleg Lundstrem Orchestra, perhaps the oldest jazz big !s band on the planet, started 2000 by playing their "Glenn Miller And His Time" concert at Tchaikovsky Hall in downtown Moscow. Presented by Russian jazz writer Alexey Batashev, the show attracted more than 1,500 Muscovites. Now 83-year-old composer/ pianist/violinist Lundstrern founded the orches-tra in 1934 in Harbin, Manchuria, employing nine young Russians from the Russian-Chinese Eastern Railroad stalf. Inspired by Duke Ellington records, they moved to Shanghai in 1936, quickly gained the reputation of this city's best dance band, and stayed in Shanghai until 1947, when they returned to their native Russia.

The band settled in the city of Kazan in central Russia, where they stayed until 1956. Since then, the orchestra has continued to work in Russia's capital, being supported by the state. Lundstrem is the orchestra's last original member, and in 1998 he took the band to play at the Santa Barbara Jazz Festival in Santa Barbara, Calif.


Cyril W. Moshkow

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