(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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