Belarusian pagan ritual songs and Swiss jazz.

Irena Kotvitskaja: vocals

Rusia: vocals

Nadzeya Tschuhunova: vocals     

Albin Brun: saxophones, swiss diatonic folk accordion, duduk, overtone flute

Patricia Draeger: accordion

Claudio Strebel: double bass

Marco Käppeli: drums

"KAZALPIN / КАЗАЛЬПІН" is the joint project of three singers from Akana in Belarus and four Swiss jazz musicians from the Albin Brun Alpin Ensemble. In an intercultural exchange, the archaic sound of the traditional Belorusian songs mixes with the (jazz-based) grooves from Switzerland in an organic way. In the musical boundary regions between tradition and modern, West and East as well as written down and handed down music, an unusual amalgam is created that is not based on heavy beats or fashionable electronics, but instead produces unique sounds with voices and acoustic instruments.

Albin Brun is a guarantee for the success of such a borderline experience, which also attempts to come to terms with the tradition of its own country of origin. The Neue Luzerner Zeitung wrote about the premier of his "Alpin Ensemble" (Willisau Jazz Festival 2008): "…the audience responded with enthusiasm… Instead of coating all with a light, crossways jazz covering, the ensemble succeeded in creating a new connection with Alpine material that was as interesting musically as it was emotionally touching.

" The starting gun was fired for "KAZALPIN / КАЗАЛЬПІН" in September 2009 when Albin Brun was in Minsk for a week with the drummer Marco Käppeli and met the Belorusian singer trio Akana for the first time while they were looking for a suitable group. They understood each other from the start; with their respect of tradition and simultaneous cosmopolitan spirit, the three women complemented the Albin Brun Alpin Ensemble ideally.

Akana is one of the most well known groups in the young music scene of Minsk. The three singers are specialized in old pre-Christian ritual songs, which they collect and record during trips to old people in the countryside. On one hand, they sing the songs totally authentically to preserve them from being forgotten, and on the other hand they are open to current music trends and consequently reach a young, urbane audience with their joy in experimenting with music.

Following the first trial phase, the joint project "KAZALPIN / КАЗАЛЬПІН" has toured various times in Switzerland and Belarus where they fired the enthusiasm of audiences and the press. The current CD "East Side Story" now documents the fruitful encounter between East and West, and you are astonished at how naturally the Belorusian songs blend with the compositions by Albin Brun.