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Pete Levin
music for the film

The Gypsy Band Recording Sessions

Almost a third of the film "Zelimo" takes place in Siberia in the late 1950s.  I'll be doing the orchestral score this coming winter, but some of the source music requires authentic Gypsy wedding music:  Not exactly what I'm known for doing.  Fortunately I've connected with a terrific band that performs regularly in "Moscow", a Russian restaurant on East 55th street in Manhattan.  Great music, and every imaginable brand of  vodka.  As the shooting schedule approached, I got the Moscow band into a recording studio.  These guys tear it up 4 nights a week at the club, so the session was a cakewalk.  They were joined by Vasily Yankovich - an operatic tenor who usually sings in Russian with the band, but for this date he dug into his Gypsy heritage and gave us the real deal.   If you're in New York and looking for a hang, you've got to catch this band in action.  Sergey, the violinist, will knock your socks off!  He's incredible.  Below are some shots from the recording session.  We all look pretty level ... remarkable considering we managed to do the right thing by two large bottles of vodka in 3 hours.

You can check out some of the music from the session that will be used in the film: Click on the Bayan (Russian Accordion)

Listen to the band
from the Bazaar scene
(Realaudio format)

Listen to the band
"Romanian Medley"
from the wedding scene
(Realaudio format)

Lev Zabeginsky

Vasily Yankovich
vocal and guitar

Sergey Ryabtsev

Gennady Gutkin

A Gypsy rhythm section

Engineer Mark Gallay

Pete & the band

A Russian coffee break?


On location.  A major scene takes place in Russia at a regional marketplace.
The band came up for the shoot, portraying ... a Gypsy band!
Pete is sitting in for Lev on balalaika.