Samovar Russian Folk Music
Michael Nazaretz
Michael first performed in a Russian folk music group in his native Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1960s. In Washington, D.C. area, he's played with the "Old Village Band" (Russian), "Dunav" (Balkan), "Lox and Vodka" (Jewish/ klezmer/ Russian), and the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra.
Yelena Rector
Yelena graduated from the Saratov Music Conservatory in Russia, is a music teacher, and plays with the American Balalaika Symphony. Yelena is very fond of caviar.
Ilhan Izmirli
Ilhan has been playing folk, jazz, and blues since the early 1980s. He is interested in the relationship between mathematics (he has two Ph.D.'s in the field) and music, and has presented papers on the subject at professional conferences.
Rick Netherton
Rick is a classically trained bassist and native of Washington, DC. Rick plays in the American Balalaika Symphony and a variety of other local musical groups, from jazz to folk to rock to classical. When he's not making music, Rick uses forensic science, CSI-style, to solve crimes.
Nikita Wells
Nikita has sung in Washington, DC, New York City, and Europe, and is general manager of the National Lyric Opera Company. Nikita has an interest in orchestral composition, and he is currently writing an opera on the theme of Dracula, "Two Counts at Stake."
Olga Rines
Olga has participated in folklore expeditions from St Petersburg collecting songs in northern Russia. When not teaching Russian culture and language to economists at the World Bank, Olga enjoys teaching Russian song and dance to young children.

A Samovar is a metal urn, often of brass, with a spigot near its base, widely used in Russia to boil water for tea. Invented in the mid-18th century, the samovar was often a favorite place for families to gather for tea, conversation, and occasionally even music.


Our songs have appeared on the following movie soundtracks:

“Proshchay” in the movie “Whiteout,” starring Kate Beckinsale (September 2009).

Several songs in the movie, “Driven to Kill," starring Steven Seagal (May 2009).

“Kolomeyka,” in the documentary, “Yippee,” directed by Paul Mazursky (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Moscow on the Hudson, etc.) (June 2006).

“Smuglyanka” will be in an independent movie, “Remarkable Power” (no release date at this time).

Bottom Swirl