Russian Folk Songs and Beyond – Jonnie and Zina

About the Workshop

Folk and pop-folk songs from Russia. Attendees will learn songs that originate in the culture of the Russian village and city working class, with forays into composed music with a similar sound. No previous knowledge of Russian necessary.

Jonnie Pekelny

Jonnie Pekelny is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. Although she spent her childhood in the big city, Jonnie’s mother made it a point to learn the songs of the Russian villages and to teach them to her daughter. A singer from an early age, Jonnie grew up with the sweet, fiery, humorous, irreverent and honest songs of rural and working Russia. Although she later went on to study and sing other genres (obtaining a minor in music from U.C. Santa Cruz and performing solo and in group ensembles that included classical and pop and other folk traditions) that first musical love has stuck. Jonnie still loves and performs the songs of this disappearing cultural treasure.

Zina Pozen

Zina Pozen is a familiar face in the Bay Area and Seattle Balkan music scene.  Originally from Ukraine, she grew up in a family of classical musicians, playing piano from a tender age.  As an adult, Zina picked up the accordion and stared playing traditional Eastern European repertoire. She is a founding member of Seattle’s infamous Bucharest Drinking Team. Since moving to the Bay area in 2015, Zina has been playing klezmer with Orchestra Euphonos.