Snow and the gentle plink of a balalaika reminds me of my childhood, bundled in a sleigh crossing the Latvian plains...wait. That wasn't me. Sergey Vashchenko and Vladimir Kaliazine wore those fur hats and muffs and later mastered the three-stringed balalaika and buttoned accordion that Russians call the bayan. In 1989, as the duo Kalinka, they toured Europe and then crossed "the pond" to enlighten Texas with the lively melodies of Russian and European classical and folk music. Kalinka has since performed at art exhibits, street festivals and schools to represent our growing Russian community. They've done "Russian Country" with the Light Crust Dough Boys, jazz with Cafe Noir and classical with the Garland Symphony. At 2 p.m. Wednesday, they perform for free at the North Oak Cliff Branch Library, 302 W. Tenth St. Put down that vodka, crank up the samovar and call 214-670-7555 or visit
Wed., June 7, 2 p.m.
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Danna Berger