Dr. Bajan Sovietabilly (Russia / St. Petersburg, Berlin)

rock´n roll, klezmer, jazz, balkan, chanson, ska and folk



Dr. Bajan, Russia/ Saint Petersburg – Sovietabilly

 – under the influence of klezmer, jazz, chanson and Folk music, plus rock ´n roll Sovietabilly came to be! (Balkan meets Charlie Parker, Manu Chao bumps into Gorky.) Emotional, raw, savagely passionate and virtuoso all at the same time: Sovietabilly is modern urban folk music Dr. Bajan style. Urban speed-folk? World music art rock? As soon as you too become enmeshed into Dr.Bajan’s orgiastic trance, you will know that all attempts to find a single term of description are in vain, any one too narrow to fully grasp the total experience. Sovietabilly is a highly individual hybrid of Russian and European musical languages, with the unmistakable stamp of an outstanding accordion (bayan).


Dr. Bajan himself comes from Leningrad, where the electric guitar and rock music once represented the only way he could distance himself from the [hyperbolic?] facade that was Soviet existence at the time. Even back then it was already clear that he had a soft spot for fast solos. After a while, the guitar wasn't subversive enough for him and he turned - back to his roots - to the bayan, the accordion. A totally new perspective on his own musical tradition opened up for him. Up until then, the revolutionary anthems and Soviet pop hits of his musical environment provoked more eye-rolling than anything else, but now, exploring the roots of his musical heritage more deeply, he uncovered its connections to klezmer, jazz and folk music. Dr. Bajan drew on all of these influences - plus a hefty dose of rock'n roll - to create a totally original, contemporary new form: Sovietabilly, music that conveys an intimate view of the dry-eyed and playful take of one post-Soviet cosmopolitan on life, the universe and groove. Balkan meets Charlie Parker in the kitchen of a Berlin walk-up flat, Manu Chao meets Odessa pentatonic. From the covers of Deep Purple right up through the much-loved "Kasatschoks" - whatever he touches is transformed in the blink of an eye into Dr. Bajan.


His wildly intensive stage presence, his gift for improvisation and his sheer charisma catch everyone up into his spell right from the start. Dr. Bajan plays his audience and himself into a form of ecstasy. In its present makeup for three years, the band has played numerous festivals in Germany and abroad, where they've performed with other World Music groups like "Fanfare Ciocarlia," "Di grine Kuzine," "Folkabestia," "Apparatschik," "Dikanda," and more.


“… resurrection of the ancient anarchic spirit of the Leningrad music scene in Germany.” W. Kaminer


“… an album containing SpeedFolkProgPunk for the new century.” Y. Gurzhy (Russendisko)


“… intoxicating mad humorous spectacle.” Taz 03/2006, Irene Hummel


“… a highlight of urban world music!Ratinger Nachrichten  06/2005


“… they don’t play for the money or the audience but to shout out the rhythm.” M. Degen


“… more ardent than a drunken regiment of Cossacks … furious, funny and at the same time a perfect concert

concerning craftsmanship … the atmosphere tonight should exclusively be positive.” Gießener Zeitung


“… a crash course through the music cosmos. … Nasdrovje!” Florian Sedmak


“… no doubt about the ingenuity … Extremely highbrow complexity.” Christina Seiler, 02/1997




The Dr.Bajan Sovietabilly Band (formerly Dr.Bajan & Brain Drain) performs his unique music on traditional instruments. Aside from his stunning originals, composer Dr.Bajan also astonishes with brilliant cover-versions honouring favourite hits from throughout musical time. The words are in Russian, the band international - a Russian, a Ukrainian, an Italian Swiss and a German - drawing their experience from across a variety of European musical culture genres. The violinist from classical and gypsy music, the double-bassist from the avant-garde spiced with Italian folk music, the drummer with a passion for jazz. Together they create a fiery mix that infects your feet with dancing, simultaneously going straight to the brain.


With their unbelievably intensive stage presence Nikolai Fomin, Anton Teslia, Davide de Bernardi and Alf Schulze won the sixth „World Wide Music Award“ at the „Musica Vitale“ 2004 music festival competition.







Dr. Bajan – vocals, bajan


Bandleader, looks quite young and plays the bajan (accordion) for 15 years. He’s from St. Petersburg, Russia. Plays and composes what he likes as cool and vice versa. He predominantly sings in Russian. Influences of Soviet Russian culture (patriotic pioneer songs, hits from Odessa and mainly the alternative Russian Rock) have an effect on his music as well as contemporary styles like Balkan, Jazz, Reggae, Classics and others. His musical gifts are unrestrained live energy, fertile imagination and pliability while performing in the studio.



Anton Teslia – violin


Very young and delicate. Classical and diabolical violinist at once. Born in the Ukraine he grew up in St. Petersburg. He performed with gypsy bands in restaurants and clubs to earn his living during his studies at the Conservatory and to sharpen his outrageous skill for improvisation. Father of a little son. Enjoys his privacy as Metal addict and enthusiastic gambler of flight simulation.



Davide de Bernardi – double bass


He is of relatively young age, origin Locarno in Italian Switzerland. 15 years ago he came to Berlin to dedicate himself to playing the double bass. Has a lot of experience in different styles of Avantgarde to Freejazz and Balkan music. Fanatic vinyl collector with excellent music knowledge. He mostly prefers Progressive Music and discussion. Very humanistic, social and helpful oriented and bashful of being photographed. He’s a fantastic cook, specialised in Italian art of cooking. Father of a little son.



Alf Schulze – drums


Seems to look older than he really is. Brandenburgian. Nice, cheerful and open-minded. Still looking for the meaning of life. Eager to learn and ambitious. Always keeps his eyes and ears open for something new and much talented for keen nuances. Performs in different stylistic constellations from Classics to Metal. Hates borders, jazz police and the coolness of the Berlin scene. Recently he is as well father of a little son.



performances (choice)



Berlin Jewish Museum

Berlin Tanzwirtschaft Kaffee Burger

7. International Accordion Festival Vienna

Gera Schwarzebiernacht

Freiberg (SS) Tivoli

Darmstadt Schlossgrabenfest

Milano (Italien) Festival.

Limburg a.d.Lahn Festival

Belzig Altstadtsommer Festival

Kulturinsel Einsiedel Folklorum

Düsseldorf Mask off Festival

Berlin Kesselhaus CD release party!

Osnabrueck Deutsch-Russische_Kulturtage



Potsdam Archiv

Heidelberg Mediationskongress Universität Heidelberg

Berlin ICC

Berlin Tanzwirtschaft Kaffee Burger

Berlin Supamolly

Berlin Maschinenlhaus

Stadtmuseum Halle

Paderborn Hochstifttage, Rathausplatz

Bochum Kemnade International - Orient meets Occident, Wasserburg Haus Kemnade

Ratinger Kulturmeile, Marktplatz

Hattingen Hattinger Altstadtfest, Bühne Krämersdorf

Siegburg 10. Theater festival

Menden (Sauerland) Mendener Sommer

27. Gütersloher Sommer, Freilichtbühne Mohn’s Park

Kultursommer Kunst-Dünger

Brilon Open Air at the Marktplatz, Brilon

Unna Summertime, Stadtgarten

Schweiz: Steinhausen, bei Zürich

Waldstock Open Air Spektakel

Reichenstein Open Air

Micro! Festival für Weltmusik & internationales Strassentheater

Berlin Multikulti Völkerball, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Belzig Stadtfest, Mittelmeerstrasse

Berlin Konzertreihe "Junge Meister

Mannheim Theater

Magdeburg Feuerwache

Schweiz, Chur werkstatt

Schweiz, Basel wagenmeister

Schweiz, Winterthur kraftfeld

Schweiz, Zug chollerhalle



Bonn Kunst-und Austellungshalle (KAH)

St.Petersburg Klub Gribojedov

Stadtmuseum Halle

Hamburg Harburg

Potsdam Fussballfestival


Frankfurter Theaterfestival

Stockholm Midsummer fest

Eurofolkfest Ingelheim

Bonn MedienKulturNacht

Gera Schwarzbiernacht, Downtown

Berlin Werkstatt der Kulturen: Musica Vitale

Hamburg Studio CO2,

Bad Doberan Kornhaus

Rostock Rathauskeller

Düsseldorf Malkasten

Dresden Neue Mensa



Berlin Kaffee Burger

Berlin Party in Ministergärten

Jena Schwarzbiernacht

Dresden Parkhotel

Leipzig Zoo

Berlin Kietzer Fest Berlin-2003

Feldkirch-Österreich Pool Bar

Pegnitz Waldstok Festival

Nürnberg Festival

Linz Pflasterspektakel

Villach Festival

Herten Festival

Bruck an der Mur Festival


Frankfurt/Main Brotfabrik

Dresden Downtown

Weimar Zwiebelmarktfest

Giessen Domizil

Dessau Bauhaus

Magdeburg "Feuerwache"

Leipzig Moritz Bastei



Leipzig Kristall-Palais

Leipzig Moritz_Bastei

Berlin Kaffee Burger

Berlin Mudd-Club

Jena Rosenkeller

Lepzig Simphonie

Halle Objekt 5

Potsdam Al Globe

Offenbach ZAK Kulturkeller

Chemnitz Kraftwerk

Rostok JAZ

Erfurt Open-Air

Berlin Karnaval der Kultur

Jena Unifest, Rosenkeller

Leipzig Sport-Campusfestival

Berlin Kesselhaus, Fete de la Musique

Berlin Tempodrom, Fete de la Musique


Greifswald OpenAir

Hohenlobbese Open air with Freygang


Gera Schwarzbiernacht

Bismark Hotel 'Weisser Schwan'

Dessau Vollmondparty

Leipzig Unifest


... and so on till 1994 ...