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"Just like our New England weather, if you wait a minute the International String Trio will change it up. This local eclectic acoustic ensemble handles styles ranging from gipsy jazz to Appalachian folk, classical arrangements, and songs from movie soundtracks."- The Boston Globe, MA

International String Trio - New Program and the Old Hits!

True to its name, the International String Trio has honed an expansive repertoire embracing nearly a dozen styles from far-flung lands. Employing their instruments as passports, the adventurous triumvirate unlocks the doors to a global array of tunes drawn from jazz, folk, popular, classical, film and other sources.

Featuring Russian-born guitarist Slava Tolstoy, Czech violinist Jakub Trasak and American acoustic bassist Max Ridley, the IST's players embody its cosmopolitan aesthetic. The trio's riveting performances encompass a breathtaking range of styles, including Gypsy swing, old-time Appalachian laments, traditional Irish reels, celebratory klezmer, passionate tango, graceful French musette, and burning bluegrass. While steeped in jazz, they play intricately arranged music that leaves room for improvisation without focusing on it.

Recent performance highlights include a highly successful Northwest Tour, 3 appearances on the popular NPR show "Says You," performances at the Gypsy Jazz in Paradise Festival in Crested Butte, CO; Djangovegas Festival in Las Vegas, NV; Jazz on the Plazz Festival in Los Gatos, CA; Yoshi's San Francisco, San Jose Winter Jazz festival, Regattabar and Scullers Jazz Clubs in Boston, MA.

Slava Tolstoy - Guitar, Musical Director Slava's background includes studies of composition and guitar performance at St. Petersburg Jazz Conservatory, Russia. He received his Bachelor Degree in Contemporary Writing and Production from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, where he was a scholarship student. He founded the International String Trio in 1999 and developed a unique performance concept for the ensemble. Slava plays guitar in the group as well as does band leading and arranging. In addition to being an accomplished performer Mr. Tolstoy is also a songwriter and producer with several credits under his belt.

Jakub Trasak - Violin
Jakub began playing the violin at the age of 3 and before his fifteenth birthday, he recorded three solo CD's, performed hundreds of concerts, and appeared on television in the Czech republic, Slovakia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. He also attended the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp in Nashville, TN, where he studied with maestro Mark O' Connor himself, and other notable fiddlers. Mr. Trasak earned a violin and vocal diploma at the Conservatory of Jaroslav Jezek in Prague. In 2007, Trasak won a scholarship to Berklee where he studied with Alain Mallet, Jamey Haddad, Dave Samuels, and, Walter Beasley. In December 2009, Trasak won a competition to perform Mark O'Connor's Double violin concerto alongside O'Connor himself during the launch of Boston's American Roots Music Program.

Max Ridley - bass
Max is a Boston-based musician, composer and bass teacher. He has been fortunate enough to have shared the stage with renown jazz musicians, Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, George Garzone and Perico Sambeat. He has played in venues such as the Regatta Bar, Sculler's Jazz Club, the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After graduating high school he was awarded a full-tuition scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. He has also spent some time living in Valencia, Spain and considers it his second home as well as the other musical community to which he belongs. He currently is earning his master's degree the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and is a part of several local groups as a sideman, leader or co-leader. He performs and tours domestically and internationally.

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