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Gypsy Guerrilla Band: 'Kerobushka'

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The Gypsy Guerrilla Band

The Gypsy Guerrilla Band

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The Gypsy Guerrilla Band performs.

The Gypsy Guerrilla Band performs.

With a repertoire of songs from around the world, The Gypsy Guerrilla Band say they "think like gypsies in their range of cultural influences." Performing in costume, the band uses the hammered dulcimer, autoharp, kalimba and Irish whistle to play old-time, folk and ethnic music. "Kerobushka," a Russian folk melody and dance from the CD Ernie's Ottoman, showcases their fast-paced and high-spirited sound.

Jim Lilliquist, who plays the hammered dulcimer, started out as a jazz, rock, band and orchestral percussionist. From Des Plaines, Ill., he and Joyce Lilliquist, the band's autoharp player, have been married since 1974. Jim built his first hammered dulcimer in 1979, when he could no longer work as a Holiday Rambler RV salesman and manager, because his employer went out of business. The Gypsy Guerrilla band started playing at the Bristol Renaissance Faire near Kenosha, Wis., in 1983, the same year Joyce picked up the autoharp.

Starting with a few dozen tunes Jim learned from a hammered dulcimer book, the band's lineup now includes Irish, Scottish and English dances; Gypsy melodies; belly dance tunes; and, more recently, Welsh, French, Spanish and Balkan music. Antonio Albarran, the newest member of the band, plays the rhythm and bass line on an array of tuned hand-drums called dumb├ęks.



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