Texas Swing Takes On Russia

The Quebe Sisters Band performing on Wednesday night at Spaso House.

While anti-American politics may have gripped Russia as of late, a Texas swing band armed with fiddles and cowboy hats is still getting a warm reception.

The Quebe Sisters Band from Fort Worth are currently touring the country, having performed in Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg and Chelyabinsk. On Wednesday night, Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe together with guitarist Joey McKenzie and bassist Gavin Kelso charmed U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul and his guests at Spaso House, the ambassador's residence.

The mix of hot jazz, vintage country and fiddle swing roused McFaul and his wife, Donna Norton, to take to the dance floor in front of a crowd that included Federation Council Senator Mikhail Margelov and several ambassadors.

Grace Quebe told The Moscow Times afterward that while the band's reception had been "fantastic" across the country, the Spaso crowd was the first to dance. "They later asked us whether they should have danced," she said about the others.

As a gesture for good relations despite the recent ban on U.S. adoptions, the band had planned to visit an orphanage in Yekaterinburg. They had to cancel, however, when it turned out that they could not get a necessary permit. "We sent them medication instead," Quebe said.

The adoption dispute was exacerbated after the death of Max Shatto, a Russian-born child who died suddenly in Ector County, Texas, in January.

The Quebe sisters' tour is part of a traditional American music festival that will bring blues trio Modern Blues Masters and conjunto group Los Texmaniacs to the country in April and May.

The sisters' farewell concert is this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Dom music hall at 24 Bolshoi Ovchinnikovsky Pereulok. For more info, see dom.com.ru/events/2259.

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