Romashka Musicians

Inna | Ron | Ben | Stevhen | Ljova | Jeff | Timothy | Jake |
Joey | Others

Inna Barmash (vocals) immigrated to the United States from Lithuania, where she first started singing in Yiddish and Russian. She co-founded the Princeton-based band Klez Dispensers, and has performed with numerous other klezmer and other eastern-european groups in the tri-state area. Hailed as the "Balkan Edith Piaf" (Rootsworld), she has led the band in rediscovering and presenting the repertoire of Russian and Romanian gypsies and Russian pre-war music.

Ron Caswell (tuba) Born a pauper in the municipality of Trenton, NJ, Ron Caswell escaped his cultural abyss to attend the Mannes College of Music. He's performed on tuba with The New York City Opera, Little Orchestra Society, Our State Fair (Broadway), Flying Karamazov Brothers, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars and too many more to mention. Ron has also co-produced salsa records with Martin Arroyo and has performed with numerous Latin bands playing trumpet and tuba. He plays bass in numerous rock projects including the underground East Village rock sensation Janet Vodka.

>>Ron Caswell's website

Ben Holmes (trumpet)Trumpeter, composer, and arranger Ben Holmes moved to NYC in 2001 and quickly became an in-demand performer in the Jazz, Klezmer, and Balkan music scenes. The Klez Dispensers' album "New Jersey Freylekhs", featuring several of Ben's compositions and arrangements, was released in early 2004. Ben also recorded for the soundtrack of the movie "School of Rock"
and appeared on HBO's "Sex & the City" as a member of the Klezmatics.

Ben currently performs with the Klez Dispensers, One Ring Zero, Slavic Soul Party, Romashka, as well as his own and other people's jazz groups.

Stevhen Iancu (accordian, vocals, fire)the Japanese Romanian British immigrant, perhaps the only fire-breathing accordionist with a cooking show in Brooklyn has slung fish, chicken and muzik together and created a back drop for demented stories of the kitchen, murderers, mental patients, drunken crazies, transvestites and
others that have fallen into the Dolomites' stew. Stevhen supported the "sMeLL the Muzik!" campaign on five National Dolomites' Tours filling and entertaining the bellies of the starving audiences at colleges, bars, clubs and theaters. He has also worked with the likes of Boston's tent revivalists Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs as well as scored muzik for several different Puppet Theaters in Portland, Detroit and L.A. , and muzik for Will Vinton Studios (creators of the infamous California Raisins). Stevhen's fourth release for the Dolomites, "DaRumanian Chophouse" fuses Japanese Pop ,
Romanian , gypsy, and folk with songs about food and philosophy.

Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin (viola, blue violin)Ljova (a.k.a. Lev Zhurbin) was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1978, and reared in a musical household. His father, Alexander Zhurbin, is Russia's foremost composer of film scores and musicals; his mother, Irena Ginzburg, is a poet, journalist, and an avid singer.

Ljova moved to Manhattan in 1990 and was educated at The Juilliard School, as well at the many clubs and diverse affairs at which he has performed. Presently, he divides his time between composing original music for films and media, arranging music for ensembles like Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project and the Kronos Quartet, as well as eagerly colllaborating with Romashka. Ljova's website is at (pictured here playing recycled tennis rackets from Ken Butler's studio)

Jeff Perlman (clarinet, alto saxophone) has been charming audiences with klezmer music since starting his first band in 1995, while still a high school student.
He was an integral part of the Yale Klezmer
for four years (1997-2001) as well as a founding member of the Wandering Jews Traveling Klezmer Band with whom he toured across North America on the Big Schlepp tour in the Summer of 2001. Lately, Jeff has been focusing his attention on learning the living musical traditions of Eastern Europe, particularly from Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. He has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe (and the Eastern European parts of NYC) collecting and recording traditional music in its native context,
and he twice participated in Klezfest Ukraine.

Today Jeff lives in Brooklyn and can be seen performing regularly with the Village Klezmer Quintet, Romashka Gypsy Collective, Klez Que C'est?, KlezSka, and others.

Timothy Quigley (percussion) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer living in Brooklyn. Known for his versatility, Timothy is accomplished in playing the western drum set as well as congas, doumbek, def, riq, tapan and frame drums. Timothy's eclectic sound
and abilities have led to recording and performing with such talents as Jon Birdsong, Smokey Hormel, Doug Wieselman, Frank London, Rashid Halilal, Alan Ginsburg, Ron Miles, Chata Addy, Charming Hostess, and PECTOPAH. He has also worked as a composer and session musician for modern dance, film and television, including the films Trans and Kingpin, and the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Recent CD releases include rf's interno, Adam Good's Dances of Macedonia and the Balkans, Dan Cantrell's soundtrack for the documentary Divided Loyalties, and the Pickpocket Ensemble's If I Were a Highway. Besides Romashka, currently Timothy performs with the Jessica Lurie Ensemble, Sukunet, The Zagnut Circus Orkestar, Sheqer and Argentine.

Timothy's website

Jake Shulman-Ment (violin) is proficient in many styles,
including klezmer, Rom, Greek, Celtic, classical and jazz.
Jake has studied klezmer violin with Alicia Svigals, the violinist from
The Klezmatics, since 1997. He has studied classical violin with internationally renowned concert artist Gerald Beal, and currently studies with acclaimed teacher Joey Corpus. Jake was the founder and musical director of the professional teenage group the Klezminors, as well as co-founder of the Village Klezmer Quintet, and Romashka. Along with his extensive performances in the New York metropolitan area, Jake has traveled throughout Greece collecting and documenting traditional folk music. He currently resides in Manhattan, where he studies at New York University.

Joey Weisenberg (mandolinist/guitarist) is a versatile musician who has worked in many different musical settings and genres, including klezmer, swing, blues, flamenco, choro, classical, and contemporary composition. At the age of twelve, he began performing as a harmonica player and guitarist in blues bars in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Besides Romashka, Joey also plays mandolin and guitar in the Village Klezmer Quintet. He was the musical director for the 12-piece Columbia Klezmer Band, of Columbia University, where he completed his B.A. with a major in music. Joey is also a talented accompanist, backing up Lithuanian singer Marija Krupoves, as well as his father, flamenco guitarist Bob Weisenberg. He has studied and learned from teachers such as Barry Mitterhoff, Andy Statman, Mike Rupsch, Jeff Warschauer, and Howard Alden. Joey enjoys teaching Jewish music at the Tikvah Program, a Hebrew school for developmentally disabled children, as well as teaching private lessons on the guitar and mandolin to students of all ages.

Other great musicians who have performed with us:

Adrian Banner, Taylor Bergren-Crisman, Katy Cox, Travis DiRuzza, Avi Fox-Rosen,Matt Moran, Aron Gershman, Adam Good, Alina Lerman, Frank London, Greg Mervine, Reuben Radding, Marcus Rojas, George Rush,
Seido Salifoski, Maria Sonevytsky, Jason Sypher, Take Toriyama, Jay Vilnai,
Megan Weeder, Amy Zakar