Jimi has returned from his latest concert tour of Russia.
This trip included a visit to and performance at Russia's first Malt Whisky distillery near the city of Saransk, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. (located one-and-a-half hour flight time SE of Moscow)
Jimi was also on duty as a piper and top table speaker at the Caledonian Society of Moscow's annual 'Burns Supper' on the anniversary of the birth of famous Scottish bard, Robbie Burns. The evening doubled as a tribute to the great Russian scholar and friend of Scotland, Dimitry Fedosov who sadly passed away after a short illness at the New Year.
Dimitry was a leading light in the Caledonian Society of Moscow for many years. He leaves behind a collection of acclaimed scholary and highly readable academic work detailing the many Scots who played important roles in shaping Tsarist Russian history, including 'soldier of fortune' Patrick Gordon from Aberdeenshire who became right hand man and military advisor to Peter the Great.
Jimi took the floor to entertain guests with a selection of stirring Scottish tunes on his bagpipes. He performed the traditional 'address to the haggis', (translated into Russian for the audience by Vitaly Mironov) and also joined well known Moscow band Grenada on stage for a rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne', 'Whisky in the Jar' and 'Flower O' Scotland'. Video footage of Jimi and Grenada performing the latter can be viewed here:
Jimi then headed to the city of Omsk in Siberia where he teamed up with popular Italian classical singer, 'the Voice of Venice' himself - Luca Minnelli, Chinese Soprano Ding Yao and Chinese pop star Wang Hao for a week long series of concerts to mark the finale of the 'Workers and Musicians Solidarity Against the Cancellation of Russian Culture' festival. The festival had been running since the start of November with sold out concerts in Ryazan Oblast, Pskov, Moscow, Samara, Pskov Oblast and Kaliningrad.
Jimi said the concerts in Omsk and surrounding area were huge successes with local folk musicians, classical singers and the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra participating and contributing to the success. "I'd also like to thank the organisers who worked so hard to ensure everything ran smoothly" added Jimi.
Here's a video of Luca performing two well known and much loved Italian songs with a traditional Siberian folk ensemble during a particularly memorable performance.
Jimi joined Luca on stage for a stunning rendition of the classic song 'Moscow Nights'. Luca is currently recording a new album and he hopes to have Jimi piping on several songs. "He's a great guy. We get on very well" added Jimi.
Check out the pics below from just some of the Omsk performances. Salute!