Kukuruza is a Russian band who progressed from a student startup to become an international touring act in the early 1990s. In 1994, the Chicago Tribune said they were "among the top country groups of Eastern Europe and Russia". That same year, they performed their bluegrass-influenced music before the genre's founder, Bill Monroe, at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. As of 2013, they were the only Eastern European group to play at the Opry. Their repertoire includes a mix of music, from Russian folk to American bluegrass, to country-rock, rock-and-roll and blues. The band toured the United States six times from 1991 to 1994. They have performed country and bluegrass-influenced music longer than any other Russian group, with a total of 15 albums over 30 years, 3 in the United States and 12 more in Russia. The band is still active, but with a different lineup of performers than they had in the mid-1980s and 1990s when they rose to international prominence. In 2010 they played at the Montreux Jazz Festival.The band's name КукурузА is the Russian word for popcorn. Years after the founding, the story of taking the name has been lost, as different members remember different things. The name wasn't meant to imply corny or funny, however. It was a serious name that implied that the band had many flavors, just as corn has many flavors, depending upon where it is grown.