Artist Profiles: Bozhychi


Ukrainian folk ensemble Bozhychi was formed on January 7, 1999 The name of the group Bozhychi comes from the name of the pre-Christian God, which the Slavs called Bozhycha, who was the god of youth and caroling.

The ensemble performs authentic, ancient songs and dance-instrumental traditions, parts of which were preserved in the villages and farms of Ukraine, all of which are dying off with catastrophic speed. The main direction of activity of the ensemble- the scientific study of the Ukrainian village and the method of recording authentic folklore samples. The main focus over the past four years has been collection trips made on canoe expeditions along the rivers of Ukraine.

For the right to receive nationally funded, organizational help for the activities of young folklorists of Ukraine, members of the ensemble started the initial creation of The All Ukrainian Association of Young Ethnomusicologists. The ensemble actively works in association with the Ukrainian Parliament in the areas of youth politics, physical education, sports and tourism, in the name of the State Committee, and the Ministry of Ukrainian Transport.

In May 2002 in an associated project with the Center for Modern Art Dakh, Bozhychi performed their theater piece U Poshukakh Vtrachenoho Chasu (In Search of Lost Time) at the Wienner Festwochen festival in Vienna, Austria. At this festival, Bozhychi-Dakh received the theater grand prize Pektoral 21 for the best chamber theater piece, and as well the grand prize from the theater critics of Kyivan Rakhunok for the best theater piece of the year. In July 2003 Bozhychi performed their theater piece in Hungary, on theater festival in Capolch.

In 2005 the Group created own Theatre Perfomance ?Life Circle?, founded on Ukrainian traditions, songs and dances.

Since January 2001 Bozhychi initiated social advertising campaign that is called ‘Don’t let break off the ancestors’ voice! Musicians call to feel inside of every person the voice of the ancestors, to make free own consciousness from the influence of TV and pop culture and other reasons that litter human’s brain.

Since 1999 Bozhychi has become the most advanced and successful Ukrainian folk group. Discography contains 5 audio albums, 1 DVD book on Ukrainian traditional dances with CD (2 in 1).


Illya Fetisov – Chief, vocal, harmon, venka,
Susanna Karpenko – vocal, tambourine
Iryna Borysenko – vocal, tambourine
Maria Kudriavtseva – vocal
Hanna Arhipchuk – vocal
Valery Gladunets – vocal
Olga Karapata – vocal.


Rolled, oh, the clear star from the sky – Kotylasia, oy, yasna zoria z neba (2004)

From Kyiv to Jerusalem. Koliada Songs – Scho z Kyeva ta y do Rusaluma. Koliadnytski pisni (2005)

To Love Forever Is Not Enough. Songs About Love (2007)

Ukrainian Folk Dance. Part 1 (2009)

Psal’mas. Pomyshliayte, Chelovetsy (2009)


Guinean Bongo Sidibe to Present New Album Root Boy – Pon pon pon

Bongo Sidibe and The Tontons with Duniya Dance and Drum Company are set to perform on Friday, January 31, 2020 at Ashkenaz Music in Berkeley, California. Bongo Sidibe will present his new album titled Root Boy – Pon pon pon.

Bongo Sidibe is a traditional drummer and vocalist from Guinea Conakry in West Africa. Bongo Sidibe’s music is rooted in Guinean traditions as well as funk, Manding reggae, ragga and dancehall. He uses his music to send a message to the world about peace and community building.

Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702
Doors at 8:00 pm, Show at 8:30 pm

More at Ashkenaz


Sounds of Siberia at the Rubin Museum

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve
Rubin Museum, New York
January 10, 2020

What a terrific concert Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve gave at The Rubin Museum of Art (New York) on January tenth! The museum is dedicated to Himalayan art, and this concert, called Songs of Siberia, presented the music of Yakutia and the throat singing of Tuva, a republic within The Russian Federation bordering on Mongolia.

Ms. Krivoshapkinaalso played the khomus (a type of jaw harp), and both she and Mr. Choreve played a string instrument which I believe was an igil, with three strings.

To open, Ms. Krivoshapkina sang the in vocalese – no words, just a vowel sound. Her elegant gestures suggested a wide-wings bird.

For the next song, Ms. Krivoshapkina sang words, presumably Yakut. Mr. Choreve played an igil with a boat-shaped body (later in the concert, he’d switch to a doshpuluur lute with a rectangular body). His bowing was particularly interesting when he sang those prolonged vowel characteristic of throat singing. In other songs he plucked or picked the instrument.

Nachyn Choreve

Next, Mr. Choreve used an extraordinary technique in which he sang and simultaneously whistled. I wondered if the whistling was superimposed on the sound system. But no – both the singing and the whistling were functions of his breath phrases.

In a later song Ms. Krivoshapkina played the khomus. Holding the instrument with the left hand, she made lovely gestures with her right arm as she stroked the reed. She later played the khomus while making the sounds of birds – including shrieking like a barred owl. In another song, she imitated the sound of the wind. Absolutely marvelous!

Both musicians played the balalaika and sang a duet – including a call-response section. They sang in unison for a time. Mr. Choreve introduced a particularly beautiful song calling it a lament – it expressed poignant grief.

Mr. Choreve’s singing was more mellifluous than throat singing I’ve heard before. Ms. Krivoshapkina’s singing was more varied. Sometimes she sounded legit!

Sometimes these singers sang words but prolonged the vowels for so long that the words became inconsequential. They even prolonged the vowels between breath phrases. Many songs ended with a humorous tag – and one was sung so wildly staccato. We in the audience joined them in a call-response segment during the encore.

There were two weaknesses to the concert, neither the fault of the artists. The sound was distorted because of the echo from the sound system. And The Rubin – that terrific museum – gave us not a word of explanation about the songs.

Still, Sounds of Siberia was a rare and wonderful evening. The Rubin is to be congratulated!

More about Yuliyana Krivoshapkina and Nachyn Choreve


Artist Profiles: Nachyn Choreve

Nachyn Choreve

Nachyn Choreve was born in Tuva, a part of the Russian Federation. He is a soloist in the Tuvan State Philharmonic and founding member of Tuvan rock band Hartyga.

Nachyn stated touring as a professional musician at the age of 16.

Nachyn and his colleagues Salchak Orlan, Ondar Angyr-ool, Sergek Sandyk and Naiys Dulush enrolled in the Chyrgal-Ool Art College in Kyzyl in 2002. In the evenings and after their more traditional lessons, they got together and combined rock and jazz with Tuvan traditional music.

The group was initially called Iom, but later changed its name to Hartyga. As a member of Hartyga, Nachyn has collaborated with musicians throughout the world.

In 2020 he toured the United States as part of the Sounds of Siberia project together with Yakut khomus (jaw harp) master and throat singer Yuliyana Krivoshapkina.

Nachyn Choreve is a throat singer and also plays igil and doshpuluur.


Agitator (Sketis Music, 2018)


Artist Profiles: Yuliyana Krivoshapkina

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina

Yuliyana Krivoshapkina was born in Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic in northeastern Siberia, part of the Russian Federation.

Yuliyana is one of the finest performers of the khomus, which is the national instrument of the Yakut people. The khomus is a type of jaw harp that is traditionally used by shamans in Yakutia as a healing instrument. Yuliyana’s proficiency allows her to play around three octaves. The khomus is positioned in the musician’s mouth and plucked with the fingers to generate a sound that has a magnificently wide range and volume.

At the age of 7, Yuliyana obtained her grandmother’s khomus and her mother showed it how to play it. In 1991, the breakup of the Soviet Union, traditional customs s came back.

Yuliana went to college to learn music. She returned to the khomus whe she met her teacher, Albina Degtyarova. Albina is an eminent teacher and advocate of khomus music. She directed Yiliyana’s musical education and ecouraged her to become a member of Ayarkhaan, an award-winning Yakut vocal and khomus trio.

Albina also introduced Yuliyana to the throat-singing made 2400 kilometers (1,500 miles) south in the Republic of Tuva, also part of the Russian Federation.

Yuliyana won in the Ethnic Sound category at the Discovery International Music Pop Festival in Varna, Bulgaria. She has performed throughout Asia, Europe and the United States of America.

In 2019, Yuliyana joined celebrated Tuvan throat singers Chirgilchin on her first US tour. The involvement in this tour lead to the birth of a new project, Sounds of Siberia that brings together the traditional music of Sakha and Tuva.

Sounds of Siberia features Yuliyana on khomus and throat singing and Tuvan musician Nachyn Choreve (a member of Hartyga) on throat singing and string instruments.


Artist Profiles: Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention in 2019

Fairport Convention is an influential English folk rock and electric folk band. The group was created in 1967 and is widely regarded as the most important act in the English folk rock movement.

The group was started by bassist Ashley Hutchings and guitarist Simon Nicol who played in the Ethnic Shuffle Orchestra. They started Fairport Convention along with Richard Thompson on guitar and Shaun Frater on drums. Frater was soon replaced by Martin Lamble. Judy Dyble became their lead singer.

Early lineup of Fairport Convention

Folk singer Sandy Denny, who had recorded with Strawbs, replaced Judy in 1968. She recorded three albums with Fairport Convention; What We Did on Our Holidays (1969), Unhalfbricking (1969), and Liege & Lief (1969). Sandy left the band in late 1969 although she returned in 1974 for another two years.

The essential Fairport Convention album Liege & Lief is considered to have launched the electric folk or English folk rock movement which provided a distinctively English identity to rock music and helped awaken much wider interest in traditional music in general.

The large number of musicians and singer-songwriters who have been part of the band are among the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era and have gone on to participate in a large number of important bands or enjoyed important solo careers.

Since 1979 Fairport Convention has hosted the Cropredy Festival which is the largest such annual event in England.

Individually and collectively the members of Fairport Convention have received numerous awards recognizing their contribution to music and culture.

The group is still active and continues to record and tour.

The lineup in 2019 included Simon Nicol on guitar and vocals; Dave Pegg on bass; Chris Leslie on fiddle, mandolin and vocals; Ric Sanders on violin; and Gerry Conway on drums and percussion.


Fairport Convention (1968)
What We Did on Our Holidays (1969)
Unhalfbricking (1969)
Liege & Lief f (1969)
Full House (197)
Angel Delight (1971)
Babbacombe Lee (1971)
Rosie (1973)
Nine (1973)
Rising for the Moon (1975)
Gottle OGeer (1976)
The Bonny Bunch of Roses (1977)
Tipplers Tales (1978)
Gladys Leap (1985)
Expletive Delighted! (1986)
Red & Gold (1989)
The Five Seasons (1990)
Jewel in the Crown (1995)
Old New Borrowed Blue (1996)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (1997)
The Wood and the Wire (1999)
XXXV (2002)
Over the Next Hill (2004)
Sense of Occasion (2007)
Festival Bell (2011)
By Popular Request (2012)
Myths and Heroes (Matty Grooves, 2015)


Artist Profiles: Elba Ramalho

Elba Ramalho

Elba Ramalho was born on August 17, 1951 in Conceição, in the state of Paraíba, Brazil. Elba began to get involved with performing arts influenced by her father, a musician. Growing up in northeastern Brazil, she soon learned rhythms such as baião, maracatu, xote, frevo, pastoril, caboclinhos and forró, all very popular and traditional in that region.

Elba Ramalho began her musical career playing drums in the all-female ensemble “As Brasas.”

Elba is one of the greatest artists of Brazil. Her shows cover all audiences in large theaters, arenas, jazz festivals, forró festivals, carnivals, and rock festivals.

She has won various Latin Grammys and Awards of Brazilian Music.


Ave de prata (Epic, 1979)
Capim do vale (Epic, 1980)
Elba (Epic, 1981)
Alegria (Ariola, 1982)
Coração brasileiro (Ariola, 1983)
Fogo na mistura (Ariola, 1984)
Do jeito que a gente gosta (Ariola, 1985)
Remexer (Ariola, 1986)
Elba (Ariola, 1987)
Fruto (Ariola, 1988)
Popular brasileira (Ariola, 1989)
Ao vivo (Ariola, 1990)
Felicidade urgente (Ariola, 1991)
Encanto (Ariola, 1992)
Devora-me (Ariola, 1993)
Paisagem (BMG, 1995)
Leão do Norte (BMG, 1996)
Grande encontro (BMG, 1996)
Grande encontro 2 (BMG, 1997)
Baioque, RCA, 1997)
Flor da Paraíba (BMG, 1998)
Solar (BMG , 1999)
O grande encontro 3 (BMG, 2000)
Cirandeira (BMG, 2001)
Elba canta Luiz (BMG, 2002)
Elba ao vivo (BMG, 2003)
Elba e Dominguinhos ao vivo (BMG, 2005)
Qual o Assunto Que Mais Lhe Interessa? (Ramax, 2007)
Balaio de Amor (Biscoito Fino, 2009)
Marco Zero Ao Vivo (Biscoito Fino, 2010)
Vambora Lá Dançar ‎(Sala De Som Records, 2013)
Do Meu Olhar Pra Fora ‎(Coqueiro Verde, 2015)
Cordas, Gonzaga E Afins ‎(Coqueiro Verde, 2015)
O Grande Encontro 20 Anos (Sony Music, 2016)
O Ouro Do Pó Da Estrada (Deck, 2019)


Afro Futurists Onipa to release Debut Album We No Be Machine

Onipa – We No Be Machine

Rising Afro futurist act Onipa is set to release We No Be Machine on Strut Records in March 2020. The album contains Afro grooves, electronics and high energy.

Onipa means ‘human’ in Akan, the ancient language of the Ashanti people of Ghana. The group is a collaboration between long-time friends KOG (Kweku of Ghana of KOG and the Zongo Brigade) and Tom Excell (MD, guitarist and writer of jazz and soul afrobeat band Nubiyan Twist).

The 4 piece live show features KOG on vocals, balafon and percussion; Tom Excellon guitar, percussion and electronics; Dwayne Kilvington (Wonky Logic) on synths; and MPC and Finn Booth (Nubiyan Twist) on drums.


Folk Alliance International Announces 2019 Artist, Song, and Album of the Year

The Small Glories.

Folk Alliance International (FAI) revealed last night the winners of the 2019 International folk Music Awards. The winner in the Artist of the Year category is The Small Glories.

The Small Glories is an americana and traditional folk music group from Winnipeg, Canada. The duo includes Cara Luft on vocals, guitar and banjo and JD Edwards on vocals and guitar. The band’s first album was “Wondrous Traveler” (2016). Their second album “Assiniboine & the Red” (Red House Records) came out in 2019.

Amythyst Kiah

Song of the Year goes to ‘Black Myself’ by Amythyst Kiah from the album “Songs Of Our Native Daughters” by Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways, 2019).

Mavis Staples

And the Album of the Year is “We Get By” by Mavis Staples.

Mavis Staples – We Get By

Every year, Folk Alliance members vote for the winner of each category based on nominees selected from multiple top folk DJ charts around the world.

More about Folk Alliance International


Artist Profiles: AfroCubism

Eliades Ochoa with Afrocubism in Raleigh, 2012 – photo by Angel Romero

AfroCubism was an ensemble of up to 14 master musicians from West Africa and Cuba brought together by the producer of Buena Vista Social Club.

The group included Eliades Ochoa (Cuba), guitarist and Buena Vista Social Club star; kora maestro Toumani Diabaté (Msali); legendary guitarist Djelimady Tounkara (Mali); balafon wizard Fode Lassana Diabaté (Guinea); ngoni virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate (Mali); José Ángel Martínez on acoustic bass (Cuba); Jorge Maturell (Cuba) on congas, bongos, cowbell; Onsel Odit (Cuba) on backing vocals and rhythm guitar; and Eglis Ochoa (Cuba) on maracas, güiro, backing vocals.


The ensemble released the album AfroCubism in 2010 on World Circuit Records.


Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion