Tag Archives: Ukraine

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)


Artist Profiles: Roksana Vikaluk

Roksana Vikaluk

Although a native Ukrainian, Roksana Vikaluk lives since years in Poland where she found a creative atmosphere to realize herself in music. With her crystal voice and musical performance she is well respected in the Polish music scene. Roksana has performed at many musical contests and festivals works with many musicians. Remarkable is her cooperation with famous Polish artist Jozef Skrzek from the legendary SBB progressive rock group.

The music of Roksana Vikaluk is very inspired by the Ukrainian culture and its ancient tradition even from pagan times. The old Ukrainian tunes became modern. They are arranged and performed with the help of modern electronic equipment.

In her live shows Roksana sings and plays Ukrainian, Tatar, Jewish and Polish folk themes as well her own compositions in similar style. The combination of early Slavonic folk songs (some of them came even from XIII century) with contemporary, sometimes dark electronic sound, brings the unordinary atmosphere. The music is also attractive to progressive rock fans who are looking for mostly complicated and sophisticated tunes.

In 2002, Jazz Forum Records released the first album by Roksana Vikaluk Quintet called Mizrah with jazz oriented music in eastern style. Barwy / Colours and was recorded during her solo concert in Morąg in July 2005. She sings and plays keyboards. She is the only musician on this album. She also wrote some of the compositions, the other are Ukrainian traditional tunes.


Mizrah – (Jazz Forum Records, 2002)
Barwy (2005)
Jaskółka (2010)
Drzewo Światów (2010)


Artist profiles: Haydamaky


The Haydamaky began their career in 1991 shortly after Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union. At that time the band was known as Aktus and played mostly local gigs in the underground Kyiv (Kiev) music scene. In the absence of a fertile popular local music scene Aktus turned to the sounds of reggae, ska and punk music for a fresh alternative.
The group was also attracted to the political effect that these genres had on their society. The idea that through music significant social change is possible gave greater purpose to the performance of such musical styles. The discovery of these musical genres later became the key to their own realization of a specifically Ukrainian musical style. Haydamaky’s hope is to forge an inherently Ukrainian popular music style which looks back on its own heritage and traditions as a source for inspiration.

With the addition of sopilka-vocalist Olexandr Yarmola and accordionist Ivan Lenko, both well-known and respected in folk circles the band increasingly incorporated elements of Ukrainian folk music into their compositions.

Since the early 1990s Aktus had engaged in constant touring of Europe. Unlike most popular Ukrainian music groups who propagate Soviet style estrada or copies of Western and American styles Aktus sought to introduce elements of Ukrainian folk music through a cross-cultural mix including reggae and ska.

As of early 2003 the group was discovered in Kyiv (Kiev) by EMI International Records out of London England and was immediately signed contractually to their label. At that time the band realized it was time to establish an even firmer tie to their own culture and changed their name to Haydamaky in honor of the historical Haydamaky rebellion/revolution which took place in Ukraine in the 18th century. This rebellion was a reaction of Ukrainian peasants and serfs against repressive foreign occupation.

The band’s second album is Boguslav. This time the group searched even deeper into Ukrainian folk music for material ideas and textures. The ensemble invited violinist Vasyl Hekker perhaps the foremost authority on authentic Ukrainian folk violin style to collaborate on the project. Also bandurist-guitarist Jurij Fedynskyj of New York (USA) relocated to Kyiv to join the ensemble. Since the recording of the first album and till now Haydamaky collaborated with almost every well known Ukrainian folk music musician of older generations.

The music of Haydamaky is inspired by ethnic musics from various regions of Ukraine such as Polissya Bukovyna and Zakarpathia which includes the Gypsy and Jewish tradition along with pure Ukrainian. Other influences include the punk music of the early Pogues and by the reggae of such bands like Burning Spear and Black Uhuru.

The Haydamaky at present are:

Olexandr Jarmola – vocal sopilka
Ivan Leno – accordion zimbaly keyboards
Ruslan Trochinskyj – trombone
Olexandr Dem-anenko – guitars mandolin
Wolodymyr Sherstiuk – bass drymba
Ruslan Ovras – drums percussion
Eugen Goryslawskyj – trumpet
Wlad Grymalskyj – sound engineer live dub mixing

Additional musicians:

Natalka Sebina – vocals
Maria Firsowa – vocals
Jurij Fedynskyj – bandura
Wasyl Gecker – violin


Haydamaky (EMI)
Boguslav (EMI)
No More Peace (2013)



Ukrainian Flugery Lvova Festival Reveals 2017

Ukrainian spring music festival Flugery Lvova will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year. Flugery Lvova will take place April 29-May 1, 2017 at the patio of Lviv City Council in western Ukraine. The festival features a wide range of musical genres, including world music, jazz, blues, rock, ska, reggae, electronic and experimental music. The international festival will present acts from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Ireland.

The 2017 program includes:

Saturday, April 29th
5:30 p.m.
Propala Hramota (Ukraine)
Lemko Bluegrass Band (Ukraine)
Bria Blessing with Schockolad accompanied by the chamber orchestra (Ukraine-Poland)
Familia Perkalaba (Ukraine)

Sunday, April 30th
10:00 a.m.
Waking up with “Krykhitka” band (Ukraine)
6:00 p.m.
Torban (Ukraine)
Yurodny world-music band (Ireland)
GrozovSka Band (Ukraine)
Gutsul Calipso (Ukraine)

Monday, May 1st
5:00 p.m.
Royalkit (Ukraine)
Siostry Lotry (Poland)
Tik Tu (Ukraine)
Flop (Hungary)
QARPA (Ukraine)

Website: dzyga.com/flugery/en/