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World Music Show Spotlight: Music from Ukraine

Ukraine Flag-peace
A good way to bring the people of Ukraine a bit closer is by listening to their music, because music is an amazing bridge that connects us all. (Photo-Pixabay)

A good way to bring the people of Ukraine a bit closer is by listening to their music, because music is an amazing bridge that connects us all. 

Over the past few weeks, and well, really over the past few years, I’ve tried to highlight more music from countries in eastern Europe. It’s not that I was neglecting these beats, but rather it was hard to get selections from there that fit snugly into the World Music Show, with a lot of being old world style folk music–not that anything’s wrong with that style. 

So, to send love to the Ukrainian people and to bridge the gap, here’s some selections of music, heard on previous World Music Shows. 

Special thanks, by the way, to Dan Rosenberg, Radio producer and presenter on shows like Cafe International, Afropop Worldwide and other programs for sending me some music too. He was working on a Rough Guide to Ukrainian music until the founder of that series passed away. Thanks also to the music blog Beehype, for also putting together some music too.

Tik Tu & Madalitso Band - Sitimamenya

According to Beehype: “After listening to the Madalitso band for a while, guys from Tik Tu decided to send them an email with gratitude for their music and… offer a collaboration. Little did they know that soon enough this will turn into a borderless creative process.

That’s how the ‘Sitimamenya’ song was created. It tells a story about educating misbehaved children with a piece of advice instead of getting physical. Taking off from the Madalitso’s song, Tik Tu managed to add plenty of new sounds, instruments and even a Ukrainian verse to it.

Tik Tu as a band started out in 2014 and are known for mixing electronic and instrumental sound. Imagine it as a combination of samplers, flute, violin, drums and many other sounds, while listening to the lyrics in three languages (English, Ukrainian and Lithuanian).”

It’s a great song, which I’ve played number times on the World Music Show.


“Antarktyda” is a collaboration with a Ukrainian Antarctic Station - Vernadsky Research Base dedicated to its 25th anniversary. In the beginning of autumn I wrote a message to the National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine with an idea of creating a music video for my latest song," says Postman. It's a magical song.


I just love this song!

Hudaki Village Band - Gudaky (sing for a wall of steel faces)

Dan Rosenberg writes that the nine-piece Hudaki Village Band regularly performed at the EuroMaidan demonstrations back in 2013-2014. They hail from the Ukrainian Carpathians and “are the masters of the alchemy of musical-vibrating happiness. In 17 years of performing in hundreds of festivals and concert halls across Europe, the band has learned to make their archaic, night-time moments of happiness accessible to the uninitiated.”

DakhaBrakha - Monakh

DakhaBrakha is a world-music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Dan writes that the band reflects the  fundamental elements of sound and soul, and creates a world of unexpected new music.

DakhaBrakha was created in 2004 at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art. “Having experimented with Ukrainian folk music, the band has added rhythms of the surrounding world into their music, thus creating bright, unique and unforgettable image of DakhaBrakha. It will help to open up the potential of Ukrainian melodies and to bring it to the hearts and consciousness of the younger generation in Ukraine and the rest of the world as well.”

Lemon Bucket Orkestra - Freedom

The band of Ukrainians actually comes from Canada which Dan says has one of the largest Ukrainian communities in the world, with 1.4 million people of Ukrainian descent (which is even larger than the 1 million in the USA).  “Lemon Bucket Orkestar is a Toronto-based ensemble that plays music from across Eastern Europe. One of the lead singer, Marichka Marczyk is from Ukraine (and I just heard some terrible news, she posted on Facebook on March 3rd that one of her family members was killed in a bombing just outside of Kyiv).”


Перкалаба - Тікобивиходили / Perkalaba - Tikobyvyxodyly

Dan says the band Perkalaba is named after a tiny Hutzul-village in the Carpathian mountains, “which is their musical Zion, they mix all kinds of music of the Ukrainian regions with punk and ska-elements to an energetic Hutzul-Ethno-Ska. It's their freaky show, the charismatic singer and their joy of playing what fascinates the audience even at extended two and a half hours gigs. Moreover, the band is always full of nonsense, so spontaneous unplugged sessions at all imaginable places are one of their peculiarities.”





Ian M. Stewart is the transportation reporter and fill-in anchor for VPM News.