Crowds Turn Out for Ukrainian Musicians DakhaBrakha

By the edhat staff

Ukrainian musicians DakhaBrakha drew a large crowd to the Granada Theatre last week hosted by UCSB Arts & Lectures in association with Direct Relief, UCSB Department of Music, and UCSB Multicultural Center.

Before the show a cultural celebration of Ukraine took place outside the theatre as part of Downtown Santa Barbara’s 1st Thursday Arts Walk. Led by former Arts & Lectures (A&L) programmer Roman Baratiak, crowds delighted in music by banura player Siuzanna Iglidan and a dance performance by the Ukrainian Arts Center of Southern California.

Local nonprofit Direct Relief also set up a booth accepting donations to help aid the country’s residents in the ongoing war with Russia. Direct Relief has deployed more than 950 tons of medical aid and $20 million in financial assistance to Ukraine since the war broke out.

DakhaBrakha is a world music quartet from Kyiv blending traditional Ukrainian songs with intense theatricality and driving percussion. They embrace indie rock, pop, hip hop, and avant-garde traditional instrumentation from their folklore roots.

Inside the packed Granada Theatre, DakhaBrakha prompted raucous cheers from the audience as text was displayed on the screen behind them addressing Russia’s invasion. Some messages stated “No War, Stop Putin” and “Russia is a Terrorist State.”

Ukrainian dancers outside the Granada Theatre (Photo: David Bazemore)

The group was formed in 2004 at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art “DAKH” by avant-garde theater director Vladyslav Troitskyi and given the name that means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language. The current members are  Marko Halanevych (vocals, darbuka, tabla, didgeridoo, accordion, trombone), Iryna Kovalenko (vocals, djembe, bass drums, accordion, percussion, buhay, zhaleika, piano), Olena Tsybulska (vocals, bass drums, percussion, garmoshka) and  Nina Garenetska (vocals, cello, bass drum).

In March 2010, DakhaBrakha won the prestigious Grand Prix prize named after Sergey Kuriokhin, in the sphere of contemporary art. In March 2011 DakhaBrakha was discovered by Australian Womadelaide and began their ascent in the international music scene.

They have since played more than 300 concerts and performances and have taken part in major international festivals throughout Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia and North America. DakhaBrakha has also collaborated with such international musicians as: Port Mone, Kimmo Pohjonen Cluster, Karl Frierson (DePhazz), Steve Cooney, Inna Zhelannaya, Kievbass, Djam and David Ingibaryan. 

 Siuzanna Iglidan (Photo: David Bazemore)

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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