SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After garnering the support of Music Haven aficionados in 2016, Ukraine-based DakhaBrakha is scheduled to return to Schenectady’s Central Park on Thursday, August 4, at 7 p.m. Performing now for the glory of its home country, the band’s new concert is labeled a Tribute to Ukraine.
With its second visit, “traveling the world one concert at a time” becomes, “not just a joy,” says Producing Artistic Director Mona Golub, “but a responsibility, too. Meaningful cultural exchange involves crossing borders, breaking down barriers, and celebrating our shared humanity, through good as well as challenging times.”
DakhaBrakha member Nina Garenetska, in a heartbreaking interview with the New York Times in early March, told reporter Laura Van Straaten, “This is our life now: An air raid siren goes off- you go downstairs, you wait, you go back up. And this is nonstop. When it is too dangerous, we will run to the bomb shelter.”
Hailing from Kyiv, DakhaBrakha- which translates as “give/take” in an old Ukrainian tongue- freely marries ethereal Eastern European vocal traditions with overt theatricality, striking headwear, and bright costumes to create a uniquely proud, unexpected, and dazzling “ethnic chaos.” Launched in 2004 by stage director Vladyslav Troitskyi, and accompanying themselves with traditional Indian, Arabic, African, and Australian instrumentation, the quartet of Garenetska, Marko Halanevych, Iryna Kovalenko, and Olena Tsybulska’s powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture.
Korinya- which contextualizes the Ukrainian village band tradition with modern life in the ever-widening diaspora- will open the program. An inspiring Tribute to Ukraine candlelight vigil will immediately follow the DakhaBrakha performance. Once Music Haven volunteers and friends have shared the ceremonial flame with all those gathered, words of hope and prayer will be offered from the stage, followed by the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem.
A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at all Music Haven shows, starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday nights and throughout festivals and special events. International offerings from Ukraine will be available for purchase during DakhaBrakha’s performance, including pierogies and kielbasa. All proceeds from the international food sales will go to local Ukrainian refugees through the Ukrainian-American Cultural Center.