Burdon Folk Band

Burdon, formed in 2002 in Lviv, is a great example of a band that preserves and promotes folk music, allowing a new generation of people to enjoy and cherish the music of their ancestors. “We’re using acoustic folk instruments for the best reproduction of atmosphere of old dances which didn’t […]

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Warsaw Village Band: Preserving the Folk Music Culture of Poland

“Presenting six young people who have created their own version of Polish folk punk! This band has found a welcome in the homes of elderly village musicians who see their traditions disappearing before the onslaught of urban life. They have taken these youngsters under their wing and have taught them […]

Maramaros: ‘The Lost Jewish Music of Transylvania’

“If the real Jewish music of Transylvania is gone, this disc makes sure it will not be forgotten.” – See more here.

Boyko Music: ‘At the Foot of the Carpathian Chain’

My paternal grandfather was born in the village of Lybokhora (Turka District), the “capital” of Boyko instrumental music. His parents, who were from the Sambir and Lviv regions, moved to this Carpathian village in the early 1900s to direct and teach at the local school. This is a picture from […]

Orkiestra św. Mikołaja: ‘From the High Field’

“Z wysokiego pola” (From the High Field) is one of my favorite songs by Orkiestra św. Mikołaja. The melody of the song is Hungarian, while the text is a Polish ballad from the region near Zamość— an ancestral land.  In the early nineteenth century my great 4x grandfather had an estate in Zalesie. […]

‘The Last Hutsul Musical Magician’

I bought my tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) from the Tafiychuks—a family of musicians and instrument makers that lives in the Carpathian Mountains. Mykhailo Tafiychuk, or “the Last Hutsul Musical Magician” as Cobblestone Freeway dubbed him in this article, makes many different ancient instruments such as the hurdy gurdy, tsymbaly, and duda (Ukrainian bagpipe). […]

Chornobyl Songs Project: Living Culture from a Lost World

Last month, Smithsonian Folkways released an album of ancient songs from the Chornobyl region, songs all but forgotten due to the nuclear disaster that wiped out the nearby villages. Fortunately, some of these songs have been preserved thanks to ethnomusicologist Yevhen Yefremov and Ensemble Hilka: “Under the musical direction of Yevhen Yefremov, an ethnomusicologist […]

Ukrainian Songs in the Third Wave Diaspora Community

In the diaspora I grew up singing certain Ukrainian folk songs, which I thought every Ukrainian in Ukraine knew, so I was surprised to find out that it wasn’t true. I grew up in a community made mostly of descendants of Galician immigrants and was a member of the scouting […]

‘Mamo’: Forgotten Song about Majdanek

We sing certain Ukrainian songs in the diaspora that are unknown or have been forgotten in Ukraine. I think the most powerful and saddest one is “Mamo.” It’s about a boy who during WWII was in the Majdanek concentration camp. (The camp was named after the Majdan Tatarski district in […]