Go_A: Ukrainian Folk Group

While studying abroad in Ukraine, I grew accustomed to watching a TV show called Vidbir on Sunday evenings. The name, Vidbir, refers to “selection” in Ukrainian, which is appropriate as the show itself selects who will represent Ukraine at Eurovision, an annual Europe-wide pop-music contest. This year, the 2020 season of Vidbir featured many good […]

Таras Коmpanichenkо / Тарас Компаніченко

Таras Коmpanichenkо (Тарас Компаніченко) is an influential Ukrainian singer-songwriter, recording artist, kobzar, banduryst (a player of the Ukrainian bandura), lutenist, lira player, and composer. Коmpanichenkо is an active participant in the Kobzar Guild (Kobzarskyi Tsekh) as well as the musical ensembles Chorea Kozacka (Хорея Козацька) and Sarmatica (Сарматика). He was an active participant in the […]

Mad Heads XL

Mad Heads XL (previously known as Mad Heads) is a Ukrainian rockabilly and ska group from Kyiv. The band has reached near-legendary status after four studio albums, constant touring, and frequent television appearances. Mad Heads is known internationally, as well, as the most prominent rockabilly band hailing from Eastern Europe. Mad Heads’ debut album, Psycholula, […]

Rosava / Росава

Rosava (Росава; real name Olena Yanchuk, Олена Янчук) is a contemporary Ukrainian folk, electronica, and pop singer. She has been on the scene since 2001, with varying degrees of popularity, and has recently had something of a resurgence, appearing in the top ten of Ukraine’s hit parades. Rosava grew up near Kyiv in a musical family. Her father […]

DakhaBrakha / ДахаБраха

DakhaBrakha (ДахаБраха) is a contemporary Ukrainian folk- and world-music quartet. They actually call themselves an “ethno-chaos group.” Its current members are Marko Halanevych (Марко Галаневич), Iryna Kovalenko (Ірина Коваленко), Olena Tsibulska (Олена Цибульська), and Nina Garenetska (Ніна Гаренецька). All sing and play a variety of traditional folk instruments. Unlike many other Ukrainian bands, they are very much […]

Vopli Vidopliassova / Воплі Відоплясова

Vopli Vidopliassova (Воплі Відоплясова) is a critically acclaimed Ukrainian rock band from Kyiv. Formed in 1986, the band’s unique blend of punk, folk, jazz, rock, and ska with traditional Ukrainian elements has won them international renown. To date, the band has toured extensively throughout much of the former Soviet Union, much of Western Europe, Israel, […]


ONUKA is a Ukrainian electro-pop group from Kyiv noted for their use of traditional Ukrainian folk instruments—predominantly the bandura (бандура) and the sopilka (сопілка)—in their arrangements. The band sings in both Ukrainian and English. Formed in 2013 by vocalist and songwriter Natalia, or Nata, Zhyzhchenko (Наталія Жижченко) and multi-instrumentalist and producer Yevgeny Filatov (Євген Філатов), the […]

Braty Hadyukini / Брати Гадюкiни

Braty Hadyukini (Брати Гадюкiни) is one of the most beloved Ukrainian bands from the close of the Soviet era. Their combining of rock, punk, funk, reggae, and blues with local Galician musical traditions and their willingness to experiment with the boundaries of genre has made a significant impact on the musical landscape of Ukraine. Similarly, the presence […]

Okean Elzi / Океан Ельзи

Okean Elzi (Океан Ельзи—note that this is the Ukrainian spelling) is a prolific Ukrainian rock band from Lviv. Formed in 1994, they have released nine studio albums since 1998, toured extensively throughout Ukraine, Russia, the majority of Europe, and North America, and are heralded today as one of the greatest rock bands of the former Soviet […]

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