Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club has responded to the war on Ukraine by adding another concert to its calendar this month – by west coast Ukrainian music ensemble Zeellia.
The show takes place March 25 at 8 p.m. PT. Tickets for the in-person event at Mel Lehan Hall at Vancouver’s St. James Community Square are $20 and available now at www.roguefolk.com
Tickets for the live stream will go on sale soon.
Born out of the Ukrainian cultural revival that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union; nurtured during Vancouver’s global music “golden age” in the early 90s; and recently revived in conjunction with a renewed fight to protect Ukrainian independence, Zeellia has been at the forefront of a global Ukrainian cultural renaissance for more than 30 years.
Founded in 1991 by Beverly Dobrinsky as a means to celebrate her musical roots, Zeellia is currently a quintet of three female vocalists and four instrumentalists—accordion, violin, bass and hurdy gurdy.
They weave a mystical spell singing and playing Slavic folksongs and dances from Ukraine, the Balkan and Baltic States, and the Canadian prairies. It is Slavic soul, rooted in the traditional with a contemporary edge, connecting the past with the present and the old country with the new.
For this concert in support of their brothers and sisters in Ukraine facing the horror of war, Zeellia will be performing all Ukrainian repertoire.
Zeellia’s most recent album, Tse Tak Bulo / That’s How it Was, was released in 2016 and is both beautifully reverent toward Ukrainian tradition and filled with vital new energy.
It includes field recordings from the ’90s featuring snippets of elders singing and talking, along with new arrangements and compositions based on old songs – featuring female voices with violin, accordion, bass and hurdy gurdy accompaniment.
The CD is both a historical document and an artistic statement.