Ethno-chaos from Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine


…their performance maintains the energy and joy that define their music, bouncing off each other musically and emotionally. DakhaBrakha aims to keep Ukraine's musical and storytelling tradition alive by making it more accessible to a younger, international audience, a kind of self-proclaimed "ethno-chaos.”
Tiny Desk NPR

DakhaBrakha is a world music quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine. Reflecting fundamental elements of The Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha calls itself "ethno-chaos." Over the past decade, this Ukrainian-folk-meets-punk group has brought their music to audiences around the world. For years, DakhaBrakha has called themselves "ambassadors of free Ukraine." Their shows have been punctuated with cries of "Stop Putin!" and "No war!" Now, they hear those demands reflected and amplified around the world. 

This quartet's name means "give/take" in old Ukrainian — and that's exactly what they do. Cabaret, jazz, rock and hip-hop are all part of the band's DNA. But they also explore all kinds of old Ukrainian folk styles, fed through the prism of the 21st century.

When DakhaBrakha first hit the international scene about a decade ago, they wore unforgettable tall, angular hats and rich costumes that evoked an array of Ukrainian ethnic styles. Their music was fierce, exuberant and understitched with humor. They were playful. 

But for this current tour, the group has had to take on a far more serious and urgent tone. Halanevych says the band hopes their audiences understand the need for that shift.  As it turns out, the band had no reason to worry about the American audience's response. At the end of a recent show, the audience stood — and some sang along — as the band sang the Ukrainian national anthem. 

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Photo Credits

Site-wide photography by the inimitable:
Julian Parker-Burns
Home page image by:
Alyssa Pratt 
Additional photos by:
Kim C-G
Henry Amistadi
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