Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Ukraine’s DakhaBrakha to infuse controlled, rhythmic chaos into world music concert April 4 at Schwab

Folk-punk-world music quartet DakhaBrakha will transcend language barriers with a performance of the band’s self-described style of “ethno-chaos” in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in Schwab Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $34 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $24 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

The Kiev, Ukraine-based group—featuring vocalist-musicians Olena Tsybulska, Iryna Kovalenko, Nina Garenetska and Marko Halanevych—performs traditional folk songs from its homeland, including the music of funeral and wedding rituals. But the multi-instrumentalists often incorporate Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian instruments into their rhythmic, hypnotic and percussion-heavy performances.

“Every song has a traditional source,” Halanevych said in an interview with The (San Jose) Mercury News. “Some songs are changed very much with unusual arrangements, and some not so much.”

The band, formed in 2004 by avant-garde theater director Vladyslav Troitskyi, stages its concerts with robust visual elements. The quartet’s name means “give/take” in old Ukrainian.

The quartet has performed an NPR Tiny Desk Concert and at various renowned indie-rock music festivals worldwide, including South by Southwest (Texas), Glastonbury (United Kingdom), Womadelaide (Australia) and Gogolfest (Ukraine).

Rolling Stone called the group’s 2014 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Tennessee) set the “Best Breakout” performance of the event. The group “ended up with one of the most receptive crowds of the weekend,” the Rolling Stone reviewer wrote. “They got cheers for mournful accordion and apocalyptic cello sawing.”

Find more information about the band.

Watch DakhaBrakha perform “Tataryn” at the 2015 Stern Grove Festival.

Watch an NPR Tiny Desk Concert featuring the quartet. 

The Woskob Family Foundation at Penn State sponsors the performance. Radio station 98.7 The FREQ is the media sponsor.