UCSB Arts & Lectures presents the Ukrainian festival and the musical group DakhaBrakha | Culture & Leisure

Posted on October 5, 2022
| 1:50 p.m.

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DakhaBrakha will take the stage after Ukraine Fest on October 6th. (Andriy Petryna)

Aiming to raise awareness of Ukraine’s unique cultural identity, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures (A&L) will host a free Ukraine Fest ahead of its second show of the new performance season, featuring Ukrainian quartet DakhaBrakha.

It’s all happening Thursday, October 6 in downtown Santa Barbara, with the street fair, from 5-8 p.m. in front of the Granada Theater as part of the Thursday Art Walk on State Street. The DakhaBrakha show starts at 8 p.m. at Granada.

“Arts & Lectures’ mission is to educate, entertain and inspire, and Ukraine Fest, with the DakhaBrakha concert, does all three,” said Celesta M. Billeci, executive director of Miller McCune at A&L.

“It educates us about a place that is under extreme pressure, it entertains us by bringing the best and most talented artists from this region here to Santa Barbara, and it inspires us by showing what these artists are doing during this crisis in their community” , Billeci said, “We have all looked to art for hope over the past difficult years, and nowhere has this impulse been more inspiring than among the people of Ukraine.”

Promoting solidarity with Ukrainians in Santa Barbara and around the world, Ukraine Fest will feature bandura musician Siuzanna Iglidan, dancers from the Ukrainian Art Center of Southern California, and an array of Ukrainian craft exhibits. Information about Ukraine, its history and current relief efforts will also be available.

Arts & Lectures’ unique and unique offering will be hosted by Roman Baratiak, former Associate Director of A&L and proud Ukrainian-American, who grew up in a Ukrainian-speaking family.

As for DakhaBrakha, the third time was the charm for A&L to book the band. Two earlier attempts were foiled by the pandemic. But now the party is on.

Hailing from Kyiv, the world music quartet blends traditional Ukrainian songs with intense theatrics and driving percussion to create the unexpected. At the crossroads of folklore and theatre, DakhaBrakha’s evocative musical approach weaves ancient folk melodies into a tapestry that embraces indie rock, pop, hip hop, avant-garde and traditional instrumentation.

“By bringing together crafts, performing arts and information about the Ukrainian community, A&L aims to make space for the people of Santa Barbara to see the Ukrainians among us and to experience solidarity with the Ukrainians of world,” Billeci said. “And to have fun and celebrate the start of the 2022-2023 season, of course. Dakha Brakha shows are a party.

William N. Fernandez