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Ruslana and the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus live in Toronto

On 24th October 2015 Ruslana performed together with the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus at the world famous Massey Hall in Toronto where mega stars including Ringo Starr, Gordon Lightfoot, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young have performed previously.

The first part of the event consisted of a unique combination of Ruslana and her musicians with the all-male Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus which has a long history of representing Ukrainian bandura and choral music on the international stages. For the second part of the evening, Ruslana performed a solo program with her rock band.

The bandura is a national musical instrument unique to the culture of Ukraine and its history. Ruslana commented: “I have worked with the bandura before but have only just, truly discovered this instrument today. Most impressive was the perfect match of the bandura and the rock style. Surely, we have made a certain breakthrough today. At least for ourselves. You can compare it with the time when rock bands played with an orchestra for the first time. We can’t put our feelings into words… Perhaps this is exactly what Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin felt at a time. The combination of the bandura and the rock group is truly unique and with this we need to do something. I feel it is necessary to develop this musical genre.

These male voices, without exaggeration, sound like and can be compared to Gregorian chants. In the same way the world is captivated by the Gregorian chants, today people in the audience were inspired by the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus and by the sounds of the bandura. Now I understand that I love when the bandura plays but not only one – but when there are 40-45 of them. This is such a magical sound which is impossible to describe with words – Ukrainian authentic instruments have their own magic…

During the concert people were applauding louder that we were playing. The walls were shaking from the applause, despite the presence of a lot of elderly people. People were amazed of what they saw.”

On the day before the concert Ruslana visited four schools and met with 1,600 children of the Ukrainian community in Canada. Ruslana commented:

“In every school I asked the same easy question: ‘Where is Ukraine?’ Nearly all the children replied that Ukraine is in the heart. I was impressed by this. I added that if Ukraine is in the heart it means that it is here and now – so Ukraine is everywhere where we are.”

Photo album >>

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