Kobza Café is back!

DakhaBrakha to perform at WOMADelaide and Melbourne; and the Kobza Café is back!

There is less than a month to go before Australian audiences get a chance to see Ukraine’s legendary DakhaBraka in Adelaide and Melbourne.
This year will be the third time that they perform at WOMADelaide and the first time ever in Melbourne.

Since their last Australian tour in 2016 when they performed at WOMADelaide and the Port Fairy Folk Festival, they have become Ukraine’s foremost cultural ambassadors having performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world that include WOMAD UK, Sziget, Glastonbury, Coachella and Bonnaroo. Their music has been used by David Beckham to promote his House 99 men’s grooming products, and was also used by the television series, Fargo for their third season. And who can forget their role in the animated Ukrainian film, Mavka where they had a screen presence as the featured band.
Even though they are instantly recognizable and famous, they remain grounded; committed to justice and fairness, and are humbly approachable, as discovered by the Association of Ukrainians in South Australia (AUSA).

When Russia launched its full-scale aggressive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, and bombs started falling on Ukrainian cities, killing innocent civilians, displacing millions who sought refuge from the atrocities, WOMADelaide reached out to the AUSA to see if there was any way that they could help. They offered a small marquee to raise awareness of the impending humanitarian catastrophe – and within a few short weeks, a team of volunteers organized for merchandise to be sold and donations were accepted for the nationally coordinated Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Marko Halanevich from DakhaBrakha was approached, and created a short clip with a personal and heartfelt appeal that was used on the marquee’s multi-media screen throughout WOMADelaide 2022. Fifty thousand dollars was raised that year and used to provide emergency shelter for those whose dwellings were destroyed by the bombs.

In 2023, this small marquee evolved into the much larger Kobza Café with over 60 thousand dollars raised for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. This year, Kobza Café is back, and the funds raised will go towards purchasing much needed ambulances that will be operating in some of the frontline zones.

Kobza Café does so much more than raise money for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal; a really important spin-off is that the whole community comes together to make varenyky (dumplings), cakes and other Ukrainian soul food that help make this a chilled and friendly retreat with delicious food curated by a master chef.

Newly arrived Ukrainians who have been displaced by the war have been given the opportunity to learn barista skills that they can use at the café, thanks to the amazing collaboration with the very cool, Coffee in Common.

The newly arrived Ukrainians have also been engaged in some of Kobza Café’s art installation projects facilitated by Bob and Kalyna from SpinFXAustrAliA. Last year they made flags with kobza and sunflower designs. This year they are painting chairs and tables with Ukrainian ornamental designs that will add even more colour to Kobza Café. As a special treat, Marko Halanevich will paint one of these chairs that along with an original canvas by local artist, Keren Seelander, will be auctioned thanks to the goodwill of du Plessis Auctions. All proceeds will go to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Marko who is gaining a considerable reputation as a visual artist, and whose work has appeared on philatelic designs, t-shirts, stage projections and acrylic paintings on canvas, plans to create some canvas paintings while on tour in Australia that will be auctioned, with money raised going to help Ukraine as it fights for its survival and existence as a peace-loving democracy.

So, what can Adelaide and Melbourne audiences expect from a DakhaBrakha concert? They can expect thumping drums, towering black hats and striking visuals colliding with surprising sounds.








Marko Halanevich sums up their musical direction, “The root of DakhaBrakha music is in the songs of our ancestors, some of which pre-date recorded history. Within these texts and melodies lies the core of our identity. At the same time, we dare to experiment with art, combining our unique Ukrainian ethnic style with various instruments, rhythms and melodies of other cultures of the world giving a new sound and life to these old songs.”
That being said – expect a musical style that has avant-punk, and a rhythmic sound that fuses folk, hip-hop and trance. Expect to see a fusion of world music instruments and styles. In short, ethno-chaos.

Expect the theatrical, unpredictable and electrifying.
Expect to be moved by the most heartfelt and soaring vocals and harmonies that come deep from the Ukrainian soul. Nina Garenetska, Iryna Kovalenko and Olena Tsybulska are extraordinarily talented vocalists and are passionate about taking their audiences to the heart and soul of the Ukrainian village and then pouring out those energies and emotions into truly complex yet emotionally uplifting harmonies.
Expect to find out why DakhaBrakha are Ukraine’s most famous musical act who performed over 90 international concerts last year.
Expect to see a live performance that is visually and musically unforgettable and uplifting.

You will laugh, you will cry, you will be entranced, you will dance and be moved: and together with DakhaBrakha, you will stand with Ukraine as it fights for freedom and democracy.

DakhaBrakha at WOMADelaide:
– Friday 8th March 6.00 pm Foundation Stage
– Saturday 9th March 5.30 pm Taste the World
– Sunday 10th March 8.30 pm Stage 2

DakhaBrakha in Melbourne:
– Monday 11th March 2024 7.30 pm at the Hamer Hall, Melbourne
Presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Arts Projects Australia

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