Ukrainian Village Voices, In the Heart of NYC
Ukrainian Village Voices (UVV) is a New York City-based collective of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian singers, whose mission is to preserve and revive the polyphonic singing style of Ukraine’s villages.
Growing out of Ukrainian Women's Voices (c. 2008), the group was renamed Ukrainian Village Voices in 2012 to more fully encapsulate the heart and mission of the collective. This marked the start of a new path after five years of concerts under the direction of Nadia Tarnawsky, largely sponsored by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. This incarnation of the group culminated with the Ukrainian Wave All-Star Gala Concert and Dance Party on December 1, 2012 in the Ukrainian East Village in New York City.
UVV sings in the polyphonic village style and its repertoire is constantly evolving, frequently focusing on seasonal celebrations, ritual songs, as well as lyrical music. We often sing songs recorded by ethnomusicologists from the oldest dwellers of villages in Ukraine. As of 2018, these songs include those we heard ourselves while on expeditions to various villages in the following oblasts in Ukraine: Sumy, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk. We pay homage to the ancient spirit of these songs while also naturally bringing a unique North American feel to the music.
Since 2013, the ensemble has performed for a wide range of audiences in the New York metropolitan area and other locales in New York State and New Jersey, as well as in Canada. Venues have ranged from folk music and seasonal festivals to museums, theaters, libraries, community centers, church halls, and sidewalk, park, radio and webcast concerts. UVV has been featured at Brooklyn Folk Festival, Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, Roots n' Ruckus Fest, Saint George Ukrainian Festival, Brooklyn International Music Fest, and Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival. Visit our performance resume here.
We are thrilled to announce the release of our debut album on Jalopy Records in May 2018!
UVV organizes public vocal workshops led by accomplished singers, musicians, and scholars in the various folk traditions of Ukraine. Workshop leaders come from near and abroad, such as the world-renowned music and performance art group DakhaBrakha of Kyiv, Lviv’s Kurbasy, and Mariana Sadovska of Germany. New York City residents have included Eva Salina (Ensemble Hilka), Julian Kytasty, Zhenya Lopatnik, Shelley Thomas (Black Sea Hotel), Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch (Litvakus), Natalka Demchuk (Zernyatko), Petra Gelbart (Via Romen), and UVV members Brian Dolphin, Anna J. Witiuk, Ulana Pryjmak, Natalie Oshukany and Laryssa Czebiniak. Other workshop leaders have traveled from the New York State cities of New Paltz and Annandale-on-Hudson, far off Edinburgh, Seattle, Toronto, Chapel Hill, and both central and western Ukraine. They include: Michael Alpert, Maria Sonevytsky (Zozulka, Ensemble Hilka), Jurij Fedynskyj (Krachkivka village's Drevo), Alina Knyazikevych (Rozhanytsia, Kralytsia), Inna Kovtun (Rozhanytsia, Astarta), Marichka Kudriavtseva (Bozhychi, Lemon Bucket Orchestra), Andriy Milavsky (Cheres), Ihor Perevertniuk (Kyiv's Drevo, Kralytsia, Krosna, Strila, Chornomortsi), Halyna Shepko (Korinya), Nadia Tarnawsky (Alchymeia), Iryna Voloshyna (Ladovytsi), and groups Rozhanytsia, Kosa Kolektiv, and the Koliadnyky from Kryvorivnia. Browse our list of workshops here.
In addition to workshop invitations, we work closely and personally with many of these masters to hone our own craft and have performed together as well.
Our members come from all walks of life and singing backgrounds. By joining UVV you become much more than a singer in a choir – you enter a true folk community built around the love for this music. Learn more here.
We have worked hard to bring this music to the public and our grants have unequivocally encouraged us to continue seeking dynamic workshop leaders. See what the press has to say!
Become part of our story! Our periodic newsletter brings the latest workshop and concert announcements to you first.