Welcome to - www.Ukr-Can-ZabavaBands.ca - Вітаємо !   

For generations, Ukrainians in Canada have celebrated special occasions with music and dance
- two important, cultural elements that immigrants retained as links to their ancestral homeland.

        dennis hrabowsky

The Informal Online Encyclopedia of

Ukrainian - Canadian

Zabava, Pub, Wedding, Polka & Party Bands

staff-left band-silhouette staff-right

( Folk trizub Rock trizub Jazz trizub Dance trizub Polka  -  Past trizub Present trizub Future )

The definitive listing of Canadian Zabava Bands with Ukrainian roots.

If a band has ever played a Ukrainian function where people got up and danced, that band must be listed here!

You may contact us at: uczbweb@gmail.com

stars  Please click here and read the paragraph about helping update the info contained in this webpage.  stars



updated: April, 2019.


DIAMONDS (Toronto)
KOLOMEYA (Montreal)
KOLOMEYA (St. Catharines)
NOVA KHVYLIA (Vancouver)
YASENY (Saskatoon)
YASENY (Toronto)
ZOREPAD (Edmonton)

Please visit often, as new biographies are added, and older ones updated, regularly.

B A N D   N A M E


 Band  W E B  Connections 




Calgary, AB. / Formed: Nov. 1997 / Status: Performing across Western Canada

Absolute Band website
Absolute Facebook page

In 1997 a group of friends gathered to share their love of Ukrainian folk and dance music and the band Absolute was born. Even though this five piece ensemble is known for its great renditions of Ukrainian songs, the members are very well versed in more traditional 'English' music such as polkas, waltzes, rhumbas, butterflies, 7 step, modern country, old time rock'n'roll, etc. The band plays numerous events each year including: weddings, anniversaries, zabavas and malankas.

Absolute has become one of Alberta's busiest and favorite dance bands !

email: Djmoroz@gmail.com

The members of Absolute are:

Darren Moroz - Accoustic & Electric Guitar / Lead Vocals
Mike Musienko - Keyboards / Lead Vocals
Heidi Pittman - Violin / Vocals
Kevin Procyshen - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Placy De Souza - Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals

Sadly, former member Noella Joy Ostash (Accordion / Lead & Backing Vocals) passed away from cancer in Nov. 2015.




Medicine Hat, AB./Mississauga, ON. / 1950s to 1980s.


AL CHERNY was an iconic Canadian violin/fiddle player who was born to Ukrainian parents and always remained proud of his Ukrainian culture and upbringing. Though he would eventually become internationally known as a popular country music fiddler, the traditional Ukrainian songs that Cherny learned, during the family social gatherings of his youth, would remain dear to him for his entire life.

Born Alexander Peter Chernywech of Medicine Hat, Alberta, on November 1, 1932, Al Cherny began studying the violin at a young age (~10 years old). While attending high school he formed a small combo that would regularly play at family functions, church celebrations, local fairs, & community events, and before long (in 1950) he was appearing at the famous Calgary Stampede. With his popularity rising, Al also took a job playing country music on local Medicine Hat radio station CHAT 1270 AM. This would mark the start of Cherny's long career as a radio and television performer. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s he was a regular on several country barn dance type radio shows across Canada.

In the early 1950s, Al Cherny took his first professional touring job when he joined a cowboy music group from Calgary called The Sons of the Saddle. A few 78 RPM singles were recorded with this group (including a version of The Orange Blossom Special which would become a future Cherny standard). Playing with this band increased Al's exposure and soon several new offers for his talents began coming in. By 1953, he moved to Southern Ontario following an invitation to be a regular, featured musician on "CKNX Barn Dance" broadcasting from the town of Wingham. Here he met a young singer from London, ON, named Tommy Hunter and they started their enduring friendship. Cherny’s talents kept steadily improving and in the 1960s he participated in, and won several championships at, the Annual “Old Tyme Fiddle Contest” which is held each year in Shelburne, ON.

In the 1960s, Al Cherny became a regular on CBC Television's popular "Country Hoedown" program where he played side by side with Tommy Hunter (also, for a short period of time, legendary singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot appeared on this TV show). Then, when the CBC gave his friend "The Tommy Hunter Show," Cherny was asked to paticipate and he remained with the show for 25 years (until his passing). This show made him an international star and subsequent tours with Tommy Hunter took him all over Canada and around the world. Many of those tours were to entertain troops stationed far abroad where Al's talent and down-to-earth personality made him a huge favourite. Al Cherny’s reputation as a fiddle player earned him the nickname "Flying Fingers" and he became a leading sideman and studio musician, through the 1970’s, working and recording with many notable musicians (such as Ian & Sylvia Tyson). As a soloist, Cherny recorded several albums of traditional, contemporary, popular and country songs. He even charted two of his own instrumental country singles in the 1970s (Mr. Bojangles and Shannon Waltz).

It was said of Al Cherny, that "he played every piece of music with such enthusiasm as if it was his first time playing it." He was trained as a classical violinist, but switched to country fiddle to reach a larger audience, however, no songs made him prouder to play than those of his Ukranian heritage - he loved to play those old Ukranian tunes of the past. Cherny recorded one whole album of familiar Ukrainian songs in 1974.

Al Cherny was only 56 when he passed away in Mississauga, ON. on Aug. 23, 1989. He was inducted, posthumously, into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame that same year. Then in 2015, he was inducted into the Ukrainian Musicians Hall of Fame.

 (1974) Al Cherny - Golden Ukrainian Memories 
    Side 1
1. Early Bird Of Spring
2. Trambulianka
3. Anniversary Waltz
4. Bublitchki
5. a) Kolomeyka, b) Kozak, c) Ukraininska Kolomeyka
6. Chumak
7. Vioot Vitre
8. a) My Darling Daughter, b) Hrechanyky
9. Jimminy Cricket Polka
10. Carpathian Waltz

Side 2
1. Siyanka-Hoculka
2. a) Arkan, b) Hopak, Kolomeyka
3. a) Verxovena, b) Korobushka
4. Bandura Waltz
5. a) Trembowla Polka, b) Valley Farm Polka, c) Shumyt i Hudet
6. Kozachok
7. Balamut Waltz
8. a) Zaporozech (Sabre Dance), b) Kozak II
9. a) Pride and Joy Polka, b) Wedding Polka, c) Pereproshany




Rembrandt/Winnipeg, MB.




The core of The Ambrose Brothers Band revolves around brothers Steve, Glen and Ken Ambrose. Back in their boyhood home in Rembrandt (100km directly north of Winnipeg in the heart of Manitoba's Interlake Region), their dad, an accomplished violinist, taught the boys to play at an early age. It was inevitable that the Ambrose boys would eventually channel their talents into a hard-working band that has entertained numerous audiences throughout Western Canada since its formation.

Today, The Ambrose Brothers Band calls Winnipeg home, but may still be found “on stage” throughout Manitoba, and the rest of Canada, entertaining their fans at dances, socials, festivals, charity events, and Ukrainian weddings.

Over the years, Steve Ambrose has been highly recognized for his unique accordion talents and, as a result, has played with many other zabava bands and recorded as a guest on many albums. However, The Ambrose Brothers Band is where home is, and the band has truly become a big, happy family affair

The Ambrose Brothers Band has recorded several albums featuring their fine renditions of traditional polkas, waltzes, old time music, rock & roll, and country selections. The band's albums and live performances are well crafted to insure that every audience is thoroughly entertained with a unique blend of party/zabava music Ambrose Brothers style!

Steve Ambrose - Accordion / Vocals
Glen Ambrose - Guitar / Tsymbaly / Vocals
Ken Ambrose - Bass Guitar
Bryan Drolet - Drums
Melody (Steve's daughter) - Vocals
Hillary (Melody's daughter) - Vocals

Former Members:
Albin (Al) Sobkowich - Violin
Steve Myk - Violin
Victor Sayer - Drums.




Toronto, ON. / Formed: 1987. / Re-formed 2003. / Status: Semi-functional!


Armadillos were regulars at (very crowded and hot) pub-night dances downstairs at Toronto's Ukrainian Caravan Restaurant, and SUM's Christie St. Trembita Bar in the late 1980s. They also played at the famous "Pubava" dances and many other zabavas. Later they continued as a fixture in Toronto's bar/club scene for several years.

Though primarily a rock/classic rock band, their Armadillos style renditions of polkas (especially with a Johnny Cash flavour) were uniquely clever.

Armadillos at Toronto's Ukrainian Caravan Restaurant (left) and Yuri's (Swan Club) Banquet Hall (right).

Original Armadillos Band Members:

Joey Bolic - Drums & Antics
Rich Gibbins - Guitar / Vocals
Adrian Lawryshyn - Guitar / Vocals
Jerry Surzycia - Bass Guitar

Other Armadillos Band Members:

Dave Locke - Drums / Vocals
Peter Hrabowsky - Bass Guitar
Paul - Bass Guitar
Phil - Lead Guitar

Armadillos on stage at 2004 Toronto Ribfest (Etobicoke Centennial Park).

Armadillos members upon reformation in 2003:

Joey Bolic - Drums
Rich Gibbins - Guitar / Vocals
Andre Hucal - Lead Vocals
Dennis Hrabowsky - Guitar / Vocals
Adrian Lawryshyn - Guitar / Vocals
Jerry Surzycia - Bass Guitar

Current Armadillos since 2015:

Joey Bolic - Drums / Backing Vocals
Rich Gibbins - Guitar / Lead Vocals
Rob - Bass Guitar / Backing Vocals










Calgary / Edmonton, AB.


Text courtesy of www.pysankafestival.com:

"Barvinok dance band has been delighting people with toe-tapping, hip-swaying, head-turning zabava and listening music since 1994. Their special style combines contemporary Ukrainian music with other dance favourites.

The group consists of internationally acclaimed professional musicians from Ukraine : Fedir Gotsaliouk (accordion/vocals), Victor Ruduke (guitar/vocals), and Mychailo Musienko (keyboard/vocals). These three have performed with such legendary groups as Svityaz, Smerichka and Halychany, along with various artists and ensembles from Ukraine and Canada.

Rounding out Barvinok are the two Orests: Orest Pohoreski (sax/keyboard/vocals) originally with Bukovina Brass out of Toronto/Hamilton before moving west and helped form the zabava band Charka with Victor prior to Barvinok. Orest Warchola (sax/vocals) is delighted to be playing with Barvinok, with over 30 years of playing in Ukrainian dance bands such as Dumka and Trembita, including various big band, country and jazz ensembles.

The members of the band live in both Calgary and Edmonton - so the roads of Alberta and Western Canada are well travelled by Barvinok. The band may be regularly found on the road travelling to festivals, dances and weddings where they will perform a mix of Ukrainian and English tunes special to the particular event.

Unique to zabava bands, all five contribute strong vocals and harmonies to the dynamic sound tapestry that is … “Barvinok” !"




Toronto/Mississauga, ON. / Melody Rockets: Late 1980s /
 Bill the musician: Active from 1970s to present.


Yes, it's true! For a short period of time - around about 1987 - everyone's favourite drummer Bill Hawryschuk led his own band, called The Melody Rockets, for a few shows around Toronto. The group featured future members of the Dunai band.

Hawryschuk has been well known for years as the drummer/percussionist for many different bands including: Burya, Solovey, Zirka, Zubrivka, etc. He has appeared as a much-welcomed guest musician (or last-minute sub) for several bands, and he has played on numerous in-studio recording sessions.

Bill has also devoted much of his time working with, and supporting, Ukrainian community organizations, clubs, and churches. He has performed many times as part of the live band behind Ukrainian dance ensemble performances.

On a personal level, Bill has accumulated and posted several videos chronicling his, and his peers', journeys in the music business.

Anyone, who knows Bill, can attest to the fact that he is one of the nicest and most talented guys around!






Bill Prokopchuk was born in 1925 in Rhein, Saskatchewan (pronounced 'Ryan' and approx. 35 km NE of Yorkton, SK.). He started playing the violin at a very young age and eventually became very versatile on his instrument. Bill could easily move through many different styles and genres, including: Traditional Ukrainian, Bluegrass, Country & Western, and Gypsy music.

 Bill Prokopchuk - Plays A Simulated Live Recording Of A Three Day Ukrainian Wedding Old Country Style
    Side A
1. The Beginning Of The Wedding
2. Kozak
3. The Sewing Of The Bridal Wreath
4. Going To Church March
5. Katyrinka
6. Bride And Groom Return From Church
7. Beginning Dinner Songs. During Dinner Songs

Side B
1. Grooms Song To The Bride. Brides Song To The Mother
2. Bride Crying For Her Mother. Kolomayka
3. The Presentation (Two Songs)
4. Groom Taking Bride Away
5. Bride Song To The Mother Before Leaving Her




Toronto, ON. / Formed: 2017.

Blisk web page

Text courtesy the BLISK website:

(The all-female ensemble) "Blisk is a synthesis of polyphonic Eastern European and Balkan song, dance and movement backed by hypnotic percussion. It is described as a musical journey travelling through Ukraine, Poland, Macedonia, Serbia and beyond. Based in Toronto, the members of the group hail from Canada, Ukraine, Poland and Kazakhstan. They were brought together by a deep love and respect for these ancient songs and dances, bringing the tunes to life in the modern world through unique arrangements.

Originally put together for multiple performances at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival in September 2017, Blisk made its official public debut in December of 2017 at the Aga Khan Museum opening for JUNO-nominated group Turkwaz. Since then, they have performed at Sofar Sounds Toronto, the Global Toronto Conference, Mundial Montreal, and SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival."

Press contact: thebliskband@gmail.com

The members of Blisk:

Stacey Yerofeyeva
Ewelina Ferenc
Stephania Woloshyn



Scott Wazney & The

East Selkirk, MB. / Formed: May 1997


Scott Wazney & The Blue Steel Band was a four-piece ensemble from East Selkirk in the Interlake Region of Manitoba. Since its inception in 1997, multi-talented musician, music teacher, instrument collector & amateur musicologist Scott Wazney had an enduring commitment in that The Blue Steel Band always entertain its audiences with top-notch musicianship. In turn, the band's audiences remained dedicated fans who were always pleased whenever Blue Steel performed. When the band appeared on stage at a zabava, banquet or wedding, Scott Wazney's passion for music, his talent and sense of humour could easily steal any show - fascinating for a person who was also educated in the fields of business & accounting!

Scott Wazney & The Blue Steel Band released its first recorded album in 2004 featuring traditional and original melodies. However, Scott himself can be heard on dozens of Ukrainian and Polish albums as a guest musician. He would also join many of these bands on stage as a guest musician. The Blue Steel Band were proud members of the Ukrainian Musicians Association of Manitoba.

Very sadly, Scott Wazney passed away in September, 2016 at the young age of 44.
The members of The Blue Steel Band:

Scott Wazney - Accordion / Keyboards
Wayne Wazney - Fiddle / Guitar / Vocals
Tony Wytynck - Drums / Vocals
Dean Linklater - Guitar / Bass Guitar / Mandolin




Блиск Шабель



Toronto (Etobicoke), ON. / 1979 ~ 1982.


Blysk Shabel was a very popular Toronto zabava and wedding band from the early 1980s. As was the trend for zabava bands during the 1970s & '80s, "Blysk" mostly performed the standard, traditional Ukrainian melodies, but played them using the latest rock sounds, and instruments, of the day. They also included a few original, band-written songs in their musical mix - again, song's that basically followed that same formula (Traditional + Rock).
However, credit can be given to Blysk Shabel, because their album did feature a couple of songs that ventured as far away from the traditional 'rules' as any other contemporary zabava band would attempt at that time: "Їдем на забаву" & "Блиск" are those numbers.

To enhance their appearance on stage, Blysk Shabel band members most often appeared at their gigs wearing Ukrainian embroidered costumes - a conscious nod to the influence that Montreal zabava bands Rushnychok and Samotsvit had on up-and-coming contemporary bands of the time.

Unfortunately, Blysk Shabel didn't exist for long, but they produced one very well-received album that fused together traditional Ukrainian melodies with some prog-rock prowess, good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, and light humour! In many people's opinion, the album is still considered a Ukrainian-Canadian classic.

In their short time together, Blysk Shabel were well travelled and managed to play several functions in both Canada and the U.S.A. In a 1982 issue of Ukrainian Weekly newspaper, an advertisement for the upcoming Garden State Ukrainian Festival in New Jersey called the band "spectacular" - and the band did satisfy the fans there by playing to huge crowds at both the concert portion and the evening zabava.

Today, Blysk Shabel is fondly remembered by those who were fortunate to see, and hear, them perform.

 (1982) Blysk Shabel  (front cover / back cover)
    Сторона Перша
1. Їхав козак
2. Києве мій
3. Циганочка молода
4. Неси Галю воду
5. Їдем на забаву

Сторона Друга
1. Пам'ятаю
2. Ой, чи той кінь стоїть
3. Любов
4. Коломийка
5. Блиск

The original Blysk Shabel Band members were:

Andre Borys - Keyboards / Violin / Backing Vocals
Wolodymyr D. Petryga - Guitars / Lead Vocals
Ihor Rizen - Lead Vocals / Percussion
Mike Smolsky - Accordion / Bass Guitar / Lead Vocals
Roman Szklar - Drums / Percussion / Lead & Backing Vocals
Roman Zazulak - Guitars / Backing Vocals




Dauphin, MB. / Formed: 1959.


Boris Nowosad began playing the violin a a very young age and was a member of a dance band by his early teens. In 1959, Boris and his father Bill started their own band, which would eventually become known as The Melody Kings, based out of Dauphin, MB. (not to be confused with Saskatchewan's Melody Kings).
Bill Nowosad had played guitar in many other combos before joining with his son. In 2010, Bill was recognized by the Ukrainian Musicians’ Association with the Manitoba Legendary Achievement Award for his efforts in the preservation of Ukrainian culture and heritage. Bill retired from the band a few years before his passing in 2011.

Over the course of his own prodigious career, Boris Nowosad has recorded several albums, appeared on numerous live radio programs, and played thousands of times at hundreds of dance halls and festivals across Canada! Boris has also competed in numerous fiddling contests over the years, including the renowned Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship in Shelburne, Ontario. Dozens of awards are proof of his incredible talent playing the fiddle. To further his unending commitment to preserving Ukrainian music, Boris has been able to squeeze in time to teach others how to play the fiddle, and he has also joined the committee of The Manitoba Fiddle Association.

In more recent years, The Melody Kings band has become a family affair with children and grandchildren of band members sharing the stage and performing. Boris Nowosad and The Melody Kings have also become the hometown regulars at Dauphin's National Ukrainian Festival.

Often, Boris and his musicians are simply billed as The Boris Nowosad Band.

Bill Nowosad - Tenor Banjo / Bass Guitar
Hans Carlson - Accordion
Wilf Wagner - Lead Guitar / Steel Guitar
Eugene Mayuk - Rhythm Guitar
Mike Tymchuk - Drums
Stan Malchuk – Tsymbaly Dulcimer
Pamela Nowosad-Federowich - Vocals




Montreal, QC. / Formed: August 2016.


Since their formation in 2016, Ukrainian-Canadian, alternative rock band Bosonizh has become a mainstay at cultural events around their home base of Montreal. They have regularly played events as diverse as: Ivan Kupala, volleyball tournaments, Halloween dances, & New Year's Eve zabavas. The band has also become popular performers at both the Montreal and the Toronto annual Ukrainian Festivals.

Bosonizh is a band whose members feel it is very important to create their own original music and lyrics. In 2018, they released their first CD album titled "Liar".




Dauphin, MB.



Paul and Peter Bratko were twin brothers born in Jan. 1916 into a Ukrainian farm family of 13 siblings total. The family farm was located near the southern bank of Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba (about 65km north of Daulphin, MB.). This region of Manitoba has been an area rich in Ukrainian immigrant families since the very early 1900s, and music & culture have always played an important community role here. Paul and Peter started playing musical instruments at a very young age - violin and tsymbaly were either given to them by, or borrowed from, family members who all shared a love of music.

As talented, twin brothers, the young Bratko Twins were very popular performers at many weddings, church festivals and dances throughout the Mossey River/Winnipegosis rural area. The extra money that the boys earned was very important for the Bratko family during early, tough times.

The brothers continued to perform into adulthood, both eventually relocating to Dauphin. After each was married, they each had a son that joined their fathers as young men (on accordion and guitar) to form the Bratko Twins Band. This rejuvinated band played regularly around the Daulphin/Central Manitoba region. However, over time, family commitments and work resulted in fewer performances. Music, though, always remained important to the Bratko family. Fortunately, a recording session in Winnipeg produced enough material to release two Bratko Twins albums - one concentrating on Kolomaykas, the other on polkas - a lasting legacy.

Paul Bratko passed away in April, 1991 in Dauphin, MB.
Peter Bratko passed away in August, 2008 in Dauphin, MB.






Manitoba ?


 (19??) Brothers Band - Ukrainian Instrumentals

Morris Salamandyk - Violin
Adam Salamandyk - Bass
Nick Maksymchuk - Accordion
Tony Maksymchuk - Tsymbaly
Chester Olson - Drums





Winnipeg, MB.

Budmo Facebook page


For more information about Budmo, please email: budmoband@gmail.com




Hamilton / Toronto, ON.






Toronto, ON. / 1980s.


Not really a band, Bulava was a four-member male dance ensemble that performed a Ukrainian nightclub act at the two Ukrainian Caravan restaurants that were in Toronto. However, a small group of musicians always accompanied the dancers before, during, and after each performance, with lively Ukrainian, and sometimes offbeat, melodies. The musicians were well-seasoned and could number from two to four players, but usually featured an accomplished accordianist and fiddler/violinist.

Together, the whole Bulava troupe provided outstanding dinner entertainment that was the talk of Toronto for several years. The dancers performed wearing wide white fur hats, white boots, and billowing peasant farmer blouses & 'sharavary' trousers, while the musicians rallied through several numbers that, not only punctuated the dance routines but also, backed up the dancers when they sang to the audience. The vocal pieces could include traditional Ukrainian favourites or even some surprises - songs such as: "Those Were the Days," "Happy Birthday," "M'nohaya Lita (Многая літа)," and "Ride Cossack Ride" (the unofficial theme song for the troupe).

As word about Bulava spread, the ensemble started receiving performance requests from Ukrainian communities across Canada and the United States so, therefore, a few mini summer tours were undertaken to correspond with festival season. Ususally, for tours, a drummer and/or a guitarist were added to round out the musical presentation.

In Canada, the 1982 & 1983 audiences at "Canada's National Ukrainian Festival" (Dauphin, MB.) were astounded by the troupe's split second timing and spark flying sword fights!

Between 1982 and 1988, Bulava spent much time during the summer months performing at festivals in the USA such as:
The Annual Ukrainian Congress Committee of America "Ukrainian Night" (Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, NY.),
The Annual Ukrainian Fraternal Association "Verkhovyna Youth Festival" (UFA Resort, Glen Spey, NY.),
The Ukrainian National Association "Summer Concerts" (Soyuzivka Resort, Kerhonkson, NY.),
"Garden State Arts Center Ukrainian Festival" (Holmdel, New Jersey),
House of Ukraine "Labor Day Ukrainian Festival" (San Diego, California).

In 1987 Bulava even squeezed in a short European Tour.




Montreal, QC.


 (19??) Burlaky - Бурлаки

Andrij Figol - Bass
Taras Figol - Drums
Andrew Mazepa - Keyboards
Taras Mazepa - Vocals / Trumpet
Markian Shnuriwsky - Guitars



Буря, Роман Когут і

Toronto / Oakville, ON.

Ron Cahute & Burya
Facebook Fan page

Well into their fifth decade as a band, Ron Cahute & BURYA remain very popular performers in the Ukrainian zabava and festival scene throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. Ron, the "Accordion Man", is regarded as a great influence on Ukrainian-Canadian and Ukrainian-American musicians.

As the owner of his own recording studio, Ron Cahute has reocrded, produced and played on, not only his own songs but, dozens of albums by musicians from many genres. He also enjoys working with, and promoting, young artists just starting out in the music business. Cahute has never been shy in sharing his talents, expertise and wisdom.

Burya has recorded several albums over the years that each contain tracks that represent the cross-section of zabava standards that Ukrainian bands can be heard playing across Canada every Saturday night.

For many years now, Ron Cahute has also appeared as a popular MC during many festivals and concerts (such as Canada's National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin). Often he joins with his old buddy, comedian Ihor Baczynskyj, to perform comedic routines. Together they recorded the popular children's album: Barabolya ...That Means Potato!

Currently, Ron Cahute also hosts the KONTAKT TV segment "Stay Ukrainian My Friends..." which focuses on the Ukrainian arts community.




Text courtesy of the 1979 Burya debut recording:

" "Burya", storm in Ukrainian, came into existence, some 10 years ago as a four piece band. In the intervening years it has expanded to 7 members, all from Toronto area. The highly skilled musical talent of Burya has provided entertainment to audiences of all manner of functions - weddings, dances, bar mitzvahs and festivals. The band is unique in its versatility and arrangements. It is equally at home with waltzes and polkas, as it is with rock, disco, latin and swing. Its music is enjoyed by both young and old. The band likes to play requests and is noted for providing its audiences with an exciting evening of entertainment. Perhaps you may detect a Prairie flavour in the music.

Ron Cahute, the leader and accordionist started his musical career at an early age as a drummer in the band of his late father, Maurice Cahute. It was from this experience that Ron acquired a love and appreciation of Ukrainian music of the Prairie Provinces of Canada. This music in the early years of Ukrainian western settlement of Canada was left to develope on its own, almost completely severed from ties with Ukraine and provides an interesting annal in musical history. It is both Ukrainian and Canadian. Although this record has a Prairie flavour, it is not exclusively so. The music it contains includes the variety and talent that is Burya."

Some of the talented musicians who have played in Burya since the band's inception are:

Ron Cahute - Leader/Founder / Accordion / Bass / Organ / Synthesizer / Vocals.

Bill Hawryschuk - Drums / Percussion
Jaroslaw (Jerry) Hryhorsky - Violin / Viola / Trombone / Vocals / Percussion
Sam Ierullo - Saxophone
Steve Krachko - Drums
John Lockwood - Flute
Ron Lutz - Alto & Tenor Saxophones / Percussion
David Monis - Drums / Percussion
Michael Monis - Electric Guitars / Classical Guitar / Banjo
Michael Romanick - Tenor and Baritone Saxophones / Clarinet / Percussion
Tom Romanick - Saxophone
Len Steciuk - Guitar / Fiddle / Vocals
Frank Uhran - Tenor Saxophone / Clarinet / Percussion
Mark Zubek - Drums




Steinbach/Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: January, 2010 / Status: Active.

By Request Band website

The By Request Band specializes in Ukrainian-Canadian “Prairie Sound” music. The band’s combination of youth and experience presents the energy and music style that is entertaining to all.
With an impressive and versatile repertoire of traditional Ukrainian folk tunes, foot stomping polkas and classic country/rock hits, By Request will entertain all audiences.

By Request recorded their first album in June 2012, entitled Boys Gone Wild - "Ukrainian Style."
Currently, the band is working on its second album and hope to release it soon.

For much more information on By Request visit their very informative website "byrequestband.weebly.com".

Some of By Request's memorable performances include:

Canada's National Ukrainian Festival, Dauphin, MB.
(2012 & 2013)
Painted Hand Casino, Yorkton, SK.
Perogy Bash in Fraserwood, MB.

 (2012) By Request Band - Boys Gone Wild - "Ukrainian Style"
    1. Chain Link Polka
2. Drift Away Waltz
3. Kerosene Polka
4. Lonely Trail Waltz
5. Way Down South
6. Travellers Polka
7. Danny's Festival
8. Whisperers Waltz
9. In The Barn Polka
10. Peter's Special
11. Prime Time Polka
12. Honey Suckle Waltz
13. Just For Glen Polka
14. Heel N Toe
15. Vera's Waltz
16. Hopak

The members of By Request are:

Jayden Chornoboy - Violin/Fiddle / Guitar / Vocals
Glen Ambrose - Guitar / Tsymbaly / Vocals
John Lwiwski - Accordion
Ted Mikolajczyk - Drums

Former Members:
Vern Walkin - Accordion / Bass / Vocals

 Solo albums by members of By Request:
  Jayden Chornoboy:
In Tradition
  Vern Walkin:
On the Road to Fraserwood



Кафе Київ

Toronto, ON. / 1990s / Status: Retired.


  The famous Café Kyїv album
  cover photo.
Text courtesy of the 1995 Cafe Kyїv recording:

"A unique blend of personal styles encompassing traditional Ukrainian songs, with a diverse contemporary flair. Founding members Roman Lajkosz and Roman Sokolicz established Cafe Kyїv in Munich, Germany in 1988. The group revamped in 1990 in Toronto, Canada and now includes Jaroslaw Nazarowicz and Borys Kowalski. All members, Ukrainians born in Poland, bring a vast musical background producing a rich and original sound that is Cafe Kyїv."

The members of Cafe Kyїv were:

Roman Lajkosz - Lead Guitar / Vocals
Roman Sokolicz - Keyboards
Borys Kowalski - Bass Guitar
Jaroslaw (Yar Nazar) Nazarowicz - Drums / Backing Vocals






Kazmer (Cam) Chernecki was a Ukrainian-Canadian fiddler/violinst (b. 1929 Manitoba, Canada - d. 9 December 1993, British Columbia, Canada). Chernecki was also a composer of several dance melodies.

 (1961) Cam Chernecki - Ukrainian And Old Time Folk Dances
    Side 1
1. Wizard's Reel (Pat Pender's Radio Theme)
2. Hammer's Polka
3. Rosulka Waltz
4. Pat's Kolemeyka
5. Happylender's Polka
6. Finska Waltz

Side 2
7. Wesilena Kolemeyka
8. Barbara Polka
9. Varsoviana Waltz
10. Cam's Kolemeyka
11. Waltz Quadrille
12. Willie's Polka




Winnipeg, MB.


Gord Lasko




Montreal, QC.






Toronto, ON.






Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 1993.


A very busy Alberta band throughout the 1990s. The diversity of the band members' musical and personal backgrounds gave Charka an edge, as they could play a very large repertoire of songs - from traditional Ukrainian to popular contemporary tunes.

Their 1993 album is highly regarded and recommended by other zabava band musicians.

George Paleniuk - Accordion / Vocals
Orest Pohoreski - Tenor Saxophone / Keyboards / Vocals
Victor Ruduke - 6 & 12 string Electric Guitars / Bass Guitar / Vocals
Barry Sliwkanich - Drums
Wade Wasylciw - Tsymbaly / Sopilka / Drimba / Vocals
 (1993) Charka - Love It, or Lviv It!

1. Under the Pear Tree
2. Unharness the Horses
3. Hence Lies a Mountain
4. Ivanku, Ivanku
5. On the Road
6. A Visit to the Well
7. Whose Horse is that Standing
8. A Wanderer's Life
9. I Sit by the Window
10. The Storm
11. I Am Leaving You Today
12. Magical Night
13. Field of Hops






Oshawa, ON.


 (198?) Chayka - Chayka (front cover/back cover)
    Side 1
1. Водограй - Vodohraij
2. Гарна я гарна - Harna Ya Harna
3. Не шуми калино - Ne Shumy Kalyno
4. Ой волошки - Oy Voloshky
5. Тече вода каламутна - Teche Voda Kalamutna

Side 2
1. Чотирі рожі - Chotery Rojhy
2. Ти з любови собі не жартуй - Ty Z'Lubove Sobi Ne Jartui
3. Цвіте терен - Tsvite Teryn
4. Чайка: Буря, Пісня - Chayka: Buryia, Pishnia

John Fuke - Vocals / Sex Symbol
Myroslava Gimon - Vocals
Bill Caskey - Guitar
Tony Puntus - Bass Guitar
Peter Shurowsky - Accordion
Stephen Shurowsky - Drums.




Montreal, QC. / Formed: Fall 1972 / Status: Long Retired.



At the time of their formation in 1972, the members of Cheremosh were seasoned musicians and singers who had been members of the, SUM (CYM) Montreal, ensembles Boyan Choir and Trembita Marching Band.

In the early 1970s, Syny Stepiv and Rushnychok had created a demand for good zabava music from Montreal (the "Zabava Capital") and Cheremosh ably stepped up to meet the requirements with performances that featured good, tight musicianship. Their only album from 1977 features a mixture of modern and traditional Ukrainian melodies, together with their own compositions.

Popular as both a wedding/zabava and concert band, Cheremosh's live performances kept them busy travelling across Canada and the U.S.A. from Montreal to Toronto, to the "Vesna" Festival in Saskatoon, SK. to shows in Detroit, Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

 (1977) Cheremosh - Cheremosh (front cover/back cover)
1. Ой у полі верба / Willow In The Meadow
2. Мав я раз дівчиноньку / Once I Had a Girl
3. Полтавський рушничок / An Embroidery From Poltava
4. Чорнобривці / Chornobryvtsi
5. Ой пливи вінок / The Floating Wreath
6. Ой вербиченько / The Willow Tree
7. Закувала зозуленька / The Song Of The Cuckoo
8. Білі каштани / Chestnut Trees In Bloom
9. Заграй ти цигане / Play Old Gypsy Play
10. Чар любови / Love’s Magic
11. Тихо над річкою / Its Quiet On The Riverbank


The members of Cheremosh were:

Petro Kardasz - Trumpet / Mandolin / Bass / Vocals
Danny Kuka - Mandolin / Trumpet / Vocals
Peter Kuka - Rhythm Guitar/ Trombone / Lead Vocals
Ricky Maronni - Drums & Percussion
Roman Svoboda - Accordion / Lead Vocals


   Cheremosh performing live, and with future singing star Lubomyra as special guest.




Montreal, QC. / Formed: 1980s / Status: Still singing!

Cheremshyna Trio website

Established as a vocal trio during the early 1980s, Cheremshyna swiftly gained local acclaim around Montreal. Sisters Lydia Ruditsch and Claudia Melnyk, and their childhood friend Nadine Zwetkow, all attended school and church together where they sang in various choirs and studied music. The ladies' mutual passion for music and Ukrainian culture led to the formation of Cheremshyna as an outlet for them to entertain community audiences.

As their popularity grew, Cheremshyna expanded their musical palette with the addition of two notable Montreal musicians who played with the trio from 1988 to 1992. Mark Bednarczyk played the guitar and Wasyl (Bill) Kinal played on the accordion and bass. Kinal was well known in Montreal as a member of both Samotsvit and Veselka bands.

The ensemble's admired reputation has allowed them the opportunity to sing at functions beyond their Ukrainian community and they have also had the honour of performing for many dignitaries, including Prime Ministers and Governor Generals! Over the years, many accolades and words of praise have been bestowed on the ladies proving their long-lasting popularity. Cheremshyna has also recorded several albums with the help of many other well known Ukrainian-Canadian musicians, such as Burya's Ron Cahute on accordion.

Today, Lydia, Claudia and Nadine continue to sing together as Cheremshyna and still entertain regularly at festivals, banquets, charity functions and wherever eager audiences invite the trio to help spread their love for all things Ukrainian.

Visit the ensemble's website to find out much more information about Cheremshyna and where they may be appearing.




Червоний мак

Fraser Valley, BC.






Montreal, QC.


The Chornomortsi were a Montreal-Ukrainian group formed by brothers Ihor & Bohdan, with their father Evstachiw Cap, and featuring former members from the zabava band Syny Stepiv.

Adrian Alboshchy - Rhythm Guitar
Bohdan Cap - Drums
Evstachiw Cap - Violin
Ihor Cap - Accordion / Vocals
Tino Papa - Drums
Wasyl Senchak - Rhythm Guitar

(The Chornomortsi Cap family members are not related to the Samotsvit band Cap family).




Edmonton, AB.






Edmonton, AB.


Eddie Chwill at phone number: 780-465-2213.



Оркестра Чичул

Myrnam, AB.



Text courtesy the Chychul Orchestra website:

"The Chychul Family Orchestra was first formed in 1948 in the Myrnam, Alberta area. Originally known as “The Country Gents” they later changed their name to “The Nite Lights” when their sister Mary joined the band. The Chychuls, as with many bands of the area, supplemented family income by entertaining at weddings, dances and social functions.

Although the band officially stopped playing at events in the late 50′s they have continued to play at all family functions since then, keeping alive the Ukrainian folk heritage. In the 70′s Peter’s son Barry was added to the family orchestra, thus ensuring the musical legacy of the Chychul Family for the next generation."

They can be reached by calling: 780-474-6399

Bill Chychul - Violin
Barry Chychul - Mandolin
Paul Chychul - Tsymbaly (Dulcimer)
Peter Chychul - Guitar
Carol Newlove - Bass
Mary Skolski - Accordion




Edmonton / St. Albert, AB. / Formed: 1965.


"It's Saturday Night and Time to Dance!" to The Cimarrons!

Since 1965 accordionist Jim Yacey has led this multi-talented and very popular dance band which specializes in waltzes, foxtrots and polkas, but will also have their audience swinging to country, rock ‘n’ roll, and Latin rhythms!

The Cimarrons band has produced many a fine musician, however, the mainstays, along with Jim, are Bill Yacey and Barry Hawkins. Other members are regularly featured on: second accordion, violin, balalaika, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, bass and drums.

Over the course of the past five decades in Western Canada, chances are pretty high if you have attended an event where people danced - such as a wedding, anniversary, graduation or zabava - you were dancing to The Cimarrons.

Fortunately for the rest of Canada, and the world, the band has recorded four albums so everyone may enjoy a “Saturday Night Dance” with The Cimarrons.

 The Cimarrons - Get In The Mood...




Seech Lake, MB.


 The Citulsky's - Family Favorites  The Citulsky's - Traditional Ukrainian Music
1. Ernie’s Kolomayka
2. Whispering Wind Waltz
3. This Side of the Mountain
4. Search Polka
5. Naughty Girl
6. Metsakukkia Waltz
7. Twin String Polka
8. High In The Mountains
9. Harmony Waltz
10. Ukrainian Folk Dance
11. A Walk In The Garden
12. Peter’s Polka
1. Prairie Polka
2. Gentle Breezes Waltz
3. Holube
4. Seech Trails Polka
5. Waltz Medley's
6. Ernie's Kolomayka #2
7. Baba's Polka
8. Traditional Folk Dance
9. Favorite Waltz
10. Chuban
11. Village Waltz
12. Everyone's Favorite Polka

The Citulsky family - brothers, sisters and a niece - often performed music and sing-alongs during their many family gatherings. From these gatherings, the idea of a family album evolved. By this time, Peter and Ernie Citulsky were already acomplished musicians having played at many rural dances, house parties and weddings throughout Manitoba for years. The family was raised in Seech Lake, MB. and most of their shows were in the surrounding area.

Once The Citulsky Family Band was formed, they were rounded out by guitarist Marshall Maksymnuk (who had played with Peter and Ernie) and their young niece, Michele Zemilak, on accordion.

Citulsky Family Band members:

Ernie Citulsky - Violin / Vocal
Peter Citulsky - Tsymbaly / vocal
Michele Zemilak - Accordion / Vocal
Bill Citulsky - Vocal
Anne Kolench - Vocal
Alice Zemilak - Vocal
Marshall Maksymnuk - Guitar




Edmonton, AB.


The Country Fiddle Band plays traditional Ukrainian music using traditional instruments: fiddle, accordion, guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and dulcimer (tsymbaly). The band is also well versed in all styles of contemporary music and popular standards that will help make every occasion a memorable one - weddings, anniversaries, banquets, dances, social events, polka-fests and malankas.




Edmonton / Myrnam / Vermillion , AB.


The Country Kings Orchestra has been playing at wedding banquets, suppers, dances, anniversary parties, and community social events since 1958. They specialize in Ukrainian melodies, and are also great at playing country and western music.

Please contact Mike Poliakiwski by Email: poliakbf@telusplanet.net




Yorkton, SK.


Lorne Procyshen 




Edmonton, AB.


Chester Chodzicki 




Medicine Hat, AB.






Edmonton, AB.


Norman Walcheske leads the Country Sunshine Band. They play Ukrainian music along with Western, Gospel and Orchesta music, and are available to play for all types of occasions.

The Country Sunshine Band have recorded CD albums that are available for purchase. Please contact them by phone: 780-367-2371, or Email: waln@telusplanet.net




Toronto, ON.





Dauphin, MB.








Fraserwood/Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: late 1950s / Status: Retired.


The D-Drifters were a very influential, early zabava band from Winnipeg, Manitoba in which many talented musicians once played. They recorded five albums together and, with steady gigging, throughout the 1960’s & 1970’s, (first at Ukrainian dances, then later on at concerts and at bars & nightclubs), they built a lasting name for themselves. They also became well known for their work as the back-up support band for many other singers in concert and on record; most notably Mickey and Bunny.

The D-Drifters band was formed, around 1959, by the Romanyshyn brothers: Dave (accordion & bass) and Tony (guitar), who were originally from Fraserwood, Manitoba (about 90 km north of Winnipeg, near Gimli). Early in their music careers they adopted the stage surname Roman. The band was rounded out with Ihor “Yogi” Klos (violin/fiddle), Mike Klym (drums) and Andy (Al Tenner) Pokolinski (saxophone).

The band was known as being extremely versatile. Dave Roman, D-Drifters band leader, once stated, "We always thought of ourselves as a rock ’n’ roll cover band, but we could play anything,"

In the late 1950’s, teenagers in Winnipeg had an increasing need for their dance bands to play and sing current radio hit cover songs as well as the standard Ukrainian dance and folk music they grew up hearing. In response, four young, local Ukrainian boys gathered their instruments and started playing together as “The Drifters.” Soon came a name change to “The D-Drifters” after another group in the USA, with the Drifters name, became very famous. When the four Winnipeg musicians added a saxophonist to their band’s ranks, they settled on calling themselves The D-Drifters-5. Quickly, the band worked its way into the Manitoba music scene and by the mid 1960’s they had become the leading bar and dance band in Winnipeg. Several songs were also recorded and became local hits. However, national attention still eluded them.

During the same time period, Winnipeg’s most famous singing duo were Mickey & Bunny. They were riding a surprising wave of success with very good record sales and a calendar full of live performance tours. In each city that the duo appeared, Mickey would hire local musicians to back himself and Bunny in concert. Always an astute business man, Mickey soon realized that a permanent back-up band of their own would make more financial sense. When the D-Drifters-5 showed up for an audition with a couple of years of playing experience under their belts, it paid off, and they were hired on the spot. The band was suddenly out of Winnipeg and, touring back and forth across North America with Mickey & Bunny, making a lot more money than they had seen from the local dances and bars. Mickey was also smart enough to let the band open and close each show with their own set, giving the D-Drifters-5 even more exposure - especially to the younger audience members who would follow their parents to the shows just to see “the band.”

In the 1960s, Mickey & Bunny were recording albums for the V-Records label - owned & operated by Alex Groshak out of his Winnipeg home. A veteran in the music sales business, Groshak recognized a potential market for ethnic music in the Ukrainian-Canadian community. He knew that Ukrainians loved hearing their traditional music live at weddings, dances and social functions, but recorded albums were difficult to find. Soon, Groshak signed the D-Drifters-5 and they joined Mickey & Bunny, plus a large roster of other Manitoba Ukrainian artists (Tommy Buick, Peter Hnatiuk, Interlake Polka Kings, Peter Lamb, Peter Picklyk, Primrose Trio, etc.) at V-Records. To cash in on the teenage generation, that was quickly growing as a major consumer group, Groshak started promoting the D-Drifters-5 as "the Ukrainian Beatles." Eventually, in 1965 at the height of the British Invasion, the band would record an album full of Beatles songs and other British hits, with lyrics sung “half na piv” - in English and Ukrainian. The band would enlist Dave & Tony`s mother, Mrs. Romanyshyn, to help with the Ukrainian translation of English pop song lyrics.

After four years performing with Mickey & Bunny, the D-Drifters-5 again stepped out on their own, but now as international stars who could sell-out their own shows. By the early 1970’s, the band would revert back to the simpler D-Drifters name, and edge towards a more Anglo pop-rock repertoire to appeal to a broader audience whose musical tastes were quickly changing.

In later years there would be several changes in personnel and fewer performances, but Dave would remain to lead the band. Tony left in the 1990s but would come back, with Yogi, near decade's end. Regardless, the band always thrilled any time they entertained a Ukrainian Festival audience. The D-Drifters played concerts right into the 2000s and stopped just a few years before the deaths of both Tony Roman and Yogi Klos.

The D-Drifters introduced a modern sound to Canadian, Prairie-style versions of traditional Ukrainian music and, as a result, they can be credited as the creators of "Ukrainian Rock and Roll."  Some witnesses to early shows described the band's music (and performances) as being "on the edge" and making a great impact.  The D-Drifters were also one of the first Ukrainian zabava bands in Canada to use a full, concert-style PA audio & stage lighting system for their shows, as well as vocal & instrument effects, and risers for the drum kit.

The D-Drifters sound & style, their high level of musicianship, and their stage presentation directly influenced zabava bands for the next several decades, including: Rushnychok, Cheremosh, Samotsvit, Veselka, Vorona, Blysk Shabel, Dumka, Mria, Vatra, Chayka, Solovey, Nove Pokolinya, Dunai, Charka, Kubasonics, and many more!

Though their time in the spotlight is now well in the past, The D-Drifters built themselves a legacy that, today, cannot be denied.

David (Dave Roman) Romanyshyn is currently the owner/engineer of Maddock Studio in Winnipeg, MB.

Anton (Tony Roman) Romanyshyn passed away in August, 2012, in Winnipeg, MB.
Ihor "Yogi" Klos passed away in May, 2013, in Winnipeg, MB.

Original D-Drifters 5 members:

Dave (David Romanyshyn) Roman - Accordion / Cordovox / Lead Vocals
Tony (Anton Romanyshyn) Roman - Guitar / Vocals
Ihor 'Yogi' Klos - Violin/Fiddle / Lead Vocals
Mike Klym - Drums / Backing Vocals
Al Tenner (Andy Pokolinski) - Saxophone.

Later D-Drifters members:

C.F. "Fred" Turner (later of Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO) fame) - Bass / Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
John Wittmann (replaced Turner) - Guitar / Bass.

Bert Dupasquier - Drums / Backing Vocals
Randy Hiebert - Guitar / Bass / Vocals
Eddie Birkett - Drums
Bill Zulak - Violin/Fiddle / Vocals

 (1964) D-Drifters 5 - On Tour
    Side 1
1. Peeyaki (Drunkards)
2. Laughing Sax
3. Wedding Song
4. Simmons Polka
5. Portki (Shorts)
6. Blue Skirt Waltz

Side 2
1. Mother Told Me
2. Russian Fantasy
3. Julayda
4. Polka From Lwow
5. Yogi's Kolomayka
6. Rainbow Waltz

 (1965) D-Drifters 5 - Sing and Play At A Ukrainian Concert
    Side 1
1. The Ford Song
2. Wizard Polka
3. Poor Soldier
4. Footstomper Polka
5. Hiyoo Zelenenkim
6. Ukrainian Kolomayka

Side 2
1. Alley The Trapper
2. Blackjack Polka
3. Wedding Song No. 2
4. Chicken Polka
5. Finiska Waltz
6. All Alone Among The Neighbors

 (1965) D-Drifters 5 - Sing and Play Beatles Songs and Other Top English Hits in Ukrainian
    Side 1
1. Listen To Me
2. Over and Over
3. I Feel Fine
4. From Me To You
5. Needles And Pins
6. Farmer John

Side 2
1. Keep A Knockin'
2. Please Please Me
3. Do You Want To Know A Secret
4. Words of Love
5. She Loves You
6. Where Have All The Flowers Gone

 (1965) D-Drifters 5 - Play Ukrainian Dance Favourites
    Side 1
1. Kozachok
2. Arkan (Circle dance)
3. Siyanka
4. Chumak (Whip dance)
5. Zaporoshets (Sabre dance)
6. Ukrainian Waltz Medley

Side 2
1. Hopak
2. Ukrainian Wedding March (Traditional)
3. Ukrainian Wedding March (Canadian)
4. Bandura Waltz
5. Ukrainian Kolomeyka
6. Wid Haty Do Haty Kolomeyka

 (1966) D-Drifters 5 - Sing and Play Traditional and Original Ukrainian Songs
    Сторона 1 (Side 1)
1. На дорозі (On The Road)
2. Як я був малий хлопець (When I Was A Young Lad)
3. Наші дівчата (Our Girlfriends)
4. Краковяк (Krakowiak)
5. А я люблю Петруся (Oh, How I Love Peter)
6. Чарівна пісня (A Fairy Tale Song)

Сторона 2 (Side 2)
1. Я сьогодні від вас від’їжджаю (Today, I Am Leaving (For Battle))
2. Ой, ходила дівчина беріжком (Girl Walking Along The River Bank)
3. Гречаники (Hretchanyky)
4. Я був мудрий Соломон (I Was A Smart Alec (or Solomon))
5. Ой, там на горі (Up On A Hill)
6. Гандзя (Handzia)

 (1973) D-Drifters - Polka 'N' Fun
    Side 1
1. Ta Ra Ta Da Da Da
2. Sweet 17
3. Off The Cough
4. Work
5. Frazer's Wood Stump
6. Peace
7. Gun For Kawa

Side 2
1. Chicken Song
2. Turkey In The Straw
3. Chicken Polka
4. Nursery Waltz
5. Orange Blossom Jam
6. Nothin'





Manitoba / Barrie, ON. / Formed: 2008 / Status: Active

Dennis Nykoliation website


Dennis Nykoliation was raised in Fisher Branch, Manitoba - situated in the province's Interlake Region. He began playing in a dance band by the time he was 13 years old and travelled extensively from show to show. Dennis was influenced by several great Canadian violinists/fiddlers, including: Don Messer, Ward Allen, Tommy Buick, and Andy Dejarlis.

In his early, professional years, Dennis cut his musical teeth in Monitoba playing with The Regent Ramblers first, and then The Interlake Polka Kings (1964), before he moved to Toronto in 1970 to pursue a long, and successful, business career (with NCR Canada, GE, Black & Decker, and others).

After years spent away from playing music, Nykoliation rejoined the Interlake Polka Kings in 2002, then, in the fall of 2008, he formed his own group known as The Dennis Nykoliation Band. He asked some of his old friends from Manitoba to join this new ensemble. These talented musicians now perform a mix of old time fiddle tunes, western swing & country music, classic rock 'n' roll, and Ukrainian dance & party music. They have earned the moniker "Manitoba's favourite Prairie Style Ukrainian Dance Band." The Dennis Nykoliation Band maintains a very busy performance schedule. Even though he now resides in Barrie, ON, Nykoliation spends up to seven months a year playing around his old stomping grounds in Manitoba.

Dennis Nykoliation's two recorded albums feature the same mix of music that his band is known for when playing live, plus some tunes from years gone by that may evoke a great sense of nostalgia for his fans.
Please visit The Dennis Nykoliation Band website for their complete performance schedule, in-depth biographies, and information on purchasing the music CDs.

 (2009) Dennis Nykoliation - 22 Fiddle Classics  (2012) Dennis Nykoliation - Just For You
1. Ava Lee's Waltz
2. The Gladstone Waltz
3. Ikey's Polka
4. Walashek's Polka
5. Ma Joline
6. On the Road to Boston
7. Silver & Gold Two Step
8. Bette Marie's Waltz
9. White River Stomp
10. Katerina's Kolomayka
11. Ill be all Smiles Tonight
12. Regent Rambler's Polka
13. Spot Light
14. Waltz Quadrille
15. Roger's Polka
16. Easy Polka
17. Village Carousel Waltz
18. Walter Skibinski's Polka
19. Play a Simple Melody
20. Sarsaparilla Polka
21. Blue Skirt Waltz
22. Orrasia's Kolomayka
1. Brendan's Waltz
2. Silver Wedding Waltz
3. Red River Valley
4. Too Old to Die Young
5. Happy Acres Two Step
6. Helena Polka
7. Clarene Waltz
8. Finnish Waltz
9. Girl with Dark Eyes
10. Walk in the Orchard
11. Regina Wedding March
12. Once More
13. Fiddling Fingers Polka
14. Polish Polka
15. La Paloma
16. I Live Alone
17. White Rose Waltz

Today, The Dennis Nykoliation Band's members include:

Dennis Nykoliation - Fiddle / Vocals
Paul Pododworny - Drums
Peter Karish - Guitars / Vocals
Bill Scherbatiuk - Guitars / Saxophone / Vocals
Stephen Kiz - Accordion / Keyboards
Rob Caprioti (for non-Ukrainian gigs) - Vocals / Keyboards




Toronto, ON.






Edmonton, AB. / 2000s.


A versatile combo from Edmonton with many years of playing experience, The Diamonds Band play a repertoire that is wide in variety and full of dance music that is perfect for many types of functions - polkas, waltzes, foxtrots, classic rock 'n roll, traditional Ukrainian, Eastern European & Gypsy, Latin American, and Country & Western music! Whether the function is a private wedding or banquet, or a public festival or zabava, this band always plays with sincere enthusiasm and top-notch musicianship.

Original fiddle player Ron Lakusta led the Diamonds Band upon its inception and steered the band through a steady rise in popularity across Alberta and Western Canada. The band was a "collective" of musicians for several years - many of the members were veteran musicians who also played with several other ensembles.

For the last several years, accordionist Craig Repchuk has passionately assumed leadership of the Diamonds Band, which currently features Chester Chodzicki (bg), Rick Chomyn (g), and Benjamin Christiani (v). Until July 2017, trumpeter Nestor Worobets was also a regular member, but has retired after playing 12 years with the band. Nestor does appear on the band's latest recording Next Generation on which the Diamonds Band has maintained the old-time style of music with traditional Ukrainian, Latin, Irish & Maritime Canadian, and classic Country flavours and added a new flare of violin and guitar.

Regular gigs for the Diamonds Band have included Vegreville's Pysanka Festival, and Edmonton's Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village Friends Music Festival.

* The 3 of Diamonds is a new spin-off group from the Diamonds Band and includes Rick Chomyn (Lead and Rhythm Guitar), Ben Christiani (Violin), and Craig Repchuk (Accordions and Vocals). As an award winning violin/fiddle player, Christiani's unique playing is prominently featured in the new band. The 3 of Diamonds group plays all types of music, including Old Time, Eastern/Western Canadian, traditional Irish Folk, Ukrainian, Latin, and classic Country music. They easily play snappy polkas, kolomeykas, waltzes, and shuffles for any function.

The Diamonds Band and 3 of Diamonds have both recorded and released new albums that are available on CD.

For bookings contact Craig Repchuk at 780-918-4784,or email: craigrepchuk@shaw.ca

The current members of The Diamonds Band:

Craig Repchuk - Accordion / Piano & Keyboards / Vocals
Ben Christani - Violin/Fiddle
Rick Chomyn - Guitar / Vocals
Chester Chodzicki - Bass Guitar / 6-string Guitar

Past members of The Diamonds Band:

Ron Lakusta - Fiddle/Violin / Vocals
Ray Armitage - Guitar
Ian Armitage - Bass
Nick Mischi (Miskew) - Dulcimer (Tsymbaly)
Rick Sanchez - Drums
Bill Shekooley - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Ed Slepanki - Accordion
Ray Titiryn - Saxophones
Nestor Worobets - Trumpet / Bass Guitar / Vocals
Peter Yacyshyn - Violin
Bruce Yakoweshen - Drums



Дніпрові Хвилі

Montreal, QC. / Formed: 1980 / Status: ?


 Vasyl, Yurij, Roman and Yurij.




Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1970s / Status: Active.

email: polkadon@gmail.com


Don Bilinski was born and raised in central Saskatchewan (near Wishart, SK.) - a region of Canada thick with Ukrainian rural settlement and rich in Ukrainian prairie-style music. As a teenager he was witness to a "live" stage and dance show by Winnipeg’s legendary Interlake Polka Kings band when they appeared in Ituna, Saskatchewan. This was a performance that Don claims influenced him substantially and he can recall that later that same evening he started believing “Maybe, just maybe, I can do this one day!” At only 19 years of age he moved to Winnipeg - the centre of Ukrainian-Canadian music at the time - to pursue his musical dreams.

In 1973 Don Bilinski formed his own band - The Saskatchewan Wheat Kings - an ensemble that featured many different, and talented, musicians over its tenure and introduced him to audiences across the Canadian prairies.

By 1977, with a sense of entrepreneurship, Don invested in the rural hotel business in Manitoba and Saskatchewan; a venture that provided him unexpected musical benefits - meeting and befriending several fellow musicians who would stay at his inns or reside in nearby communities. Violinist Bill Prokopchuk was one of those who became a good friend and, in the following years, Don would join Bill on stage for over 100 gigs, thus helping to strengthen his love for OldTime Prairie-style Ukrainian music.
When Don moved to Oakburn, Manitoba, after purchasing a motor lodge in town, he also met legendary fiddler Peter Lamb and family. Lamb was a musician whom Don had first seen play years before. The two became friends and Don was honoured to play with Peter on a number of occasions.

Since he first started playing as a musician, Don Bilinski has fiercely promoted Western Canadian OldTime Ukrainian music by playing it live on stage, playing it "On Air" as a volunteer host of the Polka Power show on Regina’s CJTR radio, and especially, by supporting all the bands in Western Canada by attending their live functions or purchasing music from them.
In fact, Don is a voracious collector of polka and prairie music. When he noticed that internet sites such as YouTube were seriously lacking examples of this type of music, Don assumed the alias “Polkadon DB” and started posting songs from his extensive record collection. The response to his video postings has been tremendous. Great work Don - your contributions to preserving this music, and making it available to everyone, has assured that it is here to stay for future generations to discover and enjoy!

Today, Don is still very passionate about the music he has loved since a child. In 2013 he moved back to Winnipeg, where it all started, and he now freelances with a number of bands - adding his musical touch anywhere he can. Also, as a multi-instrunentalist, Don has released a few albums on CD, each one part of a series that he calls "Party On The Prairies." He is always working on new music for future release. Don handles the violin, accordion, tsymbaly, guitar and vocals on each album.

To purchase his CDs, or comment on his YouTube postings, Don Bilinski may be reached by email at: polkadon@gmail.com

 (2014) Don Bilinski - PARTY ON THE PRAIRIES - Ukrainian Style
    1. Introduction Polka (with narration from Don)
2. Lovers Polka (Retro Style)
3. Pete and Jim's Polka (Retro Style)
4. Rozluka Waltz (vocal)
5. Dysart Polka
6. Arran Kolomayka (vocal ~ Frank Bandura Style)
7. Kelliher Waltz
8. Bill's Foxtrot
9. Poyeekow do Longlaco Polka (vocal)
10. Perberayou Kozak (vocal)
11. Krasne Polka
12. Rocky's Polka
13. Ternopil Polka

 (2014) Don Bilinski - PARTY ON THE PRAIRIES - Oldtime Country Style
    1. Correction Line Polka (with narration)
2. Boil The Kapusta
3. How Prairie Girls Can Love (vocal)
4. Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff (vocal)
5. Silver Threads And Golden Needles (vocal)
6. Last Hope Foxtrot
7. Gumboot Clogaroo (vocal)
8. Who Left The Door To Heaven Open (vocal)
9. Natalia's Waltz
10. Waltz Of The Angels (vocal)
11. Friendly Manitoba (vocal)
12. 1943 Family Tragedy Foxtrot
13. Wild Side Of Life (vocal)
14. The Drunken Driver (vocal)
15. Leaning On The Everlasting Arms (vocal)

 (2014) Don Bilinski - PARTY ON THE PRAIRIES - Instrumental Favorites
    Side 1
1. Kossack's March
2. Rover's Polka
3. Balamuta Waltz
4. Tsvite Teren (Blackthorn Flower)
5. Becky's Departure
6. Mike Moroz Foxtrot
7. Steve's Polka
8. Oliver's Polka
9. Ne Bude Soomnay (Don't Be Lonesome)
10. Susie's Waltz
11. Olesia's Journey
12. White House Polka
13. Kolomarch
14. 2007 Crisis Lament




Toronto, ON.

Dovira Band website


DoVira blends the roots of their Ukrainian musical heritage with Eastern European folk music and Western styles such as jazz, rock, experimental and electronic music.

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, composer and multi-instrumentalist Stacey Yerofeyeva was immersed in Ukrainian folk music at an early age. After immigrating to Toronto, Stacey took up jazz piano studies, completing her Bachelor of Music degree at Humber College. At college she met a handful of talented young musicians who shared the vision of joining the worlds of Ukrainian and contemporary music and thus, DoVira was born.

Stacey Yerofeyeva - Vocals / Piano / Keyboards
Mark Rynkun - Bass Guitar
Patrick O'Reilly - Guitar
Mike Romaniak - Sopilka Flute
Derek Gray - Drums / Prcussion

Former DoVira member:
George Nikolov - Drums



Дрейфуючі козаки

Gilbert Plains, MB. / Formed: Nov. 2017 / Status: Active.

Drifting Cossacks on Facebook


The Parkland Region of Manitoba has recently produced another great band now performing under the name The Drifting Cossacks. Based in the community of Gilbert Plains (about 30 km directly west of Dauphin, MB.), the band is within easy reach of most parts of Manitoba, and beyond.

Billing themselves as a "Ukrainian Party Band," The Drifting Cossacks are readily available for any occasion, including: weddings, socials, festivals, malankas, and anniversaries. The band members enjoy playing for the love of music, and they are dedicated to keeping traditions alive with down to earth, toe tapping, foot stamping, old-time Ukrainian music.

The band has already played several functions where the audience reaction to their perfomances has been very positive. Also, having Canada's National Ukrainian Festival at the band's doorstep has enabled them to become quick favourites at CNUF functions. In fact, The Drifting Cossacks will be releasing their forthcoming debut CD album at the 2018 edition of CNUF.

The Drifting Cossacks are comprised of five talented musicians:

Trevor Hale - Guitars
Ed Dobranski - Drums
Jeremy Sytnick - Accordion / Bass / Guitars
Dan Kozak - Accordion / Tsymbaly / Lead Vocals
Andy Zamonsky - Fiddle

To follow the band's activities, please visit them on:
Twitter – @thedriftingcossacks
Instagram – the drifting cossacks

To book The Drifting Cossacks for your function, please contact Dan at:
Phone – 204-447-1625 or
Email – thedriftingcossacks@outlook.com




Edmonton, AB. / 1980s.


An Edmonton, Alberta zabava band from the 1980s, Dumka produced some good musicians who would eventually play with other Edmonton bands. Dumka recorded one album.

Christina Cherneskey - Bandura / Vocals
Ted (Fedir) Harasymchuk - Dulcimer (Tsymbaly) / Sopilka Fife / Guitar
Ihor Karpa - Drums / Percussion / Vocals
Robert (Bohdan) Snatynchuk - Guitar / Vocals
Orest Warchola - Saxophone
Roman Warchola - Trumpet / Guitar / Vocals
Bohdan Zajcew - Keyboards / Sopilka / Vocals

Bohdan Zajcew is a well respected Canadian writer

 (1983) Dumka - Soundscapes
    Side 1
1. Overture: If I Had A Grey Horse
2. There Is A Rue In The Field
3. Poet
4. Halya
5. Surrounded By Mountains

Side 2
1. Mist In The Ravine
2. Dream
3. Beyond The Forest
4. Sunset
5. Finale: Forever






Oshawa/Toronto, ON. / Formed: 1982 / Status: Very Active.

Dunai Band website
Dunai Facebook page

Today, Dunai is a Toronto based zabava band that is a dependable mainstay on the North American Ukrainian music circuit. The band has performed at all the major Ukrainian festivals, in Canada and the U.S.A., during their long career, as well as innumerable weddings, banquets and zabavas.

With their diverse musical backgrounds in folk, rock, jazz, blues, Latin music and traditional Ukrainian melodies, the members of Dunai have fused together a unique style of their own that draws the attention of their audiences, who in turn, call the band back to perform year after year.

Dunai was formed in 1982 by a group of young friends (Alex, Yar & Stefan) who attended Ukrainian School together in Oshawa, Ontario (east of Toronto). Like most teenagers at the time, the guys loved hanging around the basement while listening to the latest albums by their favourite bands, then being the first in line when those bands came to town for a show. However, these friends listened to more than just Rock 'n' Roll; they were also fascinated by zabava bands who were playing the same Ukrainian standards that their own newly-formed band was learning. Bands like the D-Drifters, Rushnychok, Syny Stepiv, Burya, Solovey, plus another young band from Montreal named Veselka - all would have a major influence on the future Dunai sound.

The tight knit Ukrainian community in Oshawa was a great place for the young Dunai band to rapidly learn and grow musically. Clustered in a relatively close area around Highway 401, Oshawa's Ukrainian churches, cultural centres, and banquet halls have always hosted regular concerts, festivals, language classes, dance lessons, and choir practices. Friends and family are always close, and all the Ukrainian events occurring in Toronto are just 30 to 40 minutes down the road!

Inspired by all the music (and cultural activity) that surrounded them growing up in Oshawa, the Dunai band members practiced until they learned each of their favourite Ukrainian songs perfectly. By the late 1980s, they were working their way to becoming one of the busiest zabava bands in Southern Ontario.

As the band was maturing, they endured some friendly personnel changes (a few early members left, while some new ones joined up). Original members Alex Fesiak (keyboards & vocals) and Yar Haluk (drums) became Dunai's driving forces. The new additions included, gifted jazz musician and music teacher, Steve Sherman (guitar), and former Montrealer and Veselka band member, Ihor Zowtonizka (guitar & vocals). Eventually, Kevin Goss was added on saxophone. By the early 1990s, the band's lineup was set and ready to ride the busy road to regular zabavas, weddings and festivals - gigs where they paid their weekly dues and built a reputation for the Dunai name.

Throughout its existence, Dunai has aspired to present unique, creative and entertaining recorded music and performances for their audiences. The band strives to preserve the essence of traditional Ukrainian melodies, yet they enjoy introducing innovative arrangements to older music. They also feel it is important to create new, original compositions that expand the Ukrainian-Canadian musical palette. The original Dunai song “Zvuky Hitary” (Звуки Гітари) is a perfect example where the band mixes traditional styles with classic rock, pop, Latin & Flamenco flavours.

As a well established band now playing in its fourth decade, Dunai takes pride in its role within their Ukrainian community. As a way of giving back, they have participated in numerous fundraising campaigns over the years, including: The I Am Alive CD benefiting Ukrainian children of Chornobyl, and, more recently, raising funds for injured Ukrainian soldiers.

Dunai has regularly performed at:
Canada's National Ukrainian Festival (Dauphin, MB.),
Toronto's Bloor West Ukrainian Festival,
Ottawa's Capital Ukrainian Festival,
Soyuzivka Ukrainian Cultural Center (Suzi-Q, Kerhonkson, NY.) Zabavas.

Dunai has recorded and released three albums, available on CD, and also have numerous videos posted online. The band's website is a great place to look for more information about them.

 (1991) Dunai - I Searched the World  (2000) Dunai - Soundscape
1. I Searched the World
2. Poor Woman
3. Stormy Waters
4. At Daybreak
5. Under the Cherry Tree
6. By the Sea
7. Blue Mountains
8. Once I Had a Girl
9. Forever My Love
1. Kari Ochi
2. Oj Na Hori
3. Oj Khotila Mene Maty
4. V Edmontoni
5. Cherez Pole Shryokeje
6. Spy Dytynko
7. Zvuky Hitary
8. Leleky
9. Yikhaly Kozaky
10. Wild Tonight

 (2015) Dunai - Dunai 3
1. Ukrayino, Vstavay!
2. Za Dunayem
3. Kolo Mlyna
4. Marichka
5. Hey Sokoly
6. Fly Kozak
7. Susidko
8. Chervona Ruta
9. Revolution
10. Chas Proshchannya
11. Bez Boyu

The members of Dunai (L to R in photo):

Kevin Goss - Saxophones / Flute
Steve Sherman - Guitars / Vocals
Ihor Zowtonizka - Guitars / Vocals
Jeremy (Yar) Haluk - Drums / Percussion   (Founding member)
Alex Fesiak - Keyboards / Accordion / Lead Vocals   (Founding member)

Regular guest member of Dunai:
Ruslan Nebesov - Violin

Early Dunai members:
Steve (Stefan) Uriadka - Saxophone (Founding member)
Taras Dzikiewicz - Trumpet / Vocals
Myron Haluk - Trumpet / Vocals
Steve Hrywnak - Guitar.



Два Скрипаки

Saskatchewan & Manitoba.


 Steve Myk of Manitoba and Al Sobkowich of Saskatchewan were Dva Skripakih.

 DVA SKRIPAKIH - A Salute to Legendary Tommy Buick
1. Wedding March
2. Forever Mine Polka
3. School Platter Waltz
4. Glory Polka
5. Tommy Polish Polka
6. Tommy’s Special
7. Sweetheart Waltz
8. White Gardenia Polka
9. Sushia - Shushia
10. Valley River Polka
11. Bride’s Waltz
12. Polish Polka
13. Trembowla Polka

Dva Skripakih featured two of the finest fiddlers in the Ukrainian Canadian music community.

Al Sobkowich was born in Hubbard, Saskatchewan (midway between Regina and Yorkton) and at a young age he was playing the violin at various functions throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He became a dedicated fan of fiddler Tommy Buick after he first heard him play in the early 1960s.

Steve Myk grew up on the family farm in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba (just west of Dauphin) where he first developed his love of music. He began violin lessons at age fourteen and played his first wedding at the age of fifteen. Steve was influenced early on by musicians such as King Gannam, Don Messer, and Andy Desjarlis. Every week he played along with the radio while listening to CKDM in Dauphin, MB.

Both Sobkowich and Myk were past members of The Ambrose Brothers Band, and both were featured guests in several other bands on stage and on record (particularly Myk with The Ukrainian Oldtimers).

Mr. Sobkowich passed away in August 2004 and Mr. Myk passed away in April 2012.

Dva Skripakih featured:

Steve Myk - 1st & 2nd Fiddle
Albin (Al) Sobkowich - 1st & 2nd Fiddle
Gerry Krawchuk - Accordion
Paul Podworny - Drums



DYNAMICS, Stan Lapnisky & The

Andrew, AB.






Edmonton, AB. / 1960s.


Steve Osypchuk, Bob Mason, Con Malayko, Dan Chomlak, John Dlugosz and Bill Boychuk - The Easy Aces.




Edmonton, AB.


Nick Weleschuk 




Edmonton, AB.






Edmonton, AB.







Edmonton, AB.







Edmonton, AB.


Ernie Zoazirny - Violin
Maurice Beaulieu - Accordion
Bob Zoazirny - Tsymbaly Dulcimer




Гурт Евфорія



Edmonton, AB. / Formed: Jan. 2007 / Status: Active.

Euphoria Band website
Euphoria Facebook page
Euphoria on Twitter


Edmonton based Euphoria was formed in 2007 and has become one of the leaders in the Ukrainian-Canadian music community. The band strives to create an experience for its clients and guests that they will not forget.

Founding member, and band leader, Adrian Warchola has been studying piano for many years in the Royal Conservatory of Music program, and credits his parents for their encouragement in taking lessons. His early years spent singing campfire songs as a member of PLAST, along with his musical training, has helped bring his love for Ukrainian music to life with the development and management of Euphoria. His friend Steven Gowda, who has been playing drums since the age of 10, has also been with Euphoria since its inception and music has always played an important role in his life too. Both members credit Euphoria for helping them evolve as musicians and they thoroughly enjoy entertaining others by sharing their Ukrainian music.

Today the band is rounded out with Marissa Karpiak on vocals, Brett Hansen on guitar, and Orest Warchola on tenor saxophone & vocals. Orest has been playing the tenor saxophone for over 30 years as both a band member and studio musician.

Euphoria was founded on its members’ love for Ukrainian folk music, along with influences of modern Ukrainian pop, rock, and techno music. The band has blended these genres to form their own unique sound, however, Euphoria's love for playing traditional polkas, waltzes, and tangos is evident every time they perform. The band also plays a wide variety of English pop songs, country songs, & many good old classics. Currently they are offering a live show with either all English-style music, or all Ukrainian music to please every taste.

Euphoria always looks forward to pleasing their guests at weddings, zabava/dances, festivals and special events. Adrian Warchola may be contacted for bookings at: 780-446-4995 or euphoriaband@live.com.

The following (partial) performance list is testament to Euphoria‘s popularity:

Friends of the Ukainian Music Festival at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (2008)
Ukrainian Canadian Congress Ukrainian Day at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (2008, 2009, 2010)
PLAST Ukrainian Youth Scouting Organization Canada Wide Jamboree (KPZ) Zabava (2009)
Vohon's Malanka in the Mountains at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (2009, 2010, 2011)
Vegreville Ukrainian Pysanka Festival (2009, 2010, 2014)
Ukrainian Canadian Congress XXIII Triennial Congress Gala/Banquet Zabava (2010)
SUSK Ukrainian National Students Union Banquet and Zabava (2010, 2013)
Servus Heritage Festival - Ukrainian Pavillion (2011, 2013)
Vegreville School of Ukrainian Dancing Malanka (2015)
Countless Weddings, Zabavas, Banquets & Anniversaries (2008-Present)

The current members of Euphoria are:

Adrian Warchola - Keyboards / Lead Vocals
Steven Gowda - Drums & Percussion
Marissa Karpiak - Vocals
Fred Mack - Saxophone
Brett Hansen - Guitar

Founding Members:
Adrian Warchola - Keyboards / Lead Vocals
Steven Gowda - Drums
Maria Cherwick - Violin / Vocals
Kent Shores - Guitar

Former Members:
Nick Diaz - Guitar
Daria Storoschuk - Vocals
Orest Warchola - Tenor Saxophone / Vocals




Edmonton, AB.






Edmonton, AB.






Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1975


The Female Beat, from Winnipeg, have two recordings "The Beat Goes On" and "Stepping Out With..."

The members of Female Beat:

Joan Lasko - Accordion
Joyce Horn - Guitar
Valerie Feniuk - Drums
Gail Koroluk - Violin

former members:
Shirley - Drums




Toronto, ON.


Stephen Didunyk on piano, keyboards and accordion.




Regina, SK.


Band led by accordionist Dennis Ficor.




around Edmonton, AB.

5 Second Rule
Facebook page

"Our songs are a mixture of Country, Classic Rock and some traditional Ukrainian tunes."




Edmonton? AB.






Edmonton, AB. / Formed: Oct. 2013 / Status: Very Active.

5 Star Facebook page
5 Star Band website

  5 STAR

Bruce and Berni Yakoweshen, along with Jason Wolff (all formerly of the Prairie Rose Band), have assembled a new and exciting zabava band named 5 Star. Together, they hope to appeal to a wide audience by playing a variety of genres including: old and new country, rock, pop, and traditional Ukrainian music. The band can regularly be found playing at Weddings, Anniversaries, Banquets, New Year's Dances, Ukrainian Malankas, Church Functions, Harvest Dances, etc. The range of experience for the music veterans in this band is extensive and 5 Star plays every gig with unreserved enthusiasm. They look forward to continuing the tradition of entertaining audiences in Alberta with great Ukrainian music!

Bruce and Berni each have over 40 years of professional music experience and are well known in the Ukrainian music scene. Bruce, 5 Star’s leader, first showed interest in playing music when he was just five years old, and has built an amazing career playing drums with bands such as: The Mello Tones, Altones, and Joe Hrycyk & the Starlites, before joining the Prairie Rose Band. Bruce is also a popular fill-in drummer for many other bands, including: Victor Holubowich & the Royalites, The Playboys, Metro Radomsky Orchestra, Jimmy Wacko, Alex Maduck, and Millenia!

Berni, Bruce’s wife, plays keyboards and bass in 5 Star and loves to play Ukrainian music with her husband. Her interest in music began at age eight when she started taking accordion lessons, and later she played tenor saxophone for many years in her school band. Singing has also always been an important part of Berni's life. At 14, she joined her father's band, Joe Hrycyk and The Starlites, and played with them for 29 years. During this time, she also toured with the late fiddling icon Al Cherny. In 2004, Berni joined Ernie Shupenia's Prairie Rose Band, where she recalls that she had "a wonderful nine years."

Bruce and Berni place great importance on keeping Ukrainian music alive in their family and instilling Ukrainian traditions into their four grandchildren -.from that they draw their enthusiasm and drive to continue playing. Their son, Bobby Yakoweshen, keeps the family tradition alive as the excellent drummer for the band Millenia.

Jason Wolff plays guitar and is the lead singer of 5 Star. Jason also brings many years of experience into the band from his time touring with several different country and rock bands across Western Canada. His background studying music at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan College, mixed together with his expertise and wide knowledge of music, is truly an asset for the 5 Star band.

Ihor Nedoshytko joined 5 Star in October, 2014 as the band's accordion & guitar player and he also sings in both Ukrainian & English. When Ihor was only six he started studying accordion, then classical and jazz guitar, and also choral & instrumental conducting. His experience, playing various music styles, spans over 50 years, in a list of bands that is almost endless: International Polka Kings, Golden Tones Dance Band, Final Decision, Kubasonics, Beaverhill Orchestra, T3 Big Band, Edmonton Swing Band, Barefoot Big Band, C-Jam Big Band, Dumka, Trembita, Charka, and Silver Hawk Band!

Rod Olstad, formerly of the Kubasonics, is a very exciting and talented violin player who brings a variety of influences to 5 Star. Rod’s interest in the violin started at a very early age, and he has played, taught, and recorded in a variety of traditional fiddle styles. He is also the co-director of the Gateway Fiddlers, and the Festival City Fiddlers. Rod is always happiest when he is on stage performing.

The 5 Star band has recorded one album so far. To purchase the CD, or to book the band for an event, please contact them by: phone 780-953-9113, or email: byako@telus.net

Some memorable shows that 5 Star has played include:
- 2014 & 2015 "Servus Heritage Festival" in Edmonton
 (where each year the weekend attendance has exceeded 380,000 people!)
- The annual CFCW sponsored "Friends Ukrainian Music Fest" at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, AB.

The members of 5 Star are:

Bruce Yakoweshen - Drums / Band Leader
Berni Yakoweshen - Keyboard / Bass / Vocals
Jason Wolff - Guitar / Vocals
Ihor Nedoshydko - Accordion / Guitar / Vocals
Rod Olstad - Violin

Former member of 5 Star:
George Paleniuk - Accordion / Vocals (also, an original member of Charka)

 (2015) 5 Star - Razom
1. Arkan (Аркан)
2. Choven Khytaetsya (Човен Хитається)
3. Reel Beatrice/Trembulyanka
4. Do Not Leave Me (Dedicated To Ken Radomsky In Memory Of His Dad Metro Radomsky)
5. Doroha Moya Mama (Дорога Моя Мама) (Dedicated To Berni From Her Children Bobby, Teresa, And Tamara)
6. Ihor’s Latin (Written And Arranged By Ihor Nedoshytko)
7. Black Velvet Waltz
8. End Of The Line (Written By Gordon Wolff)
9. Golden Slippers
10. Chicken Polka/Turkey In The Straw (Dedicated In Memory Of Yogi Klos And Tony Roman)
11. Uncle Henry’s Waltz Medley (Dedicated To Rod’s Uncle Henry Levang)
12. De Zhoda V Rodyni - Де Згода В Родині
13. Siyanka (Сіянка)
14. Chervona Rozha (Червона Рожа)
15. Braunla/Maiden’s Prayer
16. One Pair Of Hands
17. Fun Kozak




Zhoda/Winnipeg, MB. / Since the late 1950s.



The Frazer River Boys have been Manitoba favourites since the band was formed in the late 1950’s by the Danylchuk brothers (Walter, William, and Alex) who were all born and raised on a farm near Zhoda, Manitoba. (in Ukrainian, Zhoda means "agreement" and was first settled by Ukrainian farmers in the early 1900’s). Soon after the boys started playing together, their neighbour from Zhoda, Harry Hawryshko, joined the band on drums and, in 1967, Mike Paradowsky (of nearby Sarto, Manitoba) joined on vocals and guitar.

Through their faithful commitment to sharing the Ukrainian music they enjoyed playing, the Frazer River Boys built a steady fan base in Ukrainian immigrant communities from Northern Ontario and to the west across the Canadian Prairies. Over the decades they have played countless banquets, festivals and weddings. A favourite event where the band enjoyed performing was the annual Gardenton Ukrainian Festival. In the late 1970’s, Walter Danylchuk left the band to focus on his work for the CNR and to tend to his extensive garden. Though William Danylchuk continued playing in the band, he also became a much respected, and long-serving, local politician and school teacher.

Original Frazer River Boys members:

Walter Danylchuk ✝ -
William Danylchuk ✝✝✝ - Accordion / Lead Vocals / MC
Alex Danylchuk - Violin / Rhythm Guitar / Bass Guitar / Saxophone / Harmony Vocals
Harry Hawryshko - Drums / Tsymbaly (Hammer Dulcimer) / Vocals
Mike Paradowsky ✝✝ - Guitar / Vocals

Today, the youngest Danylchuk brother, Alex leads The Frazer River Boys playing his violin. Harry Hawryshko stills plays drums for the band, and has also released a couple solo tsymbaly albums over the years containing both original material and traditional Ukrainian songs. Currently, the accordion is handled by either Terry Kraynyk or John Lwiwski, while the guitarist is Don Bilinski. Vocals are shared by all the band members.
After 60 years of existing as a popular, working band, The Frazer River Boys still love to play at the occasional function where admiring audiences love to dance to good, old time Ukrainian melodies.

✝ Walter Danylchuk passed away in November, 2002.
✝✝ Mike Paradowsky passed away in October, 2013.
✝✝✝ William Danylchuk passed away in May, 2014.




Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: Nov. 2000 / Status: Active.


The Friends Band plays a unique blend of old time and new world music - Ukrainian, Country, Rock, Latin, & Blues, and has become a favourite with both old and young fans. They have recorded one CD of music titled: Friends.



The members of The Friends Band are:

Les Rolsky - Saxophone / Violin / Vocals (Founding member)
Darrell Oystreck - Drums (Founding member)
Joe Desoussa - Accordion / Keyboards / Vocals
Chester Neduzak - Saxophone / Bass / Vocals
" Always fun playing the polka fests in Beausejour, Manitoba!!!!!! "




Andrew/Edmonton, AB.


As a young teenager, accordionist Ernie Shupenia formed The Golden Tones, with three of his friends, in their hometown of Andrew, Alberta. Later in his career, Ernie formed The Prairie Rose Band.




Toronto, ON. / 1980s.


Young punk/pop band from west Toronto, Greensneekers put on a vivid and energetic stage show during their relatively short life together. The band mixed some punked-up traditional Ukrainian numbers in between their "New Wave" & "Alternative Rock" song list. Greensneekers played many Ukrainian Student "Pub Night" zabavas in the old St. Volodymyr Church hall at 404 Bathurst Avenue - as well as several other gigs at various venues across Toronto (places like: the Taras Shevchenko Hall on Horner Ave, and the, long-since demolished & forgotten, Etobicoke Place on Dundas St. in Toronto's west end).
Members from this band would later re-group as techno-rockers "Parcels to Europe".

Joey Bolic (aka: Joe Yaly) - Drums / Backing Vocals
Adriana 'Ada' Buyniak - Keyboards / Vocals
Andre Hucal - Lead Vocals
Terry Hucal - Guitar / Vocals
Adrian Lawryshyn - Bass Guitar / Backing Vocals
Roman Tchoryk - Lead Guitar
Orest Chabursky - Keyboards / Vocals




Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1971.


Since 1971 The Group Five has played in pubs & nightclubs, at festivals and weddings across Manitoba and Ontario. Over the years this semi-pro band has performed at countless events, including: Canada's National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, MB. and the Ukrainian Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The Group Five recorded their album Ukrainian Champagne in 1978.

Ray Honeybun - Accordion
Bill Harrow - Drums
Vic Tomiuk - Guitar
Eugene Pachet - Bass Guitar
Paul Andrew-Honeybun - Saxophone
Christine Honeybun-Preachuk - Vocals
Dave Reichert - Violin.




Edmonton, AB.


Slavko Lepki 



Гаф на пів

Saskatoon, SK.

Half na Piv
Facebook page

For more than a decade now, the members of dance band Half Na Piv have been combining Ukrainian, Country, and old Rock music while performing exciting sets at weddings, anniversaries & special events across Saskatchewan and parts beyond.

The band hopes to gather the energy of their best songs onto a recorded album, one day soon.




Calgary, AB.






Edmonton, AB.


Myron Uhryn 




Musidora/Edmonton, AB. / 1950s, 1960s.


Helen Horban was born in the small, central Alberta hamlet of Musidora (about 150km east of Edmonton, and just NE of Vegreville, AB.) She learned to play violin at 12 years of age and had a small taste of live performance during the 1930s, but then pulled away from the instrument for many years while living in Lavoy, AB. and getting married. Not until 1955 did she start playing again upon moving to Edmonton. Before long, she acquainted herself with some equally talented musicians and they formed the Helen and The Rhythm Makers band. Together, they became a popular dance band that could be heard playing at weddings, zabavas and social events for several years.

The band released at least one record album consisting of some of their favourite polkas, waltzes, and dance melodies.

Helen Horban - Violin / Vocals
Mike Hruschak - Drums / Vocals
Bill Iskiw - Dulcimer (Tsymbaly)
Marvin Luchka - Bass / Accordion

 Helen and The Rhythm Makers - Helen and The Rhythm Makers




Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: ~1996 / Status: Active.

High Profile Band website

Text contents courtesy the High Profile Band website:

"The High Profile Dance Band is one of Manitoba’s most exciting Rock/Pop/Country Rock/Ukrainian wedding, dance and all-around zabava bands. Based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, High Profile has been performing at various functions throughout Winnipeg, Southern Manitoba and beyond for nearly 20 years. The five approachable and friendly members of the band bring many years of combined musical experience to provide you with a musical extravaganza that you will not soon forget.

High Profile regularly performs at weddings, banquets, corporate functions, festivals and house parties.

High Profile play both Ukrainian and Contemporary music with the same high standard for each style, but they are also known for injecting a little humour into their act to leave audiences with smiles from ear to ear.

The band members are not only accomplished players on stage, they have also developed their talents in the recording studio. The result is that High Profile has recorded three successful Ukrainian CDs. The recordings exemplify that High Profile can modernize Ukrainian music while maintaining the traditional approach. The CDs have received extensive airplay across Canada and now are being played in the United States."

Catch High Profile soon.

 High Profile - Traditionally Yours  High Profile - …And The Zabava Goes On…
1. Tsyhanochka (Polka)
2. Forever Young Polka
3. Oj U Vyshnevomu Sadochku (Waltz)
4. Ridna Maty Moja (Latin)
5. Chorni Ochka, Jak Teren (Polka)
6. Expectations Waltz
7. Veetir Veeje (Polka)
8. Waltz Medley
9. Vesna Polka
10. Bodaj Sja Kohut Znudyw (Waltz)
11. Pride And Joy Polka
12. Choho Verba Plache (Modern Pop)
1. Hey Zabava (Polka)
2. Early Bird of Spring (Polka)
3. Oj Ty Nichenko (Waltz)
4. Chervona Ruta (Modern Pop)
5. Handzju Waltz
6. Hory Hory (Polka)
7. Mnohaja Lita (Traditional)
8. Sam Pju Sam Huljaju (Polka)
9. Balamuta/Bandura (Waltz)
10. Vivat Medley #1 (Polkas)
11. Oj Diwchyno Shumyt Haj (Waltz)
12. Oj Ta Duna (Samba)
13. Out of Control Kolomayka #1

 High Profile - Tribute to Ukrainian Heritage
1. Rozprjahajte Khloptsi Koni (Polka)
2. Polka Medley
3. Choven Khytajetsja (Rocking Boat Waltz)
4. Z Syrom Pyrohy (Samba)
5. Oj Chorna Ja Sy Chorna (Polka)
6. Carpathian Waltz
7. Fly Kozak (Polka)
8. Waltz Of The Widow
9. Up On The Hill / Kozachok (Polka)
10. Vivat Medley #2 (Polkas)
11. De Zhoda V Rodyni (The Malanka Song)
12. Hutsulka Ksenja (Modern Pop)
13. Out Of Control Kolomayka #2



Хлопці з Міста

Toronto/Mississauga, ON. / Formed: October 2013. / Status: Very Active

Hloptsi z Mista
Facebook page

Hloptsi z Mista - 2018
Though Hloptsi z Mista (aka: X3M) is still a relatively young band made up of young men, each member comes from a background full of music and Ukrainian culture (traditional dance ensembles, Ukrainian school, youth organizations, marching bands, garage bands, etc). This wealth of life experience is brought by each "hlop" into the X3M mix to help create a sound that is innovative, unique and memorable.

Hloptsi z Mista's repertoire of fast polkas, sexy salsas, groovy swing tunes, and blazing rock allows them to craft dynamic and enjoyable zabava sets that has earned the band much favourable approval. The band members enjoy taking traditional Ukrainian melodies, that they grew up listening to, and adding modern twists to make the songs appealing to younger generations, but still remain recognizable for older audiences to sing and dance along to.

Since the band's inception in 2013, Hloptsi z Mista have been paying their zabava dues and becoming a favourite at Ukrainian festivals, zabavas, banquets, and malanka celebrations in Canada and the US. Quickly gaining widespread appeal, these Hloptsi look to wow audiences near and far, and shake dancefloors with every tune!
Current members of Hloptsi z Mista (X3M):

back row
Marko Kobelak - Lead Vocals
Damian Klisz - Guitar
Orest Bilyj - Bass
Andrew Chachula (Founding member) - Drums

front row
Taras Kuper - Violin
Borys Brodziuk (Founding member) - Keyboards / Vocals

Former / Founding members of Hloptsi z Mista:

Nick Obal - Bass / Guitar / Vocals
Pavlo Pavley - Vocals / Acoustic Guitar

Hloptsi z Mista - 2014.



Худі а Моцні

Toronto, ON. / Formed: Jan. 1999. / Status: Active.

Hudi a Mocni
Facebook page

Hudi a Mocni is a hard working band from Toronto that has been building its good reputation over the years through a busy and regular schedule. Founding members Vlatko Lepki and Tino (Laurentin) Brelak formed Hudi a Mocni (Ukrainian for "Skinny but Bold") in Toronto in 1999. Vlatko and Tino's ancestors moved from Western Ukraine to the former Yugoslavia at the turn of the 20th century. Eventually their families immigrated to Canada.

Once they arrived in Toronto, all the original band members became well established in the Toronto music scene and then, over time, Hudi a Mocni was formed to get their music out to the community. Many of the band's early songs had Yugoslavian origins, so Hudi a Mocni had to obtain the rights to re-record these songs. However, it was important to the band to write their own, new & original, Ukrainian lyrics for each melody. These were songs the band members knew well from growing up in Yugoslavia. As the band's popularity quickly grew, they added more music to their repertoire - traditional Ukrainian songs and contemporary pop & rock tunes. They've been steadily rocking ever since.

Hudi a Mocni have recorded two albums of their music and chances are that over the years you've seen them playing somewhere - at the annual Pre-Malanka events, at many Ukrainian Festivals, at charity functions in support of special causes, or maybe at those memorable Ukestock concerts south of Buffalo, NY!

If you haven't caught them yet, you will - this band likes to play a lot.

Be sure to check out Hudi a Mocni at their Facebook page for much more band info and performance schedules.

 (1999) Hudi A Mocni - Hudi A Mocni
1. В мене в авті там зі заду
2. Рідний край
3. Життя це море
4. Команда
5. Коли ти є тут
6. Гроші
7. Танцюємо
8. Осінь у мені
9. Так як какао
10. Дурію за тобов

 (2003) Hudi A Mocni - 7 Fridays A Week
1. Що буде
2. Другий світ
3. Твоя любов
4. За кордоном
5. Музика
6. Перехрестя
7. На переході епох
8. Нам лише любов потрібна
9. Заспані люди
10. Момент

Photo taken at Ukrainian Independence Day Festival - Centennial Park, Toronto.

Curent Members of Hudi a Mocni:

Tino Brelak - Vocals / Bass Guitar  (founding and original member)
Vlatko Lepki - Guitars  (founding and original member)
Petro Markewycz - Drums  (since 2003)
Igor Letvencuk - Violin / Guitar  (since 2007)
Adrian Klisz - Guitar  (since 2014).

Former Members:

Dario Mihaljisin - Drums  (original member, 1999-2002)
Igor Hemon - Bass Guitar  (original member, 1999-2003)
Petro Polanski - Keyboards  (2000-2002)
Andrij Polanski - Bass Guitar  (2003-2013)
Rostyk Hursky - Saxophone  (2001-2003)
Elana Sulatyski - Vocal  (original member, 1999-2002)
Beata Wujcik - Vocal  (original member, 1999-2002).




Fisher Branch/Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1964 / Status: Retired.



It is hard to dispute that the members of The Interlake Polka Kings were truly the royalty of the Ukrainian Canadian polka and zabava community. For 45 years the band was extremely popular on radio and television, and especially in dance halls across Western Canada, playing their "Old Time" Ukrainian music.

Bill Woloshyn was born in 1933 and raised on a farm in Fisher Branch, Manitoba. He loved living and working on the family farm, but Bill also held several other jobs over the years: as an equipment operator, and later as foreman, with CP Rail, the City of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba Department of Highways. However, Bill’s first passion was playing the accordion which he had taken up at the age of 12. In 1951 he married Mary Stefanec and together, in 1964, they founded The Interlake Polka Kings band. In short order they would become legendary for their grass roots renditions of Ukrainian melodies. Guitarist and vocalist Stan Kaskiw and fiddler Dennis Nykoliation were also there at the inception of Interlake Polka Kings, and long before they both went on to success with The Polka Drifters, then, separately, with their own bands.

Over the decades, several musicians passed through The Interlake Polka Kings, but Bill and Mary held down the fort and continued to make numerous fans playing their polkas, waltzes, foxtrots, kolomeyka’s and even an occasional butterfly dance. Eventually their son Carl Woloshyn would join them in their band on drums.

The Interlake Polka Kings struck a strong chord with their audiences because their songs were heartfelt and about hardworking, regular people. Bill respected honest, working individuals - and none worked harder than the Ukrainian immigrant farmers who settled on, and tilled, Canada’s prairies. His songs gave hope and spirit to these farmers, and the zabavas where the Interlake Polka Kings played, gave them, much earned, entertainment. Bill knew he had to satisfy this audience on many levels, so his keen musicianship was rounded out by a good sense of humour that was all featured on stage and in many of his songs.



The album covers featured above do not comprise a complete catalogue of Interlake Polka Kings recordings!
Most of their recorded albums are availble on CD over the internet.

After a long break not performing together, the original members of The Interlake Polka Kings reunited in 2003 (and again in 2006), to record albums of new material (Together Again and One More Time) featuring both vocal and instrumental pieces.

Bill Woloshyn’s love for entertaining his audiences never diminished, and his fans loved him in return for his unique accordion playing and his clever musical arrangements. Bill performed right up until shortly before his passing - which sadly, also meant the retirement of the legendary band.

Members of the (reunited) Interlake Polka Kings:

Bill Woloshyn ✝ - Accordion / Vocals
Dennis Nykoliation * - Violin
Stan Kaskiw ✝✝ - Guitar / Bass Guitar / Vocals
Mary Woloshyn ✝✝✝ - Guitar / Vocals
Carl Woloshyn - Drums
Peter Karish - Guitar / Vocals

These musicians have also been members of Interlake Polka Kings:

Michael Galay - Violin
Archie Antonation - Tsymbaly
Keith Des Jarlais - Guitar
Dwain Ste Marie - Drums
Carl Plohman - Violin
John Yaworski - Drums
Dennis Drul - Guitars
Glen Ambrose (of The Ambrose Brothers) - Guitar / Tsymbaly
Anne Kalyta - Vocals

✝ William (Bill) Woloshyn passed away one day short of his 76th birthday in August, 2009.
✝✝ Stan Kaskiw (also a member of The Polka Drifters) passed away in September, 2005.
✝✝✝ Mary Woloshyn passed away in September, 2015.
* Dennis Nykoliation continues playing with his own, namesake band throughout Manitoba and Ontario.




Edmonton, AB.






Saskatoon, SK.


John Kolynchuk was born in the northern Ontario town of Fort Frances in 1928, but his family soon moved to Saskatoon, SK. where John began playing and studying the violin at the young age of five.

As an adult, Kolynchuk worked as a City Clerk for Saskatoon (a position he held for many years), but always found time to incorporate music into his life. He played the viola in the Saskatoon Symphony and served as Secretary Treasurer for the Saskatoon Musician's Association. However, John will most fondly be remembered as the leader of his own zabava band: John Kolynchuk & The Continental Ensemble.

The Continental Ensemble band entertained multiple generations of fans across the Canadian Prairies for many years and John's enthusiasm for playing was front and centre at every show. The band appeared at countless dances, socials, banquets and festivals during their time together, and was also a radio and television show favourite during the 1960s.

John Kolynchuk passed away in August, 2007.




Yorkton, SK. / 1960s, 1970s.


A very talented combo from Saskatchewan led by John Krochak's remarkable violin playing. The musicians who played with John always reflected his own versatility, experience and musicianship, while still letting their enthusiasm shine through on record and during live shows. Two different versions of the Drifting Country Boys band existed over the years, with Krochak always leading.

John Krochak - Violin/Fiddle

Tony Kryski - Guitar
Jerry Mydonick - Accordion
Steve Perzan - Tsymbaly (Dulcimer)

George Flounder - Guitar
John Mysko - Accordion
Bill Rawlyk - Tsymbaly (Dulcimer)




Andrew, AB.


John Zelisko formed one of the earliest Ukrainian dance bands in Western Canada. As a craftsman, Zelisko made a name for himself by hand-building tradional Ukrainian tsymbaly/dulcimer instruments with skills he brought from his birthland Ukraine. Amongst musicians, word spread about his beautifully toned instruments, even though, at times, they were crudely constructed. For years afterwards, many of his instruments were measured and copied in an effort to reproduce their tone. Zelisko was also known to have built a few violins.

The John Zelisko Orchestra allowed John to indulge in his passion for music and, without doubt, it would have helped in spreading the desire, amongst musicians, for his hand-crafted instruments.

John Zelisko was born in Ukraine in 1884 and died in Andrew, Alberta in 1965. 




Canora, SK./Edmonton, AB.



Johnny Merenick - Tsymbaly
Don Stefiuk - Guitar
Ron Babiuk - Drums
Don Cholak - Keyboards / Accordion / Organ
Mike Stykalo - Fiddle




Edmonton, AB.


KALABAI is an Canadian Ukrainian Folk Fusion band.






Winnipeg, MB.

Kalyna Band website


Kalyna is a well established zabava band from Winnipeg whose claim is that they have mastered the art of "Polkology."
Kalyna plays a blend of classic/modern rock music, country songs, and traditional Ukrainian melodies to create their own unique musical style. Their numerous yearly performances make Kalyna one of the hardest working bands in Canada, and they are known to play long and hard ensuring that audiences have a good time

The band's repertoire is well represented in the several albums they have recorded.


The current members of Kalyna:

Rheanne Gagnon - Guitar / Vocals
Jeff Korchosky - Drums / Vocals
David Pestrak - Guitar / Tsymbaly / Vocals
Dale Wasylowski - Accordion / Keyboards
Dean Wasylowski - Fiddle / Bass Guitar / Vocals.

Former Members:
Tammy Wasylowski - Guitar / Vocals
Andrew Duplak - Drums.




Winnipeg, MB.


The Kapusta Kids was a group of seasoned Manitoba musicians, who performed traditional Ukrainian tunes at their very best. The "Kids" featured some of the best in Ukrainian musicianship that Manitoba had to offer.

The band was fronted by fiddler Yogi Klos and, with the help of the experienced band members, they assembled all of the classic traditional music that is the cornerstone of Ukrainian cultural events like weddings, anniversaries and festivals.

The seasoned musicians of The Kapusta Kids:

Yogi Klos (of the D-Drifters) - Violin/Fiddle
Tony Roman (of the D-Drifters) - Guitar
Johnny Kowalchuk
Ray Chiupka
Andrew (AJ) Chabidon - Drums

Sadly, Anton (Tony Roman) Romanyshyn passed away in August, 2012 and Ukrainian music icon, and fiddle prodigy, Yogi Klos passed away in May, 2013.

"This music is like a time-capsule from when the waves of Ukrainian immigrants settled in Canada at the turn of the 20th century. When you hear the Kapusta Kids you are listening not only into another culture but into another time."

 (1999) Kapusta Kids - 20 Ukrainian Dance Favourites
1. Hutzel
2. Ukrainian Waltz Medley
3. Ver Khovena
4. Yasha Hordnee
5. Traditional Wedding March
6. Ukrainian Kolomeyka
7. Bandura Waltz
8. Kapusta Polka
9. Balamute Waltz
10. Kozachok
11. Hopak
12. Kozak
13. Kolomeyka Medley
14. Expectations Waltz
15. Ukrainian Fantasy
16. Ukrainian Wedding March
17. Rainbow Waltz
18. Ukrainian Love Polka
19. Clarine Waltz
20. Siyanka
21. E Shomit Medley



Карі Очі

Toronto, ON. / mid 1990s.


Toronto band from the 1990s that had Yurko Mychaluk and George Nakonechny as members. This band was their side project while they also played in Nove Pokolinya.

Pre-Malanka Pubnights and the Toronto Ukrainian Festival evening street dance were just a couple of the band's big gigs. Kari Ochi would eventually evolve into the band Seven Year Itch.  




Niagara Falls, ON. ?


This band has played around Southern Ontario at many weddings and banquets, plus they also appeared at the Zolotyj Klen Music Festival.  




Montreal, QC.






Toronto, ON.








Toronto, ON. / Formed: 2006.



KLOOCH are an all original Ukrainian rock band blending North American pop/rock culture and traditional Ukrainian harmonies to create a sound that has become their own. In the short time the band has been together KLOOCH have been gaining popularity throughout Ukrainian communities all over the world and have performed throughout Canada, United States and Ukraine.





Montreal, QC.


Gregory Balycky was the bassist/vocalist for Kolomeya, and is currently a member of Montreal band Zvook.  




St. Catharines, ON. / 1980s.


Kolomeya was a young band from the city of St. Catharines (located in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula). For several years, during the 1980s, the band played at many weddings and zabavas throughout Southern Ontario.

Kolomeya recorded one LP album in 1983 that contained a mix of traditional Ukrainian folk songs "narodni pisni" and band arrangements, all featuring nice harmony vocals. The album was recorded at George Semkiw's famous Amber Recording Studio in Toronto where Canadian bands like Streetheart and Goddo made several recordings.

Band member Peter Babej would later attend Holy Spirit Seminary, be ordained as priest, and then serve church parishes in Toronto, Calgary and (currently) Edmonton.

The members of Kolomeya were:

Peter Babej - Trumpet
Michael Hrycusko - Guitar
Timothy (Tym) Hrycusko - Bass Guitar
Michael Kobylecky - Accordion
Borys Melnychenko - Drums

 (1983) Kolomeya - Pisnya Nochi (Song of the Night)
    Side 1
1. (Song of the Night) Пісня ночі (слв: Г.Чупринка, муз: М.Кобилецький)
2. (Ti zj mene) Ти ж мене (народня пісня)
3. (Ukraino moya) Україно моя (слв-муз: Н.Пашинська-Середа)
4. (Kolesa krutyatsya) Колеса крутяться (народня пісня)
5. (Tsyhany stoyale) Цигани стояли (народня пісня)
6. (U doli svoya vesna) У долі своя весна (слв: Ю.Рибчинський, муз: В.Івасюк)

Side 2
1. Запроси до танцю (слова: Б.Стельмах, музика: В.Івасюк)
2. Іванку (народня пісня)
3. На камени ноги мию (народня пісня)
4. Лебеді материнства (слова: В.Симоненко, музика: М.Кобилецький)
5. Розцвила рожа (народня пісня)
6. Туга за батьківщину (слова-музика: Н.Латинська-Середа)
7. Струни оркестри





Calgary, AB..








The Kossacks (aka Kolts Orchestra) play old-time, traditional Ukrainian music. Over the years they have recorded several albums.




Montreal, QC.


Bob Atamaniuk - Drums
Ihor Beyba - Lead Guitar
Morris Lukashevych - Bass
Mike Wakulin - Accordion




Toronto, ON.


Kuban played in the late 1970s in and around Toronto. They are remembered for wearing traditional Ukrainian costumes while performing and having a "rock concert" style stage and light show.

Kuban band members included:

Misty Fedak - Trumpet
Roman Moroz - Accordion / Vocals
Myron Nahyrny - Bass Guitar
Roman Nazarewych - Saxophone
Wolodymyr Daniel Petryga - Guitar / Vocals
Roman Showkewych - Guitar / Vocals.  



(Brian Cherwick) 



Originally From: Edmonton, AB. / Now: St. John's, NL. / Formed: 1996.

Kubasonics Facebook page


Formed in 1996 in Alberta, The Kubasonics are an ensemble that performs a unique mix of traditional and original music that takes listeners on a wild musical ride. Listeners will always be treated to touches of: exotic folk, garage band rock, country twang, lushly orchestrated pop, punk/ska & barn-burning polkas!

The Kubasonics's trademark sound combines highly skilled musicianship, with a light touch of quirky humour, plus their eclectic, high-energy stage show has something to please all tastes. Audiences have watched the band play with awe and delight. The Kubasonics have performed in concerts and festivals across North America, and Ukraine (2008), and have collaborated with many other artists and ensembles. They have earned many great successes during their existence, and have also received several awards & accolades for their innovations in preserving and performing traditional music. Several recorded albums since 1999 showcase The Kubasonics wonderful approach to playing Ukrainian music.

Winnipeg born Brian Cherwick is the founder and leader of The Kubasonics. Coming from a large family with musicians on both his parents' side, (drummer Mike Klym of the original D-Drifters band is Cherwick's uncle), Brian was playing instruments at a young age, and also listening and observing as others played. Though he found the traditional Tsymbaly instrument gave him the most satisfaction, inspiration, and link to the past, Brian had the remarkable ability of learning every instrument he put his hands on.

Cherwick met many of his future band mates as he studied at the University of Alberta towards earning his PhD from the Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies. His doctoral thesis focused on the influences of prairie immigrant social conditions, along with popular music, on the modern development of Ukrainian traditional music in Western Canada. Today, Dr. Brian Cherwick is an internationally reknown performer, composer, ethnomusicologist, and music educator.

In the summer of 2011 The Kubasonics hosted an anniversary concert in Edmonton to mark the 15th year since the band's inception. Unfortunately for Edmonton, this concert was also a farewell to the city as Brian Cherwick moved his family to St. John's, Newfoundland. Once settled in his new home, Cherwick revived The Kubasonics and quickly stated that "Newfoundland and Labrador audiences have enthusiastically embraced the band's music." In April of 2017, the band released a new album named Kubfundland, and, according to Cherwick, it "is the first Ukrainian album ever recorded in Newfoundland and Labrador."

The current members of The Kubasonics are:

Brian Cherwick - Tsymbaly (hammer dulcimer) / Bandura / Lira (hurdy-gurdy) / Kobza (plucked lute) / Trembita / Duda (bagpipe) / Drymba (jaw harp) / Sopilka Flute / Telenka Folk Pipe / Zozulka (ocarina) / Zholomiha / Double Bass / Accordion / Piano / Fender Rhodes / Hammond Organ / Guitar / Lap Steel / Dobro / Kubasarmonica / Buhai (friction drum) / Resheto (drum) / Rub Board / Percussion / Vocals / Band Leader

Maria Cherwick - Violin / Viola / Vocals
Jacob Cherwick- Drums / Percussion / Guitar / Vocals
Darren Browne - Guitar
Matt Hender- Bass / Theremin / Vocals
Paul Bendzsa - Clarinet / Saxophone

Former members of Kubasonics:

Thom Bennett - Drums / Cymbals / Percussion
Beth Cherwick - Violin / Keyboards / Vocals
Paul Cherwick - Drums / Percussion / Ukelele / Vocals
Jay Lind - Acoustic, Electric, Slide Guitars / Baglama / Buhai
Rod Olstad - Violin / Mandolin / Vocals
Bill Yacey - Bass Guitar / Banjo
Taras Zakordonski - Bass Guitar / Guitars

 (1999) The Kubasonics - Miaso
1. Hutsulka
2. Trembowlianka
3. Zholomiha
4. Otaman
5. Funeral Blues
6. Arkan
7. Arkan 2
8. Mountain Space
9. Zakuska Polka
10. Studynets'
11. Bukovynka
12. Bukovynka 2
13. The Parting
14. Peter's Wedding
15. Kolomyika
16. Kolomyika Reprise
17. Kub Toss
18. Devil Went Down To Vegreville
19. At The Wedding, In The Evening
20. Solomon.
 (2002) The Kubasonics - Giants Of The Prairies
1. Giants Of The Prairies
2. Billy Mosienko
3. Mountain Groove
4. Kyshka
5. Kysil’
6. Early Bird Of Spring
7. Girl On The Porch
8. The Deep Well
9. Rooster
10. Misfortune
11. The Owl’s Lament
12. Trouble On The Farm
13. Vuiko Metro
14. Drymba
15. Arkan Reprise
16. Baba
17. Baba Rolls Her Own
18. Harmony In The Family
 (2005) The Kubasonics - Big Beet Music
1. Nick's Kubasa
2. Polka From L'viv
3. Karpatia
4. Old Chaban
5. Chaban
6. Joe & Marie
7. Kobza
8. Old Kozak
9. Funkozak
10. Double Wedding
11. Hanka
12. Duda
13. Old Liubka
14. Liubka
15. Tetris Fantasy
16. Buhai
17. Sida Rida
18. Karta
 (2010) The Kubasonics - IV: Play
1. Great Zabava
2. Odna Hora
3. Ballad Of Mickey And Bunny
4. This Land
5. Pictures From The Exhibition
6. Hey, Hey Ha
7. Ballad Of Two Violins
8. Going To Hawaii
9. Piece That's Polka
10. Bizhy Tudy
11. Korzhyky
12. Veselka
13. Zhaba
14. Rocking Boat
15. Captain Video
16. PayPayPay
 (2017) The Kubasonics - Kubfunland
1. Muzha
2. Kozak
3. Otoman
4. Kysil
5. Kozak Sofia
6. Goat 1
7. Goat 2
8. Ivan
9. Tysha
10. Duda
11. Hony Viter
12. Toomba
13. Kozak Mark
14. Pryvit
15. Fai Duli
16. Canada






Mike Kupnicki and His Orchestra







Toronto, ON. / Formed: 2010.

Lemon Bucket website

The Lemon Bucket Orkestra is a self-described "Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super Band" formed in 2010 in Toronto.
In their, relatively, short time together, the band has recieved several prestigious awards and accolades.

The band is a collective of up to 12 (or more) members from several distinct cultural and native backgrounds, so their performances incoporate elements of Eastern & Western Europe, Middle Eastern, and North American instrumention, music and dance. However, band co-founder, leader and violinist, Mark Marczyk (aka Mark Ihnatowycz) is a Ukrainian Canadian. (Mark's wife Marichka plays the accordion and sings with the LBO).

Part of Lemon Bucket Orkestra's notoriety has arisen from their inpromtu performanes on airplane flights and in airports, their free concerts in parks, their rousing street-corner busking and the ecstatic street parades. The Orkestra members have also been known to occasionally drop by the house for a Ukrainian Christmas kolyadá !

Lemon Bucket Orkestra has participated in both the, Toronto and Montreal, Ukrainian Festivals.
Additionally, they organize regular, self-produced music extravaganzas.

They have released five recordings: Cheeky (EP 2011), Lume, Lume (2012), Moorka (2015), Counting Sheep (2016), & If I Had The Strength (2017).




Люба / Любомира



Montreal, QC.


Luba (born Lubomyra Kowalchuk (often spelled: Kowalchyk) / Любомира Ковальчук in April, 1958, Montreal, Quebec, Canada) is a Canadian musician, singer, songwriter and recording artist of Ukrainian descent. She was commercially active, as a pop star, from 1980 to 1990, 2000 to 2001 and is active again from 2007 to present.

Growing up, Lubomyra studied piano, guitar, flute and voice. During her teens she travelled across Canada to perform traditional Ukrainian folk songs at weddings and festivals (many times with only her guitar as accompaniment). She was also an active participant in Montreal's Ukrainian folk dance ensembles. Eventually, Lubomyra became the vocalist for a band that, collectively, played under the name "Luba" and gained much popularity in Quebec and Ontario with regular, sell-out, appearances at zabavas (1979/1980). "Luba," the band, folded just before its singer signed a recording contract as a solo artist under the name Luba.


Luba has released five full-length albums and two EPs as a solo artist. (Two albums were released as a member of a band - 1975's Zorya, by "Via Zorya" band and 1980s Chain Reaction - with the band named "Luba"). Later in her career, two English language, pop albums were certified platinum by the Canadian music industry (sales in excess of 100,000 units). Luba enjoyed her greatest success in Canada between 1983 and 1987. She had nine top-40 hits on the Canadian pop charts and earned three Canadian music industry Juno Awards (Female Vocalist of the Year: 1985, 1986 & 1987). The video for Luba's song "How Many (Rivers To Cross)" won the 1986 Juno for Video of the Year.

Some of Luba's top 40 POP charting hits include: "Everytime I See Your Picture" (1983), "Let It Go" (1984), "Storm Before The Calm" (1985), "How Many (Rivers To Cross)" (1986), and "When a Man Loves a Woman" (1987).

Some sources claim the Zorya album was released in 1973.

1977's Lubomyra album, recorded under the name Lubomyra, remains Luba's only Ukrainian language, solo album. It was released under Rushnychok's SAGE Promotions record label.

 (1977) Lubomyra - Lubomyra
    Side 1
1. Kazka
2. Sleep My Little One
3. An Orchard In Bloom
4. Fortune Teller
5. Mama

Side 2
1. Carpathia
2. Starry Eyes
3. Autumn Leaf
4. Whispering Wind
5. Pretty Lady
6. A Song Of Freedom



Jimmy Watsko & His, 

Lamont, AB.


Jimmy Watsko And His Lumberjacks.
Jimmy's love of the violin stemmed from watching Don Messer on TV. At age 17, it led him to study old time fiddling for 4 years. For a time he played with the “Star Melody Aces” band. He then proceeded to start his own band and along with his wife Verna on keyboard and vocals, formed “The Lumberjacks”. Verna and Jimmy were instrumental in translating some English songs into Ukrainian lyrics such as “This Land is Your Land”.




Winnipeg, MB. / Early 1990s.


After retiring Montreal's popular Samotsvit band, leader Oles Cap moved to Winnipeg (in the mid 1980s) where he eventually founded a new band named Lviv in 1990.

The band would feature Oles Cap (Guitars / Vocals), Greg Udod (Bass Guitar / Vocals), Nestor Budyk (Accordion), Peter Yuraschuk (Multi-instrumentalist), and Chris Quinn (Drums).

By 1993, Lviv was disbanded. Cap would go on to re-form Samotsvit, and Udod would form the band Shoom.



Robin Keil & The

Edmonton, AB.







Toronto/Oakville, ON. / Formed: 2014 / Disappeared: 2016.






/ Formed:.






Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 2016.

Mashyna is a hot, power polka band from Edmonton that formed in 2016. The band is comprised of veteran musicians from the Canadian zabava scene; the members coming from groups such as: Kalabai, The Polka Dots, Trubka, Tyt i Tam, and Zhyto. With these deep backgrounds, plus their cumulative years of playing experience, the musicians in Mashyna have the talent to present a dynamic and captivating live show. The band's performances feature a unique and rich mixture of traditional Ukrainian melodies, blended together with hints of several different musical genres. This is a band that is a 'must see' and will continue to be in the coming years.

Mashyna can often be seen sharing the zabava stage with their friends - Millenia.

The members of Mashyna:

John Dickinson - Guitar / Vocals
Matt Gruza - Accordion
Mark Klopoushak - Guitar / Violin / Vocals
Toma Lebedovich - Bass / Vocals
Clint Moroziuk - Drums / Vocals




Vegreville, AB. / 2000s


This vibrant ensemble is comprised of several senior friends living in the Vegreville, Alberta area.
The Melodiants' joy comes from singing and entertaining audiences at all types of occasions.

 photo courtesy of Robert J Tomkins.




Thorhild, AB.






Edmonton, AB.


John Fedechko (b. Mar. 1925 - d. June, 2012) of Edmonton played the fiddle in his own band, The Melody Polka Kings.




Edmonton, AB. / 1950s, 1960s.


Harry Mynzak - Violin
Bill Semeniuk - Dulcimer
Walter Mazur - Accordion
Henry Brodie - Drums
Walter Brodie - Drums
Nick Tkach - Saxophone.




Vegreville, AB.






Winnipeg, MB.

Melos Folk Ensemble website

Melos Folk Ensemble brings together some of Winnipeg’s finest singers, dancers, and musicians.

Melos integrates the artistry of music, song, and dance to perform a wide range of works, including traditional and contemporary Ukrainian and other folk music, as part of the Canadian multi-cultural experience.

Recognizing there is certain fire and spirit rooted in Ukrainian folk culture, the Melos Orchestra strives to achieve unparalleled sound and rhythms.
Striving to achieve excellence in their craft through hard work, sacrifice and commitment, the musicians bring their passion and talents to the stage, helping develop a truly unique product of sight and sound, a brand known as Melos Folk Ensemble.

A more detailed overview can be seen by visiting the ensemble's website or emailing them at: info@melosfolkensemble.com

The Melos Orchestra Members Include:

Lisabeth Dupuis - Violin
Roman Jaworsky - Accordion
Bill Kumka - Violin
Myron Kurjewicz - Accordion / Orchestra Director
Theresa Kurjewicz - Tambourine / Percussion Bells / Cajon
Jim Limberatos - Bass
Veronique Nguyen - Violin
Katrina Panchuk - Flute / Piccolo
Daria Watkin - Violin

The Melos Folk Ensemble Ochestra, Choristers & Dancers.






Montreal, QC.

Men Without Hats website

Ivan Doroschuk is the eldest of three brothers (all born in the US) of Ukrainian-Canadian parents who resided in Illinois. When their father accepted a position at the University of Montreal in 1962, the family relocated to Quebec.

With an early background in classical music and a personal interest in punk music, Ivan (vocals & keyboards) formed Men Without Hats sometime during 1977 while living in Montreal. At various times, both his brothers - Stefan (guitars, bass & violin) and Colin (guitars, keyboards & electronics) - played with the band and, during the early years, Men Without Hats also included their friend Roman Martyn (also of Ukrainian ancestry) on guitar.

The band's greatest successes came with the synthpop/dance singles: "The Safety Dance" (1982, Top 40 Hit) and "Pop Goes the World" (1987). Numerous singles and albums followed over the years.

Currently, Men Without Hats has reformed and are embarking on extensive tours.
Without question, when Men Without Hats play for a crowd - people get up and dance!






Dauphin/Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1964, until 1970, reunion: 2002 / Status: Retired.



Mickey & Bunny (Sheppard) were a Ukrainian-Canadian pop/country music duo who became true pioneers in the Ukrainian-Canadian music sphere.

Mickey (born Modest William Theodore Sklepowich in Ethelbert, Manitoba on March 27, 1932) and his former wife Bunny Evans (born Orissia Ewanchuk in Rosa, Manitoba on February 13, 1938) married in 1957 and began their joint performing career in 1964. Both sang, while Mickey offered the only instrumental accompaniment during their early years. Their repertoire included traditional Ukrainian, Polish and German songs, but mostly, they loved performing American Country & Western standards or "countrified" old ethnic songs. They recorded many of their most popular numbers in both English and Ukrainian ("half na piv").

Occasionally Mickey & Bunny performed their own original compositions, however, one of their most requested and admired songs was their version of Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land”. Their version sold more than 70,000 copies. Also, many of the traditional Ukrainian language songs that the duo introduced on their recordings became standard concert and zabava material for future performers who they would influence.

During the latter 1960’s Mickey & Bunny were accompanied on tour by the multi-talented D-Drifters-5 band and together they travelled several times across Canada and the U.S.A. performng at various concert & banquet halls, nightclubs and fairs. They were favourites at charity events and at Ukrainian, and other, ethnic festivals. They could regularly sell out multiple nights at Toronto's Massey Hall, the Ford Auditorium in Detroit, and the Showboat Casino in Las Vegas. However, Mickey & Bunny's biggest impact on music culture came as a result of their numerous radio and television appearances that reached huge audiences - here the duo's widespread appeal made them household names.

Mickey found that he received tremendous joy from all the creative aspects of the music and entertainment industry. He also loved working as a mentor and trainer for younger musical acts who were just getting started, and in the basement of the Sheppard home, in suburban Winnipeg, he built a recording studio with money from the duo's success. In 1965, future Canadian rock icon, Neil Young even recorded some songs at Mickey's studio with his first band, the Squires.

Winnipeg's music impresario Alex Groshak was proud to have Mickey & Bunny signed to his V-Records label where they were the top artists. During their peak, Mickey & Bunny Sheppard were one of only a small number of ethnic based artists in North America who could proudly claim to have record sales numbering in the hundreds of thousands! In fact, during the height of "This Land Is Your Land", they were outselling their fellow Manitobans - The Guess Who!




Mickey & Bunny successfully made a profitable living out of their chosen vocation as musicians. Mickey was originally trained as a pharmacist and also worked as a disc jockey at radio station CKDM in Dauphin, MB. but gave it up as he found more fulfillment as an entertainer, while Bunny taught Ukrainian language to high school students. After success came, the couple could boast that they "could afford to purchase a new, luxury sedan every year!"

Mickey and Bunny separated in 1970 and, for a while, Mickey pursued a solo career. Eventually they would reunite to record a new album and perform some shows.

Over the course of their long career, Mickey & Bunny recorded 19 albums and over 300 songs. Their version of "This Land Is Your Land" (from 1964) was selected for inclusion in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa. In August 2009 they were inducted into the Ukrainian Music Hall of Fame in Dauphin, MB.

Some of their other most popular songs were: "The Marigolds (Чорнобривці)", "Beautiful Brown Eyes (Карі очі)", "Blowing in the Wind", "Cigareetes, Whiskey & Wild Women", "Country Roads", "Ee Shoomit Ee Hoodit (І шумить, і гуде)", "Homebrew" & "No Beer in Heaven".
Most Mickey & Bunny albums are available today in CD format or digital purchase.

Mickey - Singer / Guitarist / Accordionist
Bunny - Singer





Edmonton, AB.


Ukrainian / Croatian band from Edmonton.

The members of Migrena:

Emil Maslovski - Bass Guitar / Leader
Oscar Jankovic - Guitars
Ivan Malasic - Keyboards
Pavlo Maslovski - Violin / Backing Vocals
Dalibor Brkic - Vocals
Marino Fortunato - Drums / Percussion

(2002) Migrena - Beauty is not Contagious
1. Persha Lybov
2. Karta
3. Ivanku, Ivanku
4. Rospryahayte Hloptsi Koni
5. Hutsulka Ksenya
6. Vesit Yablko
7. Oy Te Nichenko
8. Marusya
9. Oksano, Oksano
10. Susidka
11. Blues For My Ex





Winnipeg, MB. / 1960s.


Accordionist Mike Domish led his own orchestra of various musicians around the greater Winnipeg & Interlake area during the 1960s. Domish recorded several Ukrainian polka albums.

Mike Domish - Accordion / Vocals
Ron Mrozik - Violin
Lorne Stanski - Drums
Marcel Pawlitsky - Guitar
Orest Podworny - Saxophone
various singers - Vocals




Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 2000.

Millenia Band website
Millenia Facebook page

Millenia is a young band from Alberta that was formed in 2000 with one, ultimate goal - preserving, and also advancing Canadian Ukrainian music! They do this with a style that borrows from classic Ukrainian musical forms, yet is modern and progressive.

Even though they are still relatively young, the Millenia band members have been playing together for a number of years now, and each comes from families with deep musical roots. They play their music with a polished precision that showcases the members’ diverse musical backgrounds.

The band's four recorded albums focus on building bridges between today's modern sounds and traditional styles in order to attract a greater number of listeners to traditional Ukrainian music. Millenia's stage show is energetic and dynamic, and the band knows how to perform for a crowd ensuring that they get the dance floor full and the audience hopping. Thousands of lucky zabava and festival goers have been witness to their performances at hundreds of shows across Canada and the United States since the band was first formed. Millenia is a prime example of the "future of Ukrainian music in Alberta.”

As clear testament to the steady, growing popularity of the band, at the 2016 Edmonton Music Awards, Millenia was voted in as winner of the "People’s Choice Award."
The members of Millenia (L to R):

Ryan Pugh - Guitar / Fiddle / Mandolin / Lead &  Harmony Vocals
Johnny Wacko (Watsko) - Lead Vocals / Keyboards
Bobby Yakoweshen - Drums / Percussion / Vocals
Mike Brazeau - Bass / Vocals.
Shawn Ostafie - Accordion / Dulcimer / Guitar

Former Members:

Paul Begoray - Accordion / Organ / Vocals
Andriy Kowalchyk - Acoustic & Electric Guitars
Clint Morozuik - Lead & Harmony Vocals / Keyboards / Guitars / Bass.

 (2001) Millenia - Коріння (Roots)  (2006) Millenia - Җиття (Life)

 (2012) Millenia - Браття (Brotherhood)  (2013) Millenia - Millenia Live




Winnipeg, MB.



The band Molodtsi is comprised of the Chabluk family siblings and some of their close friends. They are a young group of talented musicians who are preserving traditional Ukrainian music performance with their two Ukrainian Dance Melodies collections. Their music is high energy and features excellent musicianship. This is the kind of music you love hearing at Ukrainian events where you tap your toes, sing along and can't resist the urge to dance!

The two CDs, that Molodtsi have recorded, contain a broad selection of popular Ukrainian dance melodies, folk songs, polkas, waltzes, tangos and love songs.

The members of Molodtsi are:

Ivasyk Chabluk - Accordion
Katrusia Chabluk - Sopilka Ukrainian Flute
Mikhas Chabluk - Violin
Brett Koroluk - Drums
Brittany Lasko - Bass.

 (2009) Molodtsi - Ukrainian Dance Melodies
1. Wedding March
2. Early Bird of Spring
3. My Willow Trees
4. Maple Sugar
5. Volyn Polka
6. Country Lad Waltz
7. You Didn't Meet Me
8. Pizzicato Polka
9. My Mother
10. Kozachok
11. Anniversary Waltz
12. Heel Toe Polka
13. Oy Ta Doona
14. Dance Finale


 (2012) Molodtsi - Ukrainian Dance Melodies II
1. Висить Япко Висить (The Apple On The Tree Polka)
2. Ой На Горі (On the Hill Folk Song Polka)
3. Іванку (Ivan Ivan Folk Song Polka)
4. Карі Очі Чорні Брови (Beautiful Dark Eyes Folk Song Tango)
5. Сам П’ю Сам Гуляю (I Drink Alone Folk Song Polka)
6. Ой Чорна Я Си, Чорна (I'm Dark Like A Gypsy Folk Song Polka)
7. Я Піду В Далекі Гори (I Will Go To The Far Hills Folk Song Waltz)
8. Їхав Козак Містом (The Kozak Was Riding)
9. Fly Kozak Polka
10. Ворожка (Fortune Teller Waltz)
11. Гоп Шуп Канадо (Coming To Canada Polka)
12. Коломийка (Kolomeyka Dance Medley)
13. Oy Na Hori (On The Hill) [Instrumental]
14. Ivankoo (Ivan Ivan) [Instrumental]
15. Kari Ochee (Beautiful Dark Eyes) [Instrumental]
16. Sam Pyoo, Sam Hoolyayoo (I Drink Alone) [Instrumental]
17. Oy Chorna Ya Se Chorna (I'm Dark Like A Gypsy) [Instrumental]
18. Ya Peedoo Daleke Hory (I Will Go To The Far Hills) [Instrumental]
19. Yehav Kozak Meestom (The Kozak Was Riding) [Instrumental]
20. Fly Kozak (Instrumental)
21. Vorozhka (Fortune Teller) [Instrumental]
22. Hop Shoop Kanado (Coming To Canada) [Instrumental]



MOONLIGHTERS, Steve Swick & The

St. Albert, AB.






Toronto, ON. / Formed: October 1993.

Mozaika Band website

Iryna Teneta - Keyboards / Vocals
Oleh Melnitchouk - Keyboards / Bass Guitar / Vocals
Kym Arustamov - Keyboards / Violin




Gilbert Plains/Dauphin, MB.


John Tomashewsky - Dulcimer Tsymbaly
Elmer Zalischuk - Guitar
Alvin Pentlichuk - Fiddle
Victor Belinsky - Bass Guitar
Sam Hucal - Guitar

Contact John Tomashewsky at jands112@mts.net




Saskatoon, SK. / 1980s & 1990s.


Between 1980 and 1998, Mria recorded and released three albums: Mria I, Mria II, & Mria III.



The members of Mria:

Danylo Derkewych - Guitars / Vocals
Taras Hrabowy - Accordion / Keyboards / Vocals
Ihor Kodak - Keyboards / Vocals
Myroslaw Kowal - Lead Vocals / Drums / Percussion




Brantford ?, ON.


During the 1980s Muzh played select gigs across South-Western Ontario.




Edmonton? AB.








Greater Toronto Area, ON. / Formed: 2017.


Nervy is one of the newest bands to emerge from Toronto's Ukrainian community. As a relatively new group, what the band lacks in performance experience, is made up for in style and creativity. The members of the band like mixing-up melodies and adding a new spin to traditional songs.

Nervy has been performing for the Ukrainian community in both Canada and the United States at events such as Student Club dances, Ivana Kupala events, Vyshyvanyj Vechir zabavas, the Lemko Vatra, the ever-popular "Night B4 Malanka" event, plus several traditional, Ukrainian weddings. Nervy has also been honing their chops while entertaining crowds in the Toronto bar scene.

To contact Nervy for bookings please call 416-835-0576.




Winnipeg, MB.


Nick Hnatiuk - Producer / Guitar / Vocals
Ron Hanasyk - Drums
Don Logozar - Alka Vox Accordion / Bass
Marshall Paulichuk - Dulcimer
Ernie Zaozirny - Violin




Edmonton, AB.






Montreal, QC.






Toronto, ON. / 1980s.


This band is known for playing at University of Toronto Ukrainian Students Club's "No Frills" Zabavas during the 1980s. When musician, conductor, and teacher Roman Yasinsky was asked if he had a band to play those zabavas - the No Frills Band was created and some yellow and black "no frills" t-shirts were made to match! Some of the members had played with the band Verchovyna.




Vegreville/Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 1962.


The Northern Kings earned the respect of their Ukrainian-Canadian audiences after many years of performing. They were a favourite zabava band in Western Canada (Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia) because of their superb musicianship and tight vocals - plus, they could real swing a fast polka! They were also well known for yearly Malanka appearances, for over two dozen years, in both Yellowknife, N.W.T. and Red Deer, Alberta! They were “Royal Ambassadors” of Ukrainian music.
Tsymbalist, and band leader, Albert "Al" Billey formed the band in 1962 with his two brothers and two friends. The Northern Kings recorded several albums.

 (?) The Northern Kings - Ukrainian Music & Songs
1. Dulcimer Polka (Instrumental)
2. The Sick Duck Song (Vocal)
3. The Best On The Farm (Vocal)
4. White Earth Polka (Instrumental)
5. Home On The Farm (Vocal)
6. Wheels Of Life (Instrumental)
7. The Bull Is Home (Vocal)
8. The Frogs Wedding Song (Vocal)
9. Sawridge Polka (Instrumental)
10. The Young Soldier (Vocal)
11. Award Winning Dulcimer Polka No. 2 (Instrumental)





Edmonton, AB. / Active primarily during the 1950s & 1960s.



Fiddler and vocalist Johnny Barteski was the leader of The Northern Troubadours (aka, The Troubadours). The band hailed from Edmonton, but Johnny was originally from Invermay, Saskatchewan.

The Northern Troubadours spent many years playing weddings, parties and zabavas around Alberta and created a fan-base that respected them highly. Paul Chychul (of the Chychul Family Orchestra) was featured in this group on dulcimer (tsymbaly).

In recent years The Northern Troubadours music has gained much attention on radio, particularly the CBC where they are included on the 'CBCMusic' website. Their renditions of Traditional Ukrainian melodies will remain important fixtures in Ukrainian-Canadian heritage.

After a lifetime of playing music, and with 13 albums recorded, Johnny Barteski passed away in Edmonton in July 2006 at age 84.

Some members who played with The Northern Troubadours:

Johnny Barteski - Violin/Fiddle / Vocals
Paul Chychul - Hammer Dulcimer (Tsymbaly)
Victor Holubowich - Accordion
Sam Iwaskow - Drums
Steve Osepchuk - Lead Guitar
Mike Stolarchuk - Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Nick (Nikolai) Unguran - Violin



Нова Хвиля

Toronto, ON. / mid 1980s.


Sometime, around about the start of 1984, Toronto's party band, Petro Pyrih and the Holubtsi, faced two issues - a bit of a personnel shakeup in the band, plus the quandaries of growing up! How can a fun-loving college band get a more mature audience to take them a little more seriously? With a name change, of course! So Nova Khvylia was born. The new name stemmed from both, a reference to the second wave of Ukrainian immigrants to North America, and also, to the type of music that was hot on Top 40 radio at the time - the type of music that the band liked to play.
When the new Nova Khvylia band made its summer 1984 debut at the Soyuzivka Resort in New York state, their poster billing still stated, "otherwise known as Petro Pyrih and the Holubtsi." Regardless, within another year, or so, the band would once again adopt a new identity as Nove Pokolinya. (Possibly, to avoid some confusion with the US ensemble named Nova Chvyla Orchestra, or maybe people just had difficulty spelling Khvylia !)

Andrij Czornij - Guitars / Lead Vocals
Bohdan Moroch - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Andy Sydoryshyn - Lead Vocals / Accordion
Kristina Mychalkiw - Keyboards / Vocals



Нова Хвиля

Vancouver, BC.





Нове Покоління


Toronto, ON. / Formed: ~1985 / Status: still paying their dues!


Starting with, and growing from, its roots in Petro Pyrih And The Holubtsi & Nova Khvylia, Nove Pokolinya is now one of the most established, continually playing, Ukrainian zabava bands in North America. As a result, it has also become a highly respected and admired band. Without question, well into their fourth decade, and with thousands of appearances in every corner of Canada and the USA, Nove Pokolinya has happily entertained countless audiences, and also influenced many a young musician into forming their own zabava band!

Current Nove Pokolinya members:

Bohdan Moroch - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Andy Sydoryshyn - Lead Vocals / Accordion
George "Gonzz" Nakonechny - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Mark Shnuriwsky - Guitars / Lead Vocals

(Mark Shnuriwsky was the original guitarist for Montreal's Burlaky band).

Nove Pokolinya. 1987, Toronto, ON.

Andrij Czornij enables his NP bandmates, & "Eug," for some
relaxation. 1987 Ukrainian Day at Ontario Place, Toronto, ON.
      Nove Pokolinya takes to the main stage during the
1989 Pysanka Festival - Vegreville, AB.

Nove Pokolinya Founding members:

Andrij Czornij - Guitars / Lead Vocals
Bohdan Moroch - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Andy "Cheeks" Sydoryshyn - Lead Vocals / Accordion
Kristina (Christina) Mychalkiw - Keyboards / Lead Vocals

Later members:
Mike Mychalkiw - Bass Guitar
Peter Hrabowsky - Bass Guitar
Terry Hucal - Guitar
Yurko Mychaluk - Guitars / Lead Vocals
George "Gonzz" Nakonechny - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Mark Shnuriwsky - Guitars / Lead Vocals

 (1986) Nove Pokolinya - Volume 1  (1988) Nove Pokolinya - Volume 2
1. Soloveyu
2. Oy Harna Ya Harna
3. Oy Ty Strumochku
4. Teche Voda Kalamutna
5. Glory & Freedom
6. My Child
7. Revnoshchi Nadkhodyat
8. Svite, Svite, Misyachenku
9. Love
10. Mudryj Solomon
11. Kolomeyka
1. Hory Hory
2. Lebedi Materynstva
3. Tatovi
4. Hraj Kozache Hraj
5. Chomu Take Zhytja
6. Vid Pokolinja Do Pokolinja
7. Pamjataju Ja Tebe
8. Halychanochka
9. Byla Mene Maty
10. Ja S'ohodni Vid Vas Vidjizhdaju
11. Ljubov Nas Pojednala
12. Kolodij
13. Pysanyj Kamin'





Roxboro (Montreal), QC. / Late 1980s.


A Ukrainian zabava band out of Montreal led by Roman Wusaty. In 1989 Novyna recorded an album of fine Ukrainian and contemporary music titled: The Ukrainian Album.

Wusaty had previously played guitar in the original lineup of Montreal's Veselka band.



(aka BING BOY)

Toronto, ON. / 1980s & 1990s.


Odnochasnist was a Toronto based band from the 1980s & 1990s who were very popular at zabavas, malankas and matura (Ukrainian high-school graduation) banquets. Primarily a three piece outfit, in its early days, the members of Odnochasnist modelled themselves after the popular UK band "The Police."

Odnochasnist was led by Roman Mychaluk (Bass Guitar / Keyboards / Lead Vocals) and also featured Randy Cooke (who would later play with Chantal Kreviazuk, Kelly Clarkson, and many others) on drums.
Sometimes the band would bill themselves as "Bing Boy."

When SUM (CYM) Toronto opened it's own Trembita Nightclub at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre on Christie St., the young Odnochasnist band was one of the first bands to be featured during the weekends.

During their time together, Odnochasnist became favourites at various functions across Canada and the U.S., such as:

Brock University (St. Catharines, ON.) Volleyball Tournament Zabavas,
University of Toronto Ukrainian Students Club "Tacky Tie Pub,"
Beamsville, ON. "Ukrainian Vinok Festival,"
Ukrainian Women's League of Phoenix, AZ. Autumn Ball,
Wayne State University (Warren, MI.) Ukrainian Student Org. "Winter Dance,"
Soyuzivka Ukrainian Cultural Center (Suzi-Q, Kerhonkson, NY.) Summer Zabavas.




Toronto, ON.


Orest Sushko is a very accomplished traditional tsymbaly (hammer dulcimer) player who was raised in Canada, but now lives in the U.S.A. Sushko has performed as a soloist, or as part of an ensemble, at numerous North American Ukrainian Festivals and special events.

Currently, Sushko lives in the U.S. and works as a cinematic sound re-recording mixer, and also a filmmaker. He has been very successful in this field and has been rewarded with several award nominations and wins (including an Emmy Award and a Genie Award).

Orest produced and directed a documentary film tracing the history of the bandura instrument titled: Music of Survival: The Story of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus. The film was released in 2014, but involved more than a decade of work to complete.




Ituna/Regina, SK. / 1960s & 1970s.


As a young man, John Panio formed The Panio Brothers Band with his brother Vlad. In concert, at zabavas and on record, the band played their unique blend of waltzes, polkas, marches and traditional Ukrainian melodies. Over the years The Panio Brothers performed innumerable times and recorded four albums. They also created the Panio Brothers Label to recruit and record young artists.


Beyond his Panio Brothers Band, John Panio had an un-ending committment to promote Ukrainian culture and language. At various times, he served as president of: the Saskatchewan Teachers of Ukrainian organization, the Saskatchewan Parents for Ukrainian Education, and the Regina Ukrainian Credit Union. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan. For several decades, John Panio also volunteered as a church cantor and choir director.

It was through his work as a teacher that John Panio left his greatest imprint on his community. He taught Ukrainian language classes for over thirty years and fought hard to have Ukrainian courses available in all Saskatchewan schools. Panio's music education skills were very highly regarded and so was his work as a Ukrainian dance instructor.

Sadly, John Panio passed away in January 2015.

The Panio Brothers Band were:

John Panio - Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Vlad Panio - Cordovox Accordion / Vocals
Jim Edel - Drums
Alex Krall - Violin
Garnet Ripplinger - Bass Guitar



Vasyl Popadiuk

Ottawa/Toronto, ON.

Vasyl Popadiuk website


Text contents courtesy of the Vasyl Popadiuk website:

"Vasyl Popadiuk is a classically trained violinist born in Lviv, Ukraine, now living in Ottawa and performing internationally for enthusiastic and admiring audiences. In addition to appearing as a violin soloist, Popadiuk has been the dynamic lead player in the ensemble PAPA DUKE, a group that plays a fusion of Eastern European melodies in an energetic style mixing classic pop, rock, jazz and traditional Slavic and gypsy music."






Toronto, ON. / 1980s / Status: retired.



Borne from the blast of pub/zabava favourites Greensneekers, Parcels to Europe arose during the mid-1980s techno-dance scene sweeping Toronto. The band was short-lived, but crammed in several pub, zabava and club gigs.
Adrian Lawryshyn - Bass Guitar / Keyboards / Vocals
Andre Hucal - Lead Vocals
Roman Tchoryk - Lead Guitar
Terry Hucal - Keyboards / Sequencers / Guitar / Vocals

Forever remember the hall at 404 Bathurst !!




Dauphin / Ethelbert, MB.







Dauphin, MB.

Party Time Orchestra Facebook page

Party Time Orchestra (aka PTO)

Party Time Orchestra features an unbroken connection to the first musicians that emigrated from Ukraine and settled in the Parkland region of central western Manitoba in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Based in and around Dauphin, Manitoba, PTO plays at local weddings, dances, and Canada's National Ukrainian Festival. Members (in ABC order) are Cliff Hadway (cymbali, violin), Haydn Hadway (violin, drums), Don Kushman (vocal, guitar, Irish bouzouki), Patty Andriechuk (vocal, bass), Syd Puchailo (vocal, guitar), Jim Symchych (drums).

Party Time Orchestra plays Western Canadian Ukrainian music that pays homage to its roots and all the great musicians and bands from the last century.




Leduc County, AB.


The Paul Kobasiuk Band plays music of all types with emphasis on traditional Ukrainian melodies. The band is readily available to perform for any function, including dances, banquets, festivals and concerts.

email: abiutrared@shaw.ca
phone: 780-955-7549



& His Sundown Pals

Oakburn, MB. / Peak from the 1950s to the 1980s.


As a youngster Peter Lamb started his musical journey playing the hammer dulcimer but soon switched over to the fiddle and continued entertaining crowds as "The Fiddler" for 60 years!

Music was Peter Lamb's passion and he shared that passion through the years at countless weddings, socials, dances and radio programs.

 Peter Lamb and His Sundown Pals -
  Genuine Manitona Ukrainian "Country Style" Wedding
 Peter Lamb - Sings & Plays Old Tyme Ukrainian
  Side 1
1. Veenki
2. Going To Church Veevot
3. Coming Out Of Church Veevot
4. Coming Into Hall Veevot
5. Ukrainian Kolomayka
6. Bride And Groom Waltz
7. Pat's Waltz
8. Guest's Veevot

Side 2
9. Handzia
10. Guest's Veevot
11. Lukash Polka
12. Holoob
13. Kozak
14. Bride And Groom Vitania
15. Hostee Vitayoot Bride And Groom
16. Pat's Polka
      Side 1
1. Sundown Polka
2. Mae's Favourite
3. Polka From Oakburn
4. Patty's Dauphin Waltz
5. Cossack From Seech
6. An Orchard Romance

Side 2
1. Riverside Polka
2. Lamb's Waltz
3. Polka Veed Farmi
4. Klopeet Zmoozom
5. Kolomayka Veed Dauphin
6. Soldier's Dying Request

 Peter Lamb and His Sundown Pals -
  Dance With Peter Lamb and His Sundown Pals
 (1966) Peter Lamb and Mae Chwaluk -
  More Peter Lamb & Mae Chwaluk Wedding Songs
  Side 1
1. Claserka Traditional Dance          
2. Carolina Moon
3. Chimerka Traditional Dance
4. Bolamoota
5. Ukrainska Polka
6. Who Stole The Kiska
7. Bandua Waltz
8. Chabaan

Side 2
1. Sandy Lake Polka
2. Arkan
3. Den's Waltz
4. Nasha Koza
5. Groshak's Polka
6. Riding Mountain Wind Waltz
7. Green Valley Polka
8. Roy's Polka
      Side 1
1. Oakburn Kolomayka
2. Rozluka
3. Polka Veed Menzie
4. Orphan's Wedding Song
5. Chornee Ochee
6. Ravine Polka

Side 2
1. My Unfaithful Girlfriend
2. The Ford Song
3. Dedicated Polka From Mae
4. Trouble From Hopka (My Wife)
5. Old Tyme Waltz
6. Cymbaly "Harry"

 Peter Lamb - The Legendary Peter Lamb

1. Sundown Polka
2. Lamb's Waltz
3. Polka From Oakburn
4. Patty's Dauphin Waltz
5. Cossack From Seech
6. An Orchard Romance
7. Riverside Polka
8. Mae's Favorite
9. Polka Veed Farmi
10. Klopeet Smoozom
11. Kolomayka Veed Dauphin
12. Soldier's Dying Request



Петро Пиріг

Toronto, ON. / Formed: early 1980s / Status: retired.


Petro Pyrih And The Holubtsi were a fun and popular band that drew very large crowds to the many pubnights, zabavas and parties where they performed. A favourite band amongst the college/university social club scene - Petro Pyrih were one of the first Toronto zabava bands to take traditional Ukrainian music to a bit less "serious" level by incorporating punk, new wave & reggae/ska elements into the polkas they played. Large sound systems and full lighting rigs also became part of their stage shows.

Eventually, the Petro Pyrih band would evolve into Nova Khvylia, and then again into Nove Pokolinya.

Founding members:
Andrij Czornij - Guitars / Lead Vocals
Andrew Holowaty - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Bohdan Moroch - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals

Later members:
Andy Sydoryshyn - Accordion / Lead Vocals
Roman Hurko - Piano / Keyboards



Nick Hnatiuk & The

Edmonton, AB






Edmonton, AB.

Playboys Facebook page

The Playboys are a six piece, variety dance band specializing in Ukrainian music.




Edmonton, AB. / 1970s.


Edmonton's Bob Mason was a member of 1970s band The Playmates.




Regina, SK.






Saskatoon, SK.


For several years, The Polka Dots have been building up a good reputation for themselves by putting on energetic performances at weddings, anniversaries, concerts and festivals. Slowly and surely, that reputation has taken them to gigs throughout, and beyond, Saskatchewan - wherever they can showcase their blend of Ukrainian and popular melodies. .

The Polka Dots are:

Matthew Gruza - Accordion
Travis Hutsal - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Larry Klopoushak - Accordion / Vocals
Mark Klopoushak - Guitar / Vocals
Steve Kodak - Drums / Vocals




Winnipeg, MB.


Featuring Stan Kaskiw (Guitar & Vocals) and Dennis Nykoliation (Violin) - both originally with the Interlake Polka Kings - were the main drivers behind The Polka Drifters.





Winnipeg, MB.


This Canadian Ukrainian polka group formed in 1949 as The Polka Kings, but now call themselves "The Original Polka Kings" to distinguish themselves from dozens of groups which now use their original name.






Edmonton / Camrose / Bittern Lake, AB. / Formed: 1977.


The Polka Ramblers play and sing traditional Ukrainian, country & pop/rock music to entertain its appreciative audiences. The band has recorded a number of CD’s over the years.

Accordionaist Sylvia Kupka formed the band with her children Gary, Randy and Shelley in 1977.





Frazerwood, MB.


Ukranian Waltz and Dance Melodies: The Polka Whippers From the InterLake

Andy Yablonski
Peter Yablonski
Art Gula
Orest Gula




Winnipeg, MB.


"There are many groups that can play good Ukrainian Old Time Music, but Prairie Crocus is an exception. These five gentlemen jell together a very unique sound that will create a sensation for your listening and dancing pleasure."

The members of Prairie Crocus are:

Greg Chic - Fiddle
Dave Mandziuk - Drums
Frank Pidruchny - Guitar / Fiddle
Zenon Prystupa - Bass / Guitar
Bernie Twardowski - Accordian / Bass




Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 1982, Retired: 2003.


From a young age, Steven Chwok was an accomplished tsymbalist (hammer dulcimer player). It wasn't long before he became a reknown teacher of the dulcimer and, as an outlet to showcase his musical talents, he formed The Prairie Pride Orchestra in 1982. For many years the band provided dance music across Western Canada and appeared at most of the major Ukrainian Festivals, including Vegreville's Pysanka Festival and Dauphin's National Ukrainian Festival. In 2003 Steven retired Prairie Pride.

Today, Steven Chwok is known as the radio host of the "Zabava Program" on Edmonton's AM 840 CFCW - a position he has loved to hold since September 2007. (Chwok is also a long-serving Staff Sergeant with the Edmonton Police Service).




Edmonton/Andrew, AB. / 1991 to 2013.


Ernie Shupenia was the leader of The Prairie Rose Band with his son Craig.

Andrew, Alberta's Ernie (on accordion) & Craig (on saxophone) Shupenia, the father and son duo, started The Prairie Rose Band in 1991. In its early days the band recorded its first album.
Eventually, Bruce & Berni Yakoweshen, and Jason Wolff (of 5 Star Band, today) would join Prairie Rose and help the band record three more albums between 2005 and 2011, as well as play at their exciting live shows. The band performed at many weddings, anniversaries, graduation parties, and dances during its existence.

On August 24, 2013 Prairie Rose played their last official gig at the "Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival" zabava in their hometown of Andrew.




Athabasca, AB






Winnipeg, MB.


John Konosky - Violin
Stan Kostiuk - Guitar
Joe Wozlowski - Tsymbaly

 (19??) Primrose Trio - Plays... Ukrainian Folk Songs
  Side 1
1. Stans Waltz
2. Willow Creek Polka
3. Bills Polka
4. Ukrainian Foxtrot
5. Harkan
6. Kolomayka

Side 2
1. Butterfly
2. Dulsmir Polka
3. Green Lawn Waltz
4. Swedish Polka
5. Willow Creek Waltz
6. Key Of A Polka
 (19??) Primrose Trio - Presents... Ukrainian Folk Songs
  Side 1
1. Green Oak
2. Fordjaga
3. Zelennaya Ruta
4. Propala Nadiya
5. John's Polka
6. Petrush Polka

Side 2
7. Happy Neighbor
8. Red River Valley
9. Oy Pid Hajem Hajem
10. Handzia
11. Hop Waltz
12. Schottishe
 (19??) Primrose Trio - Plays... Ukrainian Folk Songs Volume II
  Side 1
1. Cymbaly On Fire Polka
2. Diduna Polka
3. Bloom Waltz
4. Judy's Polka
5. Dragon Polka
6. Grywinski Kolomayka

Side 2
1. Root Polka
2. Flare Polka
3. Engaged Girl Waltz
4. Stomp Foxtrot
5. Chabon
6. Grywinski Polka
 (19??) Primrose Trio - Plays... Ukrainian Folk Songs Volume III
  Side 1
1. Leo's Polka
2. Ivy's Polka
3. Bandura Waltz
4. Balamooti Waltz
5. Dev'ils Polka
6. Poplar Field Polka

Side 2
1. Bredin Polka
2. Bublichki
3. Kolomayka
4. Valley Waltz
5. Matt's Polka
6. Mottilicha Polka




Toronto, ON.






Montreal, QC.






Alberta / Formed: ~1930.


Metro Radomsky's ensemble.




Toronto, ON. / Late 1980s / Status: Retired.


This group was led by musician, broadcaster & activist, Andrij (Andy) Holowaty (formerly of the band Petro Pyrih And The Holubtsi). The Raging Hutzuls were very popular at college/university social club pubnights. They also travelled often to play in the USA, particularly at Suzi-Q (Soyuzivka Resort) in Kerhonkson, NY.

The Raging Hutzuls featured: Andy Holowaty (Guitar & Vocals), Greg "Hrych" Machula (Bass Guitar). Peter Rezytniak (Lead Guitar), & William (Bill) Szuch (Drums).
Often the band was joined on stage by guest performers. Most frequently by Andrew Solomon (Violin & Keyboards).

Andy Holowaty is an on-air host and media specialist for RADIO KONTAKT program - AM 530 Toronto.
Guitarist Peter Rezytniak is a member of the popular U.S. zabava band Svitanok, based out of Albany, New York.
Greg Machula is busy working in the film industry.





Winnipeg, MB.

Randy Bachman webpage

Legendary Canadian rock singer/songwriter/musician/producer Randy Bachman has often told stories about how, as a young teenager, he and his brothers, and friends, played with their adolescent bands at numerous Community Clubs, Legion halls and Ukrainian church halls in the greater Winnipeg area during the late 1950s. They played weddings, church socials, & dances, and, quite often, their only reimbursement for performing was with as many holuptsi and perogies that the band members could eat!

Randy Bachman's father was of German descent, while his mother was from Ukrainian and Polish ancestry. As Randy was growing up in Manitoba, the Ukrainian side of his family played an influential role during special occasions when traditional food and song abounded at the celebrations.

During the 1960s, Bachman was lead guitarist and songwriter with his band The Guess Who, along with singer/keyboardist Burton Cummings. In the 1970s, Bachman hit worldwide superstardom with Bachman-Turner Overdrive; the band he founded along with his brothers, along with (former member of Winnipeg's Ukrainian D-Drifters band) C.F. "Fred" Turner (singer/bassist).

In 2008, Randy Bachman was asked to act as parade Grand Marshal for that year's Toronto Ukrainian Festival. He also performed "Taking Care of Business" on the festival main stage. Bachman appeared at the festival wearing a traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirt.

Among many other accolades and honours, in 2005 Bachman was inducted into the Order of Manitoba, and in 2008 into the Order of Canada. He is also included in Canada's Walk of Fame, and received SOCAN's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

Currently, Randy Bachman is the longtime host of the Vinyl Tap show on CBC radio where he tells personal stories gathered from his many decades working in the music industry.




Torquay, SK.


Southern Saskatchewan's Ray Stepp and The Melody Kings are favourites at Legion Halls and Seniors Centres from Moose Jaw to Estevan, and back up to Regina. The band plays traditional and contemporary songs for dances, banquets, socials, and special events. Featured instruments include: saxophone, accordion, banjo, bass guitar, and drums.




Southern Manitoba / Formed: Early 1960s.


The Red River Valley Polka Kings played nearly every weekend all over southern Manitoba at community socials, weddings, banquets and midnight dances.

Larry Block -
Myron Smuk - Vocals
Ned Smuk - Accordion
Victor Yasinski - Violin






The Regent Ramblers played a mix of old time fiddle tunes, western swing, country music and traditional Ukrainian dance melodies.

As a young fiddler, Dennis Nykoliation was once a member of this dance band.




Toronto, ON.

RZASB Facebook page

The Retro Zabava All Star Band is made up of veteran musicians who have played in the bands Burlaky, Burya, Dunai, Nove Pokolinya, Solovey, Zirka and Zolota Bulava.

The talent pool here is deep and the band knows how to invoke the memories of hearing your favourite Ukrainian albums, or attending those classic zabavas back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Retro Zabava All Star Band on stage at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival.
From left: Mark Shnuriwsky (Burlaky, Nove Pokolinya), Victor Lishchyna (Solovey), Bill Hawryschuk (Burya, Solovey, Zirka),
Andy Sydoryshyn (Nove Pokolinya), Peter Bayrachny (Solovey).



Peter Picklyk and His, 



Peter Picklyk (1918-1989) played violin and recorded with his own Peter Picklyk And His Rhythm Aces Band.

Peter Picklyk started taking violin lessons at an early age, while still in school, and it wasn't long before he started performing at community gatherings, zabavas and weddings. His musical skills developed to a point where people often said that his violin playing could make you smile and cry during the same song!

Many other musical artists recognized Picklyk's talent on the violin, so he was showcased as a guest artist on recorded albums, and in live performance, for several different bands. As a result, his playing was regularly heard on radio programs right across Canada. This high demand to appear regularly at numerous functions unfortunately meant that Peter was unable to always make a commitment to every invitation. Therefore, Picklyk formed his Rhythm Aces band to record his own music to the delight of his fans - if they couldn't see him live, they could listen to him on their hi-fi system at home. Peter Picklyk And His Rhythm Aces recorded several popular alums to meet demands.

Several young musicians passed through the ranks of Peter's Rhythm Aces, with several going on to form their own successful zabava bands.

Peter Picklyk - Violin
Victor Boryk - Rhythm Guitar
Mary Picklyk - Bass Guitar
Wally Nawolsky - Cordovox Accordion
B. Christianson - Drums
Nestor Shydlowsky - Accordion & Vocals
Joe Wozlewsky - Bass Guitar






Edmonton, AB.


Johnny Kinasewich And The Rhythm Kings.




Medicine Hat, AB.






Montreal, QC.






Edmonton, AB.





ROMKO (Ron Boychuk)


Edmonton, AB.


Ron "The Fiddler" Boychuk was professionally known as Romko. He was a very talented violinist/fiddler who entertained thousands of fans for many years and was a favourite performer in several Ukrainian communities across Western Canada. Romko regularly recorded as a soloist and as a guest with other groups. He also appeared in performance on television numerous times.

Whether he was playing a Kolomeyka, a Waltz, a Polka, a Foxtrot, or any other traditional Ukrainian dance tune, Romko had the talent to make his fiddle sing and dancers' feet move!

After Ron passed away in December, 2000, his regular bandmates continued, in his honour, with Romko's Friends.

Ron (Romko) Boychuk - Fiddle
Ernie Bayle - Drums
John Boychuk - Accordion
Richard Chichak - Rhythm Guitar
Bill Yazey - Bass

Special Guest on the Romko albums: Irene Chamczuk - Cymbaly

 Romko - The Ukrainian Fiddler Vol.1  Romko - Ukrainian Fiddle fantasy Vol.2
  1. Canada's National Ukrainian Kolomeyka
2. Ukrainian Polka Medley
3. Mooya Sardenko
4. Traditional Wedding Presentation
5. Katherna's Waltz
6. Bublichky
7. Romko's Polka
8. Valley River Polka
9. Karpawtaw Foxtrot
10. Ukrainska Kolomeyka
11. Ukrainian Waltz Medley
12. Baba's Polka
      1. Triblanka
2. Atlantic Polka
3. Harness The Horses (Foxtrot)
4. Kola Sawlaw / Ukrainian Waltz (Medley)
5. P.N.E. Kolomyka
6. Wishing Well Waltz
7. Rosebud Waltz
8. Hopack
9. Arnie’s Polka
10. Harry Don’t Go To Parties (Foxtrot)
11. Nih Mooch Meneh (Polka)
12. Dark Eyes / Balamute Waltz (Medley)
13. Troubadours Polka
14. Whose Girl Are You (Waltz)
15. Kozak Medley



(& THE

Winnipeg, MB.


Winnipeg's Ron Kohanchuk was a gifted accordionist, organist and vocalist who entertained Manitobans for many years under two different band names: The Dreamers, and The Common People Band. He had the natural ability to play for all kinds of crowds while keeping the dance floor full. During the 1980s, Tony Roman and Mike Klym (of the D-Drifters) played with Ron's band.

Ron Kohanchuk passed away in April, 2002.




Rossburn, MB.






Vegreville, AB.






Fort Saskatchewan, AB.






Edmonton, AB.


Victor Holubowich & The Royal Lites.




Winnipeg, MB?


Nester Shydlowsky and the Royal Polka Kings

 (19??) Royal Polka Kings - Buying A Car Ukrainian Style featuring...
  Side 1:
1. Buying a Car, Ukrainian Style
2. Happy Polka
3. A Young Girl Song
4. Pride and Joy Polka
5. Farmer's Song
6. Thrashing Polka

Side 2:
1. Royal Polka
2. Women Dancing
3. A Young Lad
4. Royal Kolomayka
5. Barbara Polka
6. Yesterday I Was Drunk

 (19??) Royal Polka Kings - Touring Canada with...
  Side 1:
1. Touring Canada
2. Saskatchewan Kozak
3. Ukranian Chobun
4. Finger Lickin' Polka
5. These are the Days
6. Tolstoi Polka

Side 2:
1. Ukr. Orange Blossom Special
2. Neighbor's Butterfly
3. Winnipeg Polka
4. 10 Below Polka
5. Canadian Farmer's Fadmore Polka

 (19??) Royal Polka Kings
 Starring Nester Shydlowsky With Special Guest Peter Picklyk - Good Old Ukrainian Music Is Here To Stay
  Side 1:
1. Good Old Ukrainian Music Is Here To Stay
2. Pete's Polka
3. Elizabeth My Girl Friend
4. Hostulka
5. Squirrel Polka
6. I Have A Good Husband

Side 2:
1. Winnipeg Wedding March
2. Frank The Drunk
3. Peedhreeska Kolomayka
4. Marriage Headaches
5. Gross Polka
6. Yak-Shih Miyeash Polka




Lachine (Montreal), QC. / Formed 1969. / Retired 1980, but may still play select gigs.




In late 1969, four young men from the suburban Montreal borough of Lachine gathered together at the UNF (УНО) hall just to see, and hear, if any magic could happen when they started to play. The boys had never played together as a group, but the drummer's father had asked his son to assemble a band for a New Year's dance he was planning for a new restaurant where he was a co-owner. As soon as Stefan, Andrij, Yurko and Ewhen began practicing, they knew they had something special - their harmonizing voices, plus the arrangement of the instruments, quickly gelled, and a new band was born!

Rushnychok became one of the first Ukrainian combos to perform at zabavas and banquets in a "rock band" style, therefore, many people refered to them as the "Ukrainian Beatles". Previously, zabava bands were primarily fronted by violin, tsymbaly, accordion, and other acoustic instruments, and performed mostly instrumental pieces. Rushnychok was a musical ensemble featuring several male voices up front, singing in harmony, and accompanied by electric lead & bass guitars, drums & percussion, and amplified accordion.

Together, the guitars and drums created a modern, driving, rhythmic sound, while the accordion preserved the link to the traditional past. The accordion also played the primary role in dance pieces such as fox trots, polkas, rhumbas, tangos & waltzes and, especially in, Ukrainian dances such as hopaks and kolomeykas. Rushnychok was fortunate to have three unique, lead singing voices that allowed them to perform songs with different tone colours, textures and dynamics. During a zabava, they perfected a formula by performing songs that would progressively build up on the tempo and dynamics, thus creating a rush of excitement in the dancing audience. For Ukrainian dance numbers, such as the kolomeyka, offbeat rhythms and percussive hits punctuated the melody in sync with dancers' moves.

For the more contemporary pieces that Rushnychok played in the Anglo-American pop or rock style, the guitars and percussion would come up front and dominate, however, the singers still sang in harmonies that were reminiscent of traditional Ukrainian forms. Rushnychok's contemporary Rock and Roll influences included: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. The major influences on the band from the Ukrainian music community are often cited as: Winnipeg's D-Drifter 5, and Montreal's own Sheremeta Band.

From the beginning, the members of Rushnychok took pride in their musical arrangements, their musicianship, their tight vocal style, and their colourful stage presentation - the band almost always appeared wearing full Ukrainian folk costumes. The decision to dress in embroidered Ukrainian clothing and adopt a band name full of Ukrainian symbolism was a big move during the 1960s & '70s, when most Ukrainian immigrants were still reluctant to display their ancestral heritage in their new, adopted home country. As a result, in the early 1970s, word quickly spread about the band, their popularity grew, and they were soon invited to play at significant Ukrainian events. When an invitation came, in 1972, to appear at the very popular Soyuzivka Resort in New York state, Rushnychok knew that they had "arrived." By 1974, they were playing at the resort up to five times a year woven between other key festival dates!

Without question, Rushnychok set a new standard with their pioneering style and also set new marks for all zabava bands that followed.

 (1973) Rushnychok - Rushnychok
    Side 1
1. Rushnychok (Рушничок)
2. Marichka (Марічка)
3. Yasyny (Ясени)
4. When Trumpets Play (Як сурми заграють)
5. Two Colors (Два кольори)
6. Chervona Ruta (Червона рута)

Side 2
1. Susidko (Сусідко)
2. The Solitary Steed (Ой чий то кінь стоїть)
3. Rozpriahayty Hloptsi Kony (Розпрягайте хлопці коні)
4. My Loved One (Моя кохана)
5. Carpathian Nights (Вечори в карпатах)
6. Lubimsia/Lets Get Together (Любімся)
7. Learn Well, My Brothers (Учітеся брати мої)

 (1974) Rushnychok - Volume Two
    Side 1
1. The Whistling Kozaks (Засвистали козаченьки)
2. Chaban (Чабан)
3. The Moon in the Sky (Місяць на небі)
4. Moyi Yasyny (Мої ясени)
5. Eyes As Dark As the Soil (Чорні очка як терен)

Side 2
1. The Mosquito and the Fly (Ой що ж то за шум?)
2. Lytsar (Лицар)
3. I Can See the Village (Ой видно село)
4. A Mist in the Valley (На долині туман)
5. The Storm (Буря)
6. My Homeland (Земле моя)

 (1976) Rushnychok - Volume Three
    Side 1
1. Canada’s Rushnychok (Рушничок із Канади)
2. We Are Young (Молоді ми)
3. You (Ти)
4. Ah! My Love (Ага мила!)
5. Halychanka (Галичанка)
6. The Wedding Song (Оженився)

Side 2
1. The ballad of Yuri Tjutjunnyk (Пісня про Тютюнника)
2. Your Winter’s Love (Твоя любоа зайшла зимою)
3. Listen To My Heart (Чи прислухатимешся до серця мого?)
4. Evening Song (Вечірня пісня)
5. The Willow (Верба)
6. Reflections (Я мабуть колись тут був)

 (1977) Rushnychok - Four
    Side 1
1. Distant Road (Дорога Дальна)
2. Verhovyna, My Land (Верховино, мати моя)
3. Beloved Girl (Ой ти, дівчино)
4. Concertina (Катеринка)
5. Flight Of The Eagles (Ой, літа орел)
6. An Evening In May (Маєва нічка)

Side 2
1. Song Of The Steppes (Гей, степами)
2. An Embroidery For You (Рушничок я тобі вишиваю)
3. Young Love (Ой, любов, любов, ти молода)
4. Enchanted Desna (Зачарована Десна)
5. Coo-Coo (Ку-ку та гей)
6. Song Of The Forest (Лісова пісня)
7. Freedom (Воля Україні)

 (1980) Rushnychok - Volume Five
    Side 1
1. When Clouds Hide the Sun (Як сонце заслонить)
2. Moon and the Stars (Місяць і зіроньки)
3. Hmeliu (Ой хмелю)
4. Chumak (Whip dance)
5. Don't Blame Me (Не винуй мене)
6. Ah Kalyna (А калина не верба)

Side 2
1. Red Poppiies (Маки червоні)
2. When You Find Someone (Як знайдеш ти когось)
3. Silence All Around (Тиша навкруги)
4. Nightingale (Соловію)
5. I Can't Understand (Зрозуміть не можу досі)
6. So Long Ago (Як давно)

In their time together, Rushnychok recorded five albums comprised of 63 songs. The albums were all issued under the band's own SAGE Promotions record label (SAGE came from combining their names' first initials). The band's album sales could be counted in the tens of thousands - a rare feat compared to other North American "ethnic" acts. Amazingly, the albums also had a large impact in Ukraine where copies had to be secrectly snuck in.

At their peak, the band had recognition world-wide and performed at all the major Ukrainian festivals in Canada and the U.S.A., plus, countless weddings, banquets, and special events! Rushnychok's unrivalled popularity, and influence on other peer bands, helped their hometown Montreal gain the title: "Zabava Capital" of North America.

Through all the years, the only members of Rushnychok:

Steve (Stefan) Andrusiak - Drums
Andrij Harasymowycz - Vocals / Guitar
George (Yurko) Shtyk - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Ewhen Osidacz - Vocals / Accordion




Vancouver, BC. / Formed: early 1990s.

S-BAHN Band website


S-BAHN is a party band formed in Vancouver, BC in the early 1990s by accordionist Richard Tyce and made up of seasoned musicians. The band's main goal is to bring people together in musical celebration. With the band's diverse and eclectic repertoire, S-BAHN has become a staple in the greater Vancouver area and in many parts of the U.S.

Though the majority of functions that S-BAHN plays are in the German vein - Oktoberfest, Bierfest & Wurstfest celebrations - the band has become a Ukrainian community favourite by regularly headlining exciting performances at several Malankas and Zabavas!

The members of S-BAHN are:

Richard Tyce - Singer / Accordion / Keyboards
Jim Hopson - Trombone / Tuba / Alphorn / Bass guitar / Vocals
Etienne McGuigan - Guitar / Vocals
James Bartz - Drums / vocals




Montreal, QC. / Formed: 1976, through 1980s / Re-formed: 2015 in Winnipeg, MB.

SAMOTSVIT Band website


When Samotsvit (meaning "gem") was formed in Montreal during the mid 1970s, they appeared with a unique twist to the regular zabava band performance. The Cap brothers, and their bandmates, combined their musical and singing skills with Ukrainian dance moves in full costume. This presented a unique and captivating spectacle for the audience that was rich with Ukrainian cultural imagery.

Samotsvit's music repertoire was, almost entirely, made up of compositions by the group's members.
These compositions combined very diverse musical influences: traditional Ukrainian melodies, modern Soviet - and post Soviet - Ukrainian styles, Jazz, Anglo-American, West Indian, Caribbean, South American, French, and Quebecois stylings.
Several future zabava band musicians would cite Samotsvit as a big influence on them when they formed their own bands. Samotsvit's unique stage presence was a great contributor to their popularity for various live performances and as guests on a few television shows. During the band's peak, in the 1980s, they appeared at most of the big Ukrainian festivals, in Canada & the USA. Also, the highly talented musicians in Samotsvit were very often invited to contribute their skills on many other Ukrainian artist's recordings.

Montreal's Yevshan Communications Inc. founder & owner, Bohdan Tymyc produced Samotsvit's first album, and also played a large role in helping the band gain its quick initial success across Canada.

In 2015, Oles Cap (now living in Winnipeg) re-formed Samotsvit and released a third full-length album that, once again, confirmed that the band's music is both influential and trend-setting. It features a combinition of "innovative and contemporary Ukrainian music with a creative sprinkle of jazz."
Oles's daughters helped on vocals during the recording and he dedicated the album to his family.

Samotsvit III may be purchased through cdbaby.com or visit the band's website.


 (1979) Samotsvit - Самоцвіт  (1983) Samotsvit - Vol. 2.
  Side 1
1. Не думав я
2. Промінь Самоцвіта
3. Я кликав тебе
4. Водограй
5. Пісня буде поміж нас

Side 2
1. Колись любилися
2. Ой чий той кінь стоїть
3. На галявині лісній
4. Весна і ти
5. Жовтий лист
      Side 1
1. Самоцвіт - дорогоцінний камінь / Samotsvit - The Gemstone
2. Промінь самоцвіту / Rays of the Gemstone II
3. Сльози і кохання / Tears and Love
4. Ти ж не моя / You're not Mine
5. Кличу тебе я / Calling you

Side 2
1. Мій подарунок для тебе / My Gift to You
2. Відгуки мого серця / Echoes of my Heart
3. Золоті ворота / The Golden Gates
4. Осінній дощ / The Autumn Rain
5. Той день розлуки / That Day of Parting

 (2015) Samotsvit - Samotsvit III, Love Is A Rose
1. Love Is A Rose
2. Song Of The Upa
3. Zozylia
4. Under A Starlight Night
5. The Storks
6. Marianna
7. Have Another Look
8. Ne Dymav Ya
9. If I Would Of Only Known
10. In The Carpathian Land
11. Love Is A Rose (Instrumental)
12. The Storks (Instrumental)

Early members of Samotsvit:

Alexander (Oles) Cap - Lead & Rhythm Guitars / Vocals / Band Leader
Ihor Cap - Lead & Bass Guitars / Backing Vocals
Wasyl Kinal - Accordion / Keyboards
Taras Kolanitch - Drums / Percussion / Electric Piano / Backing Vocals
Nykola Shylo - Accordion / Keyboards
Ivan Snisarenko - Accordion / Keyboards

Samotsvit line-up for 2015 album:

Alexander (Oles) Cap - Acoustic & Electric Guitars / Vocals / Band Leader
Zen Zadravec - Keyboards / Piano
Paul Pododworny - Drums
Paulo Borges - Bass Guitar
Daryl Gutheil - Guest Keyboardist
Sophia, Nadia & Julia Cap - Backing Vocals / Percussion

Wasyl Kinal would later play with Cheremshyna and Veselka.
Original Samotsvit drummer Taras Kolanitch's brother Roman played drums in Montreal band Veselka.
(The Samotsvit Cap family members are not related to the Chornomortsi band Cap family).




Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 1973 / Status: Retired.


Don Bilinski -
Alex Danylchuk - Violin/Fiddle
Bob Fulawka - Pedal Steel Guitar




Edmonton, AB.






Toronto, ON. / From: ~1998 To: ~2005 / Status: Retired.



Around about 1998, Toronto's Yurko Mychaluk and George "Gonzz" Nakonechny were in the midst of a productive stint playing with busy zabava band Nove Pokolinya, when they formed Seven Year Itch as their own harder rockin' pop band. "SYI" became the outlet where they could flesh out their own original song ideas. Musical influences were bands such as, The Foo Fighters, Collective Soul, The Goo Goo Dolls, & Blink 182. Seven Year Itch quickly gained popularity and started playing a mix of Ukrainian pub/zabava functions and rock club dates. Their repertoire also reflected these venues - some traditional Ukrainian favourites (though rocked up!), along with several pop/rock radio hits, and a handful of their own original rock material. Invitations to play took the band to gigs across Canada and far into the U.S.A. (Buffalo, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and more).

Seven Year Itch released their only CD titled TIME, in 1999 (with their old buddy Randy Cooke on drums), and released the single "2000 YEARS" from it. Rock radio started playing the song and, with the help of a FACTOR Canada grant, a top-notch video was shot for the single. MUCHMUSIC liked it and put the video into casual rotation.

Yar Nazarowicz would soon take over on drums, plus Taras Blizniuk (who engineered the TIME album) joined the band on keyboards (both were members of Toronto zabava band Zahrava). More regular gigging built up the Seven Year Itch name, especially when the band headlined shows like the wild, annual Pre-Malanka/Night-B4-Malanka pub nights every January.

A couple of months into 2001, an incredible opportunity arose for Yurko - he took an offer to play lead guitar in singer Nelly Furtado's backing band during her "Whoa Nelly!" world tour. As a result, SYI went into hiatus (and he also left the Nove Pokolinya band).

After Yurko toured with Furtado for more than a year and a half, Seven Year Itch resumed rocking long enough to record another new song, written by Yurko, titled "Win The Cup." Amazingly, the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning team started using the tune to get their fans chanting and cheering during their 2004 playoff run towards the Stanley Cup Championship.

Eventually, by the mid 2000s, Seven Year Itch was folded into a new zabava/rock band named Klooch, (whose full Ukrainian alter-ego is Zahrava). George Nakonechny moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in music there (Grandville, Public Jones, The Guilty Pleasures Band).

*( Seven Year Itch owes its name as much to the influence of Toronto band Platinum Blonde [acquaintances of Yurko's] who threw the term around before using it as the title of their 1999 compilation CD, as it owes to the amount of time Yurko & Gonzz played with Nove Pokolinya before they had the 'itch' to form their own band! )

Founding Seven Year Itch members:

Yurko Mychaluk - Guitars / Lead Vocals
George "Gonzz" Nakonechny - Bass Guitar / Lead Vocals

Additional members:

Randy Cooke - Drums
Yarko Nazarowicz - Drums
Taras Blizniuk - Keyboards / Vocals




Alexander Sheremeta And His Orchestra

Montreal, QC. / 1950s, 1960s, 1970s.


Alexander SHEREMETA And His Orchestra

At a young age, Alexander Sheremeta had two obsessions - playing his accordion, and collecting traditional Ukrainian songs. In due time, he brought these two passions together when he created his Sheremeta Orchestra and started sharing his talents with the Montreal Ukrainian community while steadily building his own legacy.

Throughout his entire life, Alexander Sheremeta had an unending desire to seek out authentic Ukrainian melodies wherever he could find them. As the leader of his own band, Alexander's repertoire of music would change and update regularly to reflect his new discoveries. Eventually, this search for music took him on a voyage to Ukraine where he discovered troves of traditional material that was unfamiliar to most Ukrainian-Canadians. From the booklets full of music that he anxiously brought home to Canada, Sheremeta dutifully recorded his albums - particularly the album titled, A Visit To The Ukraine.

Many traditional Ukrainian zabava and dance melodies that Ukrainian-Canadians consider standards today were first introduced by Alexander Sheremeta And His Orchestra.

Though always revolving around Alexander's accordion, the Sheremeta Orchestra performed in various forms over the years of its existence - from a simple stage combo (violin, mandolin, guitar, bass & drums), to a full orchestra (multiple violins, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets, plus guitar, bass, drums & percussion). Various guest vocalists also contributed to both the live performances and the recorded material. (Most notably, vocalist Michael Boyko).

During its heyday, the Sheremeta Orchestra undertook numerous tours throughout Canada and the United States, however, two climax performances were at The New York World’s Fair in 1964. and Montreal's EXPO '67.

The Sheremeta Orchestra's musical legacy became clear when most members of Montreal's zabava bands that succeeded them, named Sheremeta as a major influence (primarily the members of Rushnychok).

Alexander Sheremeta passed away in May 1981 just shy of his 50th birthday.






Winnipeg, MB. / 1997 to mid 2010s.


Shoom was a Winnipeg band that drew much admiration and attention during its existence. Their Kozak themed folk and traditional Ukrainian songs were performed with zabava style bravado. Many of their songs also featured a keen sense of humour that grabbed the audience - particularly during the band's, very enegetic, live shows. The zabava crowds loved every bit of it and would spend entire evenings on the dance floor, then they would talk for days about how Shoom stole the show!

The members of Shoom knew where their Ukrainian musical heritage came from and they used every opportunity to express it - live and on recordings. They were also influenced by other zabava bands such as: The D-Drifters, Kuban Kozaks, Dunai, Burya and Rushnychok.

The variety of music genres that Shoom played covered a wide spectrum: polkas, waltzes, kolomeykas, folk songs, country classics, '50s & '60s rock 'n roll, and classic rock. Add to that mix: original material, and traditional Ukrainian melodies (both zabava style and Western Canadian Ukrainian style). No matter the musical flavour, Shoom would always strive for the highest musical standards during their live shows and when recording songs for their four albums.

The Shoom song "Hop Shchoop Kanadah" is used as the theme song for Edmonton's CFCW Zabava Program radio show.

The members of Shoom:

Terry (Taras) Kraynyk - Accordion / Keyboards / Bass Guitar / Backing Vocals
Nathan Mandziuk - Guitar / Fiddle / Bass Guitar / Backing Vocals
Terry McGurk - Drums / Percussion / Backing Vocals
Greg (Hrytz) Udod - Keyboards / Lead and Backing Vocals

Ray Bach - Clarinet / Flute / Saxophones   (later addition to band; appears on Shoom IV)

 (1997) Shoom - Шум I  (2001) Shoom - Shoom II - It's Fun To Be Ukrainian
1. When The Trumpets Sound / Kozak Glory Polka
2. Kyivan Waltz
3. Fai Dooli
4. Halychanochka
5. Besame Mucho
6. Hop Shchoop Kanadah
7. Oy Oo Poli
8. Listen...
9. Horilka!
10. Lytsar
11. Kozak Medley
1. It's Fun To Be Ukrainian!
2. Hey Zabava!
3. Vyshnevomoo Sadochkoo
4. Ah Kalyna!
5. Soloveeyou
6. Moyemoo Sadoo
7. Hliboka Kirnitsya
8. Hutzulka Ksenia
9. Kolomeyka!
10. Tisha Navkroohy
11. Fly Kozak!

 (2003) Shoom - Shoom 3 (Unplugged)  (2008) Shoom - Shoom IV: Live in Winnipeg
1. Medley: Verchovyno / Chaban / Oy Chorna /
Tyzh Mene Pidmanoola / Eez Syrom Pyrohy /
Sooseedko / Ee Shoomit / Tsyhanochko Moya /
Ivanku Ivanku / Oy Tai Duna
2. Eternity Waltz
3. Tebe Kochayou
4. Nini
5. Oy Pid Kalynoyou
6. Bood'mo
1. Wecome and Intro
2. Drunk Ukrainian
3. Polka From Zhytomyr
4. Ah Kalyna!
5. Oy Vidsy Hora
6. Chervonenkey Booryachok
7. Clarinet Polka
8. (Who Stole the) Keeshka
9. Magical Flower
10. Polechko
11. It's Fun To Be Ukrainian!
12. Marichka Moya
13. Oy Na Hori
14. Wonderful World
15. Winnipeg Man
16. Hey Hey Ha!




Winnipeg, MB.


 (2011) Sich - Home Of The Cossacks





Toronto, ON.






Toronto, ON.



Nadia Kobelak & Skopa Band.

Skopa is a young and aspiring zabava band that plays Ukrainian folk songs as well as new and classic tunes. The band was created when a couple of Sumivtsi realized they played different intstruments and had a strong passion for music. Soon their raw talent was recognized by the Ukrainian community. Skopa has played at various Ukrainian functions such as malankas, zabavas, festivals, fundraisers, etc.

The Skopa Band members are:
Nadia Kobelak - Vocals and Keyboards
Luke Pastuszok - Drums
Julian Petelycky - Bass
Mattej Purawec - Guitar

If you would like to contact Skopa please e-mail skopa.the.band@gmail.com.





Winnipeg, MB. / Formed: 2001 / Status: Active.

Sloohai Band website
Sloohai Facebook page

Sloohai presents a performance that is high in energy and excitement. They play a wide variety of music and specialize in Weddings, Anniversaries, Malankas and Zabavas. The band may also be regularly seen at Ukrainian Festivals across Canada and the U.S.A.

 (2005) Sloohai - Let's Ask the Polka Band
1. Hey Zabava
2. Oy Chorna
3. Anniversary Waltz
4. Chervona Rozha
5. Let’s Ask The Polka Band
6. Hanyu
7. Oy Peed Hiyem
8. Maple Sugar
9. Black Velvet Waltz
10. Chaban
11. Kolomeyka!

 (2008) Sloohai - Pounding Back the Polkas
1. The Blowing Wind
2. Yarema
3. Oh, You Little River
4. Brown Eyes, Black Eybrows
5. The Kozaks Rode Home
6. Red Rue
7. Drinking Alone
8. Oh, In The Cherry Orchard
9. I Like Music Very Much
10. Oh, In The Field There Is Kalyna
11. Where The Blue Mountains Are
12. Nightingale

 (2014) Sloohai - Sloohai III
1. Oy Poyikhav Nash Ivan
2. Vysyt Yabko
3. Khochesh Znaty Tayemnytsyu
4. Hory Hory
5. Koly Ya Potrebuyu Tebe
6. Pokolinnya
7. De Zhoda V Rodyni
8. Fly Kozak
9. Nashcho
10. Byla Mene Maty
11. Mav Ya Raz Divchynonku
12. Nyni Nyni
13. Ty Kazala
14. Oy Chyy To Kin Stoyit


The members of Sloohai are:

John Bzovey - Lead Guitars / Vocals
Gord Chubey - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Will Kaye - Fiddle / Vocals
Terry Kraynyk - Accordion / Keyboards / Vocals
Matthew Prychun - Drums / Lead Vocals




Toronto, ON. / 1980s. 












Toronto, ON. / Formed: early 1980s / Status: semi-retired.




Peter Bayrachny - Accordion / Keyboards / Lead Vocals
Victor Lishchyna - Electric Bass / Mandolin / Piano / Lead Vocals
Bill Hawryschuk - Drums / Percussion
Roman "Pretzel" Showkewych - Electric Guitar / Acoustic Guitar / Vocals
Sam Ierullo - Alto Saxophone / Tenor Saxophone.
Misty Fedak - Trumpet / Percussion
Steve Hadowany - Drums
George Radewych - Guitar
Borys Boytchuk - Guitar 

Mark Shnuriwsky - Guitar
Yurko Mychaluk - Guitar




Dryden/Thunder Bay, ON. / Formed: 1995


The Sounds of the Steppes Band was started in 1995, in Dryden, Ontario, as a trio to accompany a Children's Ukrainian Choir and then, later, an Adult Ukrainian Choir. After a few personnel changes, the band became a five piece in 2000. Sounds of the Steppes perform at old time dances, weddings, anniversaries, socials and coffee houses. Though known for playing Ukrainian Music, the band also plays many other styles of traditional and dance music.

Over the years, Sounds of the Steppes has performed at various Ukrainian festivals and celebrations such as: The Dauphin, MB. National Ukrainian Festival, the Dryden, ON. Ukrainian Festival, and 'Cossack Days' in Thunder Bay, ON.

The group has proudly recorded two albums: "O' Ukraine" and "The Next Steppe".

The current members of Sounds of the Steppes:

Allen Mazurski - Mandolin
Ken Denby - Bass Guitar
Jeannette Denby - Accordion
Tom Stratton - Guitar
Humberto Pacheco - Drums

Former Members:
Origene Legros - Lead Guitar
Ed Wladyko - Drums




Edmonton, AB.


Veteran violinist Marshall Pankiw, and his accordionist/vocalist son Dwayne, lead The Sparkling Tones Band out of Edmonton. Peter Gardiner is on guitar. The band has become regulars at weddings, anniversaries, malankas, birthday parties and social events across Alberta. They advertise that they will play any day of the week and that dance music in any style (polkas, waltzes & fox-trots), and from any era, is their specialty!

The Sparkling Tones have recorded three albums and can be contacted by email at: dwayne.pankiw@telus.net




Saskatoon, SK.


Standard Trio play a mixture of jazz standards and popular music from the big-band era.

Don Sawchuk - Guitar / Mandolin / Vocals
Derek Sawchuk - Drums
Matthew Gruza - Bass



Joe Hrycyk & The

St. Michael, AB.


Very popular violinist/fiddler Joe Hrycyk is the leader of his band The Starlites.




Edmonton, AB.

Steppe Facebook page
Steppe band website

Steppe is a hot Ukrainian band from Edmonton that began as a Zmewsky family folk ensemble, but soon found itself being pulled towards performing Ukrainian zabava music. These versatile musicians absolutely love playing the kind of music that gets people up and dancing.

Steppe looks forward to sharing it's passion for high energy Ukrainian music with its audience at weddings, anniversaries, malankas & festivals.

The members of Steppe are:

John Dymianiw - Trumpet / Flugelhorn / Percussion / Vocals
Dmytro Rusnak - Accordion / Keyboards / Vocals
David Skubleny - Drums
Adrian Zmewsky - Bass Guitar / Vocals
Peter Zmewsky - Guitar / Saxophone / Vocals

Former members of Steppe:

Markian Zmewsky - Lead Guitar
Oles Zmewsky - Accordion / Keyboards / Trumpet






Steve Berkowski was a fiddler/violinist who recorded music with his own Orchestra, but was best known for his work with the Melody Makers.



Peter Gargus and

Wostok/Edmonton, AB. / Formed: 1956.


Peter Gargus was born in Wostok (90 km NE of Edmonton, AB.) and from a young age he was playing music. At ten years old he played the drums in his brothers' band, but switched to the violin at 12. As teenagers, the band played regularly at zabavas, weddings, and parties within an easy drive of the family home.

Peter soon became a very versatile musician, not only playing the violin and drums, but also learning the trumpet, saxophone, banjo, and tsymbaly. He also became a creative arranger of traditional tunes and composer of his own songs.

Without question, it was inevitable that Peter would form his own group. Thus, The Swingsters Band was created in 1956 and quickly became a zabava favourite. Regarless of who Peter had playing with him in the band, The Swingsters were always extremely fluent at playing Ukrainian waltzes & polkas, plus foxtrots, country & western, and rock & roll music. The band's theme song was "Swingsters Polka."

Over the course of their 42 years in existence The Swingsters recorded four albums and entertained (and influenced) thousands. Peter Gargus and The Swingsters officially retired in October, 1998. In that same year, Peter was honoured for his dedication to music with induction into the Alberta Ukrainian Music Hall of Fame in Vegreville, Alberta by R. J. Tompkins.

Peter's son Charlie inherited his father's abilty as a multi-instumentalist. He also played drums, guitar, bass guitar, banjo and trumpet with the Swingsters.

Peter Gargus passed away in August, 2009, in Edmonton, at 87 years of age.
On August 1, 2010 he was inducted, posthumously, into the Cana