Ukraine’s Run for Sziget

Nearly twenty years ago was the first of Ukraine’s run for Sziget, most didn’t even understand what had happened, but the band Braty bluzu from the wonderful pre-Carpathian town of Kalush were the first to perform at the even then well-renowned music festival, in a newly revive democratic Eastern Europe! Yesterday, I was informed of…

The story of Serhiy Taftay’s guitar

Many years before Braty bluzu was formed Serhiy Taftay played with many different groups. In the early 1980s while playing with one group in Western Ukraine he simply wanted to have the best possible instrument, so he somehow managed to scrape together 6,000 Rubles to by himself a Gibson Les Paul guitar and he did.…

15th Anniversary Reunion Gig

Well it’s now final, well at least according lead man and composer of Braty bluzu. The 15th Anniversary reunion concert of Braty bluzu will be taking place on Tuesday July 24, 2007. The last time these guys played together, if I am not mistaken, was a gig in New York City in about 2003. While…

Ukrainian musicians to descend on Budapest

Back in 1998 Myroslav Levytsky and Braty bluzu performed on the main stage at the Pepsi-Sziget Festival as the first Ukrainian group to perform. There he met Canadian Lionel Lodge which eventually led to work with both Lionel and Rens Newland on the Music Without Borders project. Later on in 1999 Mandry headed off to…

Braty bluzu together with Rens Newland

While in L’viv on business I got a phone call from my good friend Myroslav Levytsky, composer and founder of Braty bluzu. He asked me if I would be in town on Thursday as he wanted to invite me to a concert he, his brother and Funk/Jazz guitarist Rens Newland will be performing at a…

A Happy Birthday To Myroslav Levytsky

Myroslav Levytsky, composer and lead man of Braty bluzu, which won the Grand Prix at the Chervona Ruta festival in 1993, turned 40-something today. The band’s name is often confused in its meaning, and is translated as “Blues Brothers”, but in fact it is a western Ukrainian expression which means to take one’s jacket and…