Yara’s Winter Festival: World Epic Songs

Yara Arts Group from La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York presents “Yara’s Winter Festival: World Epic Songs” a series of virtual events on world epic song traditions in November and December this year. The festival features Buryat, Kyrgyz, Finnish and Ukrainian epic singers, as well as a program of African American spirituals.

Ukrainian epic or duma   program | watch video

Buryat epic or uliger       program | watch video

Kyrgyz epic or dastan     program | watch video

Finnish epic Kalevala      program | watch video 

African American songs   program | watch video 

“Yara’s World Epic Song Festival ” is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as friends of Yara Arts Group.

Yara's Traditional Music Series: Zinoviy Shtokalko


Yara Arts Group and The Ukrainian Museum in New York presented a series of virtual events in the fall of 2020 on world epic song traditions and the work of Zenoviy Shtokalko who brought Ukrainian epic songs (dumas) to New York in the 1950s.

Yara’s Traditional Music: Bandurist Zenoviy Shtokalko” is a four-part series:


Zinoviy Shtokalko: Instrumental Music   program |Watch Video.

On the bandura, its history and styles with Julian Kytasty and Dmytro Hubyak

Zinoviy Shtokalko: Singer of Tales   program |Watch Video.

Shtokalko's own versions of ancient tales about Kyiv with Julian Kytasty & Marko R. Stech.


Zinoviy Shtokalko: Epic Modernist   program |Watch Video.

On Shtokalko's poetry and experimental music with Julian Kytasty, Marko R. Stech and Mike Andrec.

Zinoviy Shtokalko: Ukrainian Epic Songs  program |Watch Video.

Shtokalko brought the Ukrainian epic song tradition to New York in the 1950s with Julian Kytasty, Andrij Hornjatkevyc and Dmytro Hubyak 

The events were live-streamed in September and October 2020 and now can be seen anytime. Yara’s virtual events are free and bilingual (Ukrainian-English).

Zenoviy Shtokalko was an immigrant from Berezhany, and a virtuoso bandura player who came to New York in the 1950s. He recorded several records for Surma, most of which were released after his death in 1968. He also left a treasure trove of basement tapes which have influenced major bandura players in New York and Ukraine.

In July 2020, Yara created "Zinoviy Shtokalko: Bandurist," a virtual event that was an introduction to Zinoviy Shtokalko’s work. Virlana Tkacz told his story, while Julian Kytasty, a master bandura player, shared recordings and played work influenced by Shtokalko. Watch Video

“Yara’s Traditional Music Series ” is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, NY Bandura/Bandura Downtown and friends of Yara Arts Group.