Ансамбль «Веселка»

Ансамбль «Веселка»

Окремі записи

Вокально-інструментальний ансамбль «Веселка» один із найвідоміших українських музичних гуртів у Канаді. Ансамбль організований у 1976 році у місті Монреаль.

Склад ансамблю:

Андрій Чорній (Andrij Czerny) – акордеон, синтезатор, ксилофон, вокал
Ігор Жовтоніжка (Ihor Zowtonizka) – соло та ритм гітара, вокал
Роман Будний (Roman Budny)* – бас гітара, вокал
Роман Коланич (Roman Kolanitch) – барабани, перкусія, вокал
Василь Кінал (Wasyl (Bill) Kinal)** – бас гітара, акордеон, вокал

* Роман Будний у складі ансамблю до 1981 року.
** Василь Кінал у складі ансамблю з 1981 року.

З середині 70-х ансамбль грав на весіллях, вечірках, та інших забавах. Молоді талановиті музиканти вдало використовували нові музичні досягнення та тенденції, що сприяло швидкій популярності ансамблю. В репертуарі – українські народні пісні, українські пісні у поп-рокових та джазових обробках, власні твори.

У 1979 році директор канадського лейблу Yevshan Records Богдан Тимець організував запис та видання першої платівки ансамблю. Після успіху цієї платівки ансамбль виступав на багатьох музичних фестивалях у Канаді та здобув визнання серед широкої аудиторії.

Другу платівку із записами пісень «Веселки» видано у 1981 році. Популярність платівки перевершила успіх попередньої і стала однією з найпопулярніших платівок українських музичних гуртів Канади.

Музиканти ансамблю приймали участь у записі платівок інших гуртів, зокрема гурту Самоцвіт (перша платівка 1979 року), Сестер Тодащук (перша платівка 1983 року), Черемшина (друга платівка 1983 року), студійному проекті «Золоті ворота» (1980) та ін.

Творчість «Веселки» яскраво відображає розвиток української музика у Канаді. Від традиційного фольк-року «Рушничка» та «Синів степів» вона змінюється на поп-рок «Веселки». Майже десять років різниці між заснуванням цих гуртів, та власне музикою, обумовлюється загальним світовим розвитком рок-музики, але сутність залишається українською – романтизм, поетичність та гарний мелос.

Ансамбль «Веселка» і досі радує виступами своїх прихильників у Канаді.


1. «A Rainbow in search of a pot of gold… » B.Zacew. «Student», Canada’s newspaper for ukrainian students, January 1980.
2. «Direction in diversity… Vid dushi». B.Zacew. «Student», Canada’s newspaper for ukrainian students, April 1982.
3. A Winnipeg duet – Rosemarie and Charlene Todaschuk have recently released their very first album (rosemarietodaschuk.com).
4. Інтернет-ресурси: Veselka-132407930529 (facebook.com), Веселка (pisni.org.ua).
5. Інформація з обкладинок до платівок: «Веселка», «Черемшина», (Yevshan Records), «Від душі» (OKO LTEE).


Веселка, вокально-інструментальний ансамбль | Веселка | Veselka – Vocal and instrumental ensemble | Veselka


Montreal — known for the Canadians, the Alouettes, the Expos, the Olympics, Expo ’67, and… contemporary Ukrainian music. Having turned out the likes of Rushnychok, Syny Stepiw, Zoria, Vecherinyj Dzvin and Samotsvit over the last decade, Montreal has garnered itself the well-deserved reputation of being the center of the Ukrainian music scene in Canada, if not North America. These bands have come to typify the «Montreal Ukrainian sound,» Bad pursuing that steeped tradition is Quebec’s latest claim to fame: Veselka.

A group of relatively young musicians, Veselka placed itself in the usually-capable hands of producer Bohdan Tymyc for its first studio sessions and ensuing album. The result is predictable — a well-paced album of Ukrainian dance music performed by an above-average Ukrainian dance band, with attempts at lush production and innovation generally falling short of the mark.

Producer Tymyc’s influence pervades Veselka’s album, from the use of sound effects and tracks of records narodnia muzyka to beef up the material, to the occasional overkill of certain percussion effects. The songs are by and large Veselka’s interpretations of Ukrainian pop standards and folk medleys, the latter disguised via a series of new titles. While the album presents a pleasant mix of polka / kolomeyka and waltz rhythms, there is little to show in the way of innovation. Veselka does attempt take on Vizerunky Shllakhlv’s jazz / blues classic «Kamin sontsia,» but even the addition of sound effects leaves the listener with a preference for the drive and spontaneity of the original rendition.

Veselka’s only foray into the realm of creativity comes in the song «Ked my pryishla karta,» featuring the band’s own music setto the words of an old Lemko folk tune. Intended as a showpiece for Ihor Zovtonizhka’s lead guitar work, and centered on a simple but effective four chord blues progression, the song works well despite the lack of imagination displayed in the usb of overdubs. The idea of employing at least three guitar tracks is fine, but when going to those lengths one should consider the additional use of fuzz and phasing effects in order to achieve the optimum degree of refinement.

Lack of solid depth and rhythm is Veselka’s most obvious flaw. With production technique washing out Roman Budny’s bass guitar work and Roman Kolanitch’s over-reliance on the snare drum, Veselka’s music is left virtually bottomless; the lower registers are either muddy or non-existent. From this point stem further difficulties. Andrij Czerny’s keyboard abilities seem held in check through both arrangements and production. Whenever one senses his talent on the synthesizers about to break loose, it is suddenly stymied and relegated again to the background. Only with the very pleasant touch of French accordian stylings in the songs «Kolo vikon tvoikh» and «Tebe kokhaiu» does Czerny get a chance to shine.

Veselka’s vocal work is clear, if at times strained, its harmonies on the song «Jerema» are indicative of what the group is vocally capable of. Further evidence is found in the mellow harmonies of «Try porady,» Meanwhile, the album cover, with its washed-out pastel colors, conveys a sense of passivity, not at all representative of Veselka’s overall approach to its music.

While nowhere near spectacular, Veselka’s first album shows promise. Given the group opens itself up to creative outside influences and changes a digression from the «Montreal Ukrainian sound,» Veselka will go a long way in the eighties. Here’s looking forward to the next one…

Bohdan Zacew
«Student». Canada’s newspaper for ukrainian students,
January 1980

Regular readers of RET SENDS YA undoubtedly will have noticed that one of the most frequent criticisms of contemporary Ukrainian musical ensembles to appear in this column pertains to the lack of creative direction. Too many groups plying their wares in this field rate no more than a passing mention either because they take on a style unsuited to their talents or the genre itself, or because their repertoire amounts to mere parroting of what has preceded them. Others fall into the trap of assuming so many faces that a clear identity never emerges. A puzzling conundrum indeed, which few have managed to resolve. There’s no standard solution; each band battles the problem to the best of its abilities and with varying degrees of success. One of the few groups to have finally come to terms with itself and its creative direction is VESELKA.

VESELKA self-realization has been some time in the making. Together since the latter half of the 1970’s, the Montreal tour some has paid its dues on the area’s wedding and zabava circuit. A respectable debut album two years ago and appearances at major Ukrainian festivals across the country served to build a loyal following for the band. Unlike the majority of. its contemporaries, VESELKA has aged creatively over the span of its existence. The culmination of that growth process comes with the group’s latest release, VID DUSHI, certainly one of the best collections of homegrown contemporary Ukrainian music to appear in some time.

What enables VESELKA to succeed so admirably where others have failed is the band’s, no-holds-barred approach to the task at hand. Prom start to finish VID DUSHI is a labor of love (no pun intended), underscoring VESELKA’s instinctive feel for what it’s doing. Here’s a group that’s equally at home in the recording studio as it is on stage. If you’ve ever seen VESELKA live, you’ll know it’s impossible not to get caught up in the band’s infectious enthusiasm, its driving intent to entertain as well as to express and enjoy itself. To carry such presence off on vinyl is no mean feat. Yet VESELKA delivers in spades.

It’s the combination of enthusiasm and an intuitive sense of what sounds good and feels right that lets VESELKA escape trom being pigeon-holed into anyone musical category. As VID DUSHI shows, the group is comfortable in e variety of musical frameworks, be it adapting a narodnia pisnia in its own inimitable fashion or laying down some straight-ahead rock and roll. Covering such a wide spectrum could be interpreted as lack of definition and direction, but VESELKA handles the cross-overs with such aplomb and drive that it only serves to underline the band’s multifold talents, turning quantum musical leaps into a strength rather than a weakness.

VID DUSHI offers something for someone of almost every musical persuasion. For the advocates of stylized folk there’s «Ksenka Pidpenka,» a humorous tune popularized bv the BUKOVENIAN SONG & DANCE ENSEMBLE, and «Vystup raiduhy,» a medley of instrumental folk numbers which could become the accordion’s answer to «Duelling Banjoes» thanks to the prowess ot accordionists ANDRIJ CZERNY and WASYL KINAL. It your tastes run more in the direction of estrada or soft pop, there’s a variety to choose from: catchy original compositions by guitarist IHOR ZOWTONIZKA such as «Lebedyni sny» and «Vid dushi», CZERNY’s «Z luiboviu do Vas» or the IVASIUK classic «U doli svoia vesna» (although in VESELKA’s arrangement the latter bears little resemblance to anything soft). And if driving rhythms, searing lead guitar licks and keyboard tills that will make your head spin are more your style, «Rydai moia hytaro» —another VESELKA original — is guaranteed to please.

More than two-thirds of VID DUSHI consists of material at least partially penned by members of the band, and it’s in these original numbers that VESELKA really shines. ZOVTONIZKA’s «Lebedyni sny» is probably the album’s best of tearing, a melodic love ballad featuring some beautifully-mellow lead guitar lines and strong vocals. CZERNY’s instrumental «Prelude» leading into «U doli svoia vesna» ranks a very close second—the synthesizer work carries an unmistakable ALAN PARSONS’ influence and is designed for listening at maximum volume. Another of CZERNY’S musical dimensions is amply illustrated in «Pidu ia horoiu»; the original music set to folk lyrics simply sparkles.

Individually, the members of VESELKA are all given a chance to display their virtuosity on VID DUSHI. ROMAN KOLANITCH’s drumming and percussion combined with KINAL’s steady bass lines form a strong backbone on top of which CZERNY alternating between accordion and keyboards, and ZOWTONIZKA on guitar weave an intricate melodic thread. Vocals are competently shared by all, with ZOWTONIZKA handling the bulk of the leads; nothing too complicated — fast simple, clean harmonic patterns which make for easy audio digestion. Collectively, it rates VESELKA as the best Ukrainian band recording and performing in North America today.

From the point of technical production, VID DUSHI sets a standard which others considering entering the recording studio should seek to emulate: it’s crisp, well-balanced, and tight. In fact, the only quibble I have with the entire project is the album cover — a glossy photo of tour candles doesn’t say much about the band or its music. But don’t let the Cover dissuade you. VID DUSHI is VESELKAs current potential realized. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Given the inherent talent in the band. VESELKA is going to get even better.

Bohdan Zacew
«Student». Canada’s newspaper for ukrainian students,
April 1982