Blues Festival in Kyiv

This weekend, the main event for all blues fans kicked off in Kyiv. The international festival gathered a record number of participants from six countries


For more than 30 years, Neil Nolen has been crisscrossing Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, performing his blues hits to crowds of fans. Over the weekend, the charismatic musician was in Kyiv to play for Ukrainians at the 9th International Blues Festival.

“Blues is kind of a religion. It is not something that you feel in your head or even in your heart. It is something you have to live. And you can’t just wake up playing the blues,” Nolen said.

The American bluesman started his journey in the world of music in 1979. First,  he played folk songs. Then he got into R&B and soul music. Today, the singer performs blues along with fellow musicians from Turkey and Ukraine.

“The talent is going to be extraordinary. I heard Eddie Martin play for the first time in Odesa this week. It was fantastic. In fact, he is nominated as one of Europe’s top bluesmen for this year, Nolen said.

And here is Eddie Martin, who has taken his music to 34 countries over the last three decades. Although this is the first visit to Kyiv for the “Ambassador of British Blues,” he manages to collaborate here with the Ukrainian musicians in the rhythm section of Double Tower.

“Afro-American music from the 19th and early 20th centuries became the basis of Western-European pop-music. For example, in England, we grew up since the 1950s listening to Afro-American music. So, in a way, blues is an old pop-music,” British bluesman Eddie Martin said.

Popularizing this keystone of popular music, Ukrainian drummer Oleksandr Kucherin plays in Martin’s band. And blues, according to Oleksandr, has rather diverse incarnations.

“The blues scales have amazing qualities. Both jazz and rock and roll are based on it. The forms and means of expression of thoughts, ideas, and images are different. But the base is the same. Harmonious, melodic,” Ukrainian musician Oleksandr Kucherin said.

To achieve this melodic manner, American Averton Keith Dunn familiarized himself with the harmonica. At the age of 12, he bought one and started playing it at parties. Now, the bluesman lives in Europe and collaborates with musicians from Belgium and Spain.

“I use the harmonica more like a drum than the Averton does. But at the same time, I try to pay attention to a melodic sense of the harmonica. I’ve collaborated with Ukrainians for the past six years here, in Ukraine,” Dunn said.

Source UATV
date 11.11.2018
categories News releases, Tourism
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