On June 21st, the Odessa Review hosted the first iteration of the International Day of Music. The origins for this event come from France. Parisians experienced their first “Fête de la Musique” in 1982. The brainchild of Jack Lang, France’s Minister of Culture at the time, the event was inspired by the idea of having “music everywhere and the concert nowhere”. Since that time the “Fête de la Musique” has become one of the most treasured cultural events in Paris and has been adapted by more than 700 cities around the world, with Odessa being only the latest.
The city-wide concert series represented a range of musical genres ranging from the ‘aggressive’ Neo -folk music of Calypso Crew, to the elegant classical motifs performed by the students of the Stolyarski Music School. There were twelve different acts in total, and no two had the same musical style or personality.
The artists preformed in some of Odessa’s most popular cultural sites: The City Garden pavilion, the Odessa Regional History Museum, and the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art. Such an integrative cultural event aligns perfectly to the city’s development plan to improve access to cultural life. Odessa’s deputy mayor, Pavel Vugelman, recently discussed with the Odessa Review his office’s desire to present Odessa as a city where there are events happening every day, 365 days a year. The Day of Music was surely such a special event.
All of Odessa’s acts had a flare of their own. A notable highlight was the wild and self-proclaimed “Odessa gangster folk” group Felix Shinder and Money Up Front. The Odessa natives drew a large crowd to the City Garden pavilion and joyfully entertained them with spirited renditions of classic Ukrainian songs and colorful underworld anthems. The alternative group Gladushevskyy also captivated the pavilion. The band’s eponymous front man Alexei Gladushevskyy has an interesting repertoire of work: he is a producer for the popular TV shows Ukraine’s Next Top Model and Ukraine’s Weighted and Happy. Another stand out act was the inspired art folk group Troye Zilla from Lviv. Their lovely performance and charm fit in perfectly to the picturesque courtyard of the Odessa Regional History Museum. Across the way at the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, the band SHO?! presented music that had an exciting combination of influences from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova. The Day of Music concluded with a raucous set being played by DJs Alexander Vlasopolov, Garry Kravitz, and Nikolai Karabinovich at the city garden. They played a melody of music including Matisyahu and Gogol Bordello, which slowly, but surely, transformed the area surrounding the pavilion into a massive dance party. By the end of the evening, the Odessa mama with her kids, the young folk, the tourists, and the Odessa Review staff were all swaying around joyfully without a care in the world.
Until next year!