Kobzaring The New World

Jurij Fedynskyj presents the original torban, kobza, and bandura to North America

Tour Program


North American Tour (third phase- Canada)
Fall 2019 (September, October)


Hosted by Jurij Fedynskyj of Kryachkivka village, Poltava oblast, Ukraine, originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Guild Master of the Poltava Kobzar Guild, creator of Kobzarskiy Tabir Ukraine, and host of "Drevo Rodu Kobzarskoho" summer music festival


Presently, the concert-lecture tour is being planned and scheduled. If anyone active in the Ukrainian American-Canadian diaspora would be interested in hosting an event in your city and neighborhood, please contact us through e-mail on Hotmail, or Facebook email. Our ideal venue is through community organizations, churches, and home concerts, of audiences from 20 to 40. The events are free of any charge


After a Decade of Research

I've always been intrigued by the Ukrainian bandura, after hearing my first recording at age four, of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus. That instrument was a large, modern version, chromatically strung, with metal strings and modulating mechanisms. After hearing many more recordings later on, my interest turned to the traditional bandura of the kobzars, or blind, spiritual, itinerant bards, as heard on one of Julian Kytasty's first recordings. That bandura was much smaller, diatonically strung, and had a much sweeter tone and charm, as a true folk instrument. Eventually I'd discovered that all metal strung banduras were made after about 1890, when metal strings became accessible in Ukraine. The truly traditional bandura, was strung with gut. It had a totally different sound and feel than the modern instrument. As I investigated the traditional bandura, I also discovered its predecessor, the kobza, a very similar, yet very different instrument, capable of playing as one would play a lute. The technical possibilities of the frettable kobza led me to wonder why the bandura had been simplified. I'd discovered that the kobza was really a compact version of the more complex and delicate torban, the Ukrainian version of a baroque lute, with open treble strings. As a result of Soviet cultural repression, all three of these incredible instruments had been erased from the Ukrainian collective conscience. Now, after a decade or so of searching for ideal, rare examples of the instruments; research of instrument construction, and reconstruction of instruments in museums; searching for repertoire and arrangments of music played; study and experimentation of playing techniques and style; finally the groundwork is complete for a full presentation of this musical culture to the public.