Ukraine at WOMEX

Every year, WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo) gathers more than 2,600 music industry professionals from more than 90 countries. The packed program included public discussions, networking, concerts, film screenings and exhibitions. 

Ukraine at WOMEX 2024

Registration is now open for musicians to participate in WOMEX – one of the largest showcase festivals for traditional music and folk music in contemporary interpretations. The Ukrainian Institute will once again be a partner for the event. 

Selected artists and bands will have the opportunity to perform at Europe’s biggest music showcase in front of international concert and festival organizers, tour promoters, venues, labels, distributors, journalists, and industry professionals. 

Application deadline: March 1, 2024. You can register by following the link.  

Until February 9, the application fee is 15 €. From February 10 to March 1, it will cost 25 €. 

This year, WOMEX will take place from October 23 to 27 in Manchester. 

Ukraine at WOMEX 2023

Ukrainian program at WOMEX 2023 was jointly organised by the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), Music Export Ukraine and Ukrainian Institute. 

Ukrainian stand

The first Ukrainian stand representing Folk, Traditional and Ethnic music with a modern twist. The stand featured a project about cultural figures who are defending Ukraine against russian invasion “Culture Fights Back”; information about INSIGHT.UA – the guide to discovering Ukrainian culture, personalities, and awe-inspiring events; a link to a playlist of Ukrainain Folk Music and to an article about Ukrainian traditional musical instruments. 

Film screening “Spivanka”

Film screeningSpivankaby Ganna Gryniva and Peter Bräunig. Spivanka is the journey of the jazz singer Ganna Gryniva travelling from Germany to Ukraine to follow her roots, unveil the magic of the old Ukrainian folk songs, and get inspired by them in her own music. 

Panel discussion

Panel discussion “Ukrainian  music as a tool for public diplomacy and democracy. Promoting global understanding and reserving cultural identity” chaired by Oleksandra Yakubenko (Ukraine/USA), Artists at Risk Connection (PEN America) with Alona Dmukhovska (Ukraine), Music Exports Ukraine NGO; Yuriy Gurzhy (Ukraine/Germany), musician 

In this session, the panellists examined the pivotal role of music in international public diplomacy, advocacy and its ability to foster intercultural exchange. They shared insights on how music serves as a vehicle to promote Ukrainian culture and enhance understanding of democratic values abroad, as well as its role in engaging Ukrainian and local communities beyond Ukraine’s borders. 

Film talk

Film talk “Documenting music tradition on film. This film talk welcomed, among others, a jazz singer Ganna Gryniva, who travelled from Germany to Ukraine to follow her roots and unveil the magic of the old Ukrainian folk songs to turn them into her own music style. 

Лауреатки премії Women in Arts 2023

Ukraine at WOMEX
Ukraine at WOMEX
Ukraine at WOMEX
Ukraine at WOMEX

Delegates from Ukraine

Ganna Gryniva (singer, composer), Anastasiya Voytyuk (singer, bandurist), Maryna Krut (singer-songwriter, bandurist), Yuriy Gurzhy (musician, songwriter, DJ), Iryna Mukha (singersongwriter, hurdy-gurdy player), Oleksandra Yakubenko (programme manager at the Artists at Risk Connection), Viktor Lykhodko (manager of the band Kommuna Lux), Alyona Dmukhovska (co-founder of Music Export Ukraine), Iryna Lobanok (Ukrainian Institute). 

Ukraine at WOMEX 2022

For the first time, Ukraine has been officially represented at the largest conference of the world music stage Worldwide Music Expo (WOMEX) in Lisbon. 

Ukrainian programme at WOMEX 2022 was jointly organised by Ukrainian Institute and Music Expo Ukraine.

In 2022, the conference lasted from October 19 to 22.

Photo exhibition ‘Ukrainian jazzmen at war’

Photo project about the stories of jazz musicians who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine and Territorial Defence. Photographs of jazzmen from pre-war concert life were contrasted with current life during the war. Concert photos were taken by professional photographers, and photos of everyday military life are taken by comrades in the service. Among the musicians: Volodymyr Lykhoshva, Oleksandr Lebedenko, Mark Tokar, Danylo Vinarikov, Oleksandr Remez, and others. Spectators could listen to jazz compositions by the musicians using QR codes.

The project was initiated by the Ukrainian Institute and created in partnership with

Balaklava Blues

The Ukrainian-Canadian band Balaklava Blues performed a modern folk-noir show. The band was created by an ethnic Ukrainian from Toronto and a Kyivan. Marko and Marichka met in 2014 on the Maidan in Kyiv, created a family and a series of powerful world-famous music and theatre projects in Toronto. The band actively supports Ukraine: it played dozens of charity concerts in Europe, Canada, and America. In August 2022, Balaklava Blues had a charity performance on the main stage of one of Europe’s biggest festivals Colours of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. 

Balaklava Blues’ latest release SWALLOW/LASTIVKA is dedicated to Ukrainian women who, because of the war, are forced to adapt their lives in a foreign land. Russia’s war against Ukraine is a part of life for Balaklava Blues because Marichka and Mark’s brothers serve in the Armed Forces, and part of Marichka’s family died near Kyiv.

У Лісабоні представили фотопроєкт про джазменів на війні, кіно та концерт

Film screening ‘Rose. Film-Cabaret’ by Irena Stetsenko Irena Stetsenko

Tragicomic musical about seven members of the Ukrainian band Dakh Daughters. Cinematic cabaret shows the beauty and difficulties of the life path of female musicians in a country experiencing revolution and war.

Delegates from Ukraine: Iryna Lobanok (musician of the band Krapka;KOMA), Daria Leleko (bandurist), Maryana Bondarenko (Ukrainian Institute), Alyona Dmukhovska (Music Export Ukraine), Diana Dadonova (Music Export Ukraine), Anastasia Pokaz (music manager, producer).

The first Ukrainian stand

The first Ukrainian booth in the history of WOMEX featured promotional materials about the Ukrainian music industry, as well as a photo exhibitionUkrainian Jazzmen at War”.  The stand was in great demand among representatives of the international professional audience. Delegates from the Ukrainian Institute and Music Export Ukraine received numerous new requests for cooperation and provided a large number of consultations to international specialists and representatives of foreign media. 

Central & Eastern European Networking Session

The networking session was initiated by our partners Katowice JazzArt Festival (Poland) and Hangveto (Hungary), and was attended by Andras Lelkes, Martyna van Niewland, Maryana Bondarenko from the Ukrainian Institute and Alyona Dmukhovska from Music Export Ukraine. 

During the discussion, the current state of the music industry in Ukraine and the problems that musicians who remained in Ukraine, as well as other representatives of the Ukrainian music industry, are now facing. The problems and the state of educational musical institutions, the possibility and conditions for holding concerts in wartime conditions, as well as the possibilities of support and interaction with international partners were discussed. 

Україна на Worldwide Music Expo

Delegates from Ukraine

Iryna Lobanok (musician of the band Krapka;KOMA), Daria Leleko (bandurist), Maryana Bondarenko (Ukrainian Institute), Alyona Dmukhovska (Music Export Ukraine), Diana Dadonova (Music Export Ukraine), Anastasia Pokaz (music manager, producer).