How Lovely are the Viburnums in the Meadows: Humanitarian Aid Fundraiser for Ukraine

Richard Fay (Producer), Sam Gee (Producer), Hard Times Kapelye & friends (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


In an arrangement (2022) by Richard Fay and Sam Gee, a classic klezmer dance and an iconic Ukrainian song are melded together in this fundraiser involving a lead singer from the Ukrainian diaspora living in UK with refugee teachers from Ukraine (as displaced by the war and now living in the UK) as backing singers.

In a speech "to the people of Europe" made on 25th February 2022, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine said:

"Ordinary people in every country of the world can also do their part [to oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine]. Go out on the squares of your cities and demand peace for Ukraine - demand peace for Europe. It is our right and it is your right".

Six months ago on the way back from a "Folk for Ukraine" festival, Hard Times Kapelye dreamt up our response to Zelenskiy's call - we decided to record this fundraiser track How Lovely are the Viburnums in the Meadows" which melds together a klezmer tune with a Ukrainian song.

As performed by Hard Times Kapelye and friends, we hope that this track will prove popular and raise significant sums for humanitarian needs in Ukraine (DEC Ukraine Appeal).

The track melds together the Ukrainian song "Czervona Kalyna" ("Red VIburnum") - which has become emblematic of Ukrainian defiant response to the invasion of their lands by Russian forces - and the klezmer tune "Ma Yofus" ("How Lovely") ... hence the full title for this track: "How lovely are the viburnums in the meadows".

Given the many historical, cultural, and musical connections (sometimes complicated, but often symbiotic) between klezmer and what is now Ukraine, this melding of the two traditional pieces seems appropriate to us.


Bob Dinn: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals
Richard Fay: baritone horn
Jacqueline Fay: vocals
Pierre Flasse: trombone
Fabienne Fournelle: percussion
Sam Gee: saxophones
Anastasiia Huz (Анастасія Гуз): vocals
Maria Kolpaktchi: lead vocals
Simon Ingram: fiddle
Kristina Novik (Крістіна Новік): vocals
Sheila Seal: bass/vocals
Bob Shaw: guitar
Colin Watson: clarinet

traditional klezmer dance and Ukrainian song

material arranged by Richard Fay and Sam Gee

recorded, mixed and mastered by Sam Gee
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2023


  • klezmer
  • klezmer for Ukraine
  • klezmer for wellbeing
  • intercultural musicking
  • Social Responsibility
  • Community engagement


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