Nine musicians from the Ukrainian Carpathians, this is the HUDAKI Village Band. Their voices resound with heart and soul during day and night-long wedding parties. Like their forefathers – Jewish, Ruthenian and Romany bands from the Maramures region – they know how do one task perfectly: make people happy! Their wild rhythms lend fleetness of foot to dancers both young and old. They seem to lift above the dance floor, in pairs or bigger circles, and soon they look as if they are flying over the ground in a circling levitation.
Once the village people have exhausted themselves on the dance floor, they sit together singing old ballads telling horrible and marvellous stories, which only real life can offer. Hudaki are masters of the alchemy of musical-vibrating happiness. In 16 years of performing in hundreds of festivals and concert halls across Europe, the band has learned to make their archaic, night-time moments of happiness accessible to the uninitiated. In the Maramures region, a mountainous area of South-west Ukraine on the border with Romania and Hungary, village musicians are called hudaki. Various ethnic musical influences make the traditional music multifaceted and unique. Archaic Slavic vocal tradition, Romanian melodies, Jewish rhythms and Romany temperament blend together in a local cross culture that has evolved over centuries of living side by side.