Ukrainian Kazka fascinated Israel

The solo concert by the popular Ukrainian group Kazka aroused tremendous interest among Israeli youth. More than one thousand people attended the performance in Reading Hall in the port of Tel Aviv. Among the spectators was the ambassador of Ukraine to Israel, Hennadiy Nadolenko, with his family.

The date of the concert fell on 11 April—a day after the results of the 2019 Knesset elections were announced, and for many guests an opportunity to listen to live Ukrainian music was a wonderful relief after intense political battles.

When the soloist of the group, 26-year-old Kharkiv-born Oleksandra Zarytska, asked from the stage who in the hall understood Ukrainian, hundreds of people raised their hands. Another part of the audience consisted of Hebrew-speaking Israelis, who specifically came to the Ukrainian concert.

The secret of the popularity of Kazka among Israelis can be explained by the fact that for the last six months the group’s song “Crying” was broadcast almost every day by every radio station in Israel. The author of this text has himself heard many times with his own ears how often bus and taxi drivers in Israel listen to this song.

Even people who do not know the Ukrainian language really liked the melody and rhythmic lyrics of this song. In my opinion, the sad motifs of the song “Crying” coincide with similar motifs and melodies of Mizrahi music which is especially popular among Jews from North Africa and the Middle East.

This is why Kazka could have received high marks from Israelis if the group would have represented Ukraine at the Eurovision 2019 Song Contest in Tel Aviv. Ukraine however decided this year not to send anyone to the contest.

Vyacheslav Feldman, co-chairman of the Israeli Friends of Ukraine NGO, also attended the Kazka concert. “This was a high-quality performance with live sound. Singer Oleksandra Zarytska showed herself to be a very open person. She said she fell in love with the Israeli public,” Feldman noted.

This concert proved to be a real celebration of Ukrainian song and a powerful engine of Ukrainian culture among Israeli youth.

Text: Shimon Briman (Israel).
Edited by Peter Bejger.
Photo: Vyacheslav Feldman and the official page of the Kazka group.