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World Music: Frazé-Frazénko & The Happy Lovers (Ukraine)

July 31 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

City of Asylum writer-in-residence reimagines Ukrainian poetry and folk songs in this musical exploration

While you might recognize writer-in-residence Oleksandr Frazé-Frazénko from his poetry and authorship, as well as his numerous readings on the Alphabet City stage, odds are you have never seen him quite like this. Oleksandr is a talented artist with passions across genres and mediums, including a passion for music making and performance. In this special World Music program, audiences are invited to see Oleksandr on stage with his band Frazé-Frazénko & The Happy Lovers. Described as “The White Stripes meet Nick Cave in Ukraine and PJ Harvey sings,” the band debuted in 2023 with the release of Ukrainian Poetry Songs, which encapsulates four centuries of Ukrainian art, exploring the roots of Ukrainian poetry in folk songs while simultaneously reinvigorating them with a modern twist. 

Featured Musicians:

Oleksandr Frazé-Frazénko: vocals, guitar

Mari Frazé-Frazénko: vocals

Hellcat Sneer: drums

Darren Moore: bass

About the Musicians:

Oleksandr Frazé-Frazénko is a renowned filmmaker, writer, musician, and activist, celebrated for his exceptional talent across various artistic realms. Over the years, his feature documentaries and fictional short films have garnered numerous international awards and nominations, leaving a significant mark on the cultural landscape. With a prolific music career, he has amassed millions of streams. His poetry collection “Decadence” (2017) has become a bestseller in Ukraine. During the initial year of Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, he remained in the country, actively engaging in the volunteer movement and working as a producer for BBC and other world media. But, under the pressure of mainstream political discourse and persistent threats, unwilling to compromise his right to free speech, he felt compelled to leave the country. Today, he tirelessly advocates for the future of the endangered Ukrainian culture on a global scale. His latest book, “FAQ Ukraine,” delves into the sophisticated and often controversial love-hate relationship between the poet and his motherland, guiding readers through the labyrinth of history while shedding light on the nation’s uncertain future.

Mari Frazé-Frazénko began singing at the age of seven when her parents sent her to the Peredvistia Song Workshop, run by singer, music producer, and teacher Iryna Dolya and composer Serhiy Petrosyan. Soon she started working as a recording artist and participated in various television programs. Later, she sang in the Dolya Quartet and participated in national and international competitions. Her first solo single debuted in the fall of 2015. In 2018, she won second prize at the famous international music festival in Poland (Rzeszow). In 2022, Mari and her husband Oleksandr Fraze-Frazenko recorded the album Hurghada and have been working together ever since. 

Hellcat Sneer is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Born into a musical family, he grew up with the desire to play as many instruments as he could get his hands on–from sitar to shakuhachi. After university, Hellcat moved to Kathmandu, Nepal, studying to become a Buddhist textual translator and interpreter. There, he continued to write and perform music with people from all over the world. Hellcat’s musical expressions often lie at the intersections of electronic, hip-hop, and jazz, and as such he utilizes sampling and looping techniques for his self-produced solo work. Hellcat has performed live in support of various groups throughout the city of Pittsburgh as well as local radio stations.

Darren Moore obtained his degree in Jazz Performance in 2012 from Mt. Hood Community College. Upon graduating, Moore extended his musical impact on stage and off, including working with youth and adults teaching musical theory and performance. It was during that time Darren entered into an exemplary tenure of musical genres as a bassist for numerous bands throughout the West Coast. Currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, Darren has produced numerous albums and his music can be found on multiple platforms. His philosophy is to foster a musical experience that is enjoyable to a wide range of audiences.

About Your Visit: 

The in-house restaurant 40 North is open for dinner from 5-9pm. Please visit Open Table or call 412-435-1111 to make a reservation.

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July 31
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT
Program Category:


Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh,PA15212United States
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