In 1929, Ukrainians were discovering the joys of jazz and singing the stories of their city of Kharkiv. The audiences loved the show’s catchy songs, wild dances and dazzling sets. The Communist Party bosses did not, so the show and its artists disappeared in Stalin’s purges. A few years ago, Virlana Tkacz, Yara’s director, discovered the conductor’s score hidden in an archive.
Radio 477! is a new show created by Yara Arts Group and Ukrainian artists about the city of Kharkiv, its jazz history, and how it stood up to Putin today. With texts and lyrics by award-winning Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan, music by Anthony Coleman, it is directed by Virlana Tkacz.
Photo of 1929 show, graphic by Waldemart Klyuzko