Vostok (The East) is an East Vancouver based vocal trio specializing in music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
All three founding members are of Eastern European descent and have a deep and lasting connection to the Ukrainian Community in East Vancouver, specifically the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians. They share a love of not only their heritage, but the rich and varied, yet often interconnected musical and cultural traditions from across Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Vostok is passionate about learning from the keepers of these folk traditions and seeks to honour the unique linguistic and historical contexts of the music, while channeling it through their own unique, contemporary Canadian lens. We are passionate about sharing music across cultural communities and artistic disciplines. We have collaborated with many individuals and groups including Zeellia (Ukrainian folk group), Zlatna Mountain (Balkan folk group), Tim Readman (British folk musician), The Dovbush Ukrainian Dancers, Pi Theatre, Veronique West (a playwright of Polish descent), as well as the Serbian, Russian, and Polish Communities in Vancouver.
Performance highlights include All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery (2019), the VSO Day of Music (2019), Playwright Theatre Centre’s Unscripted, Where the Devil Can’t Go (2018), Pi Theatre’s The Events as part of the Vancouver PuSh Festival (2018), Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Christmas (2017 and 2018), Richka (River): A Night of Contemporary and Ukrainian Dance (2017), The Heart of the City Festival (2016 and 2019), MOSAIC: A Celebration of Ukrainian Dance and Culture (2016), the Britannia Shipyards Cultural Music Series (2015), and Belarusian Dream Theater (2014).
Singers Aliya Griffin, Emily Villavicencio, and Jessica Hood deliver a rich and varied set in over ten languages and dialects. A Russian lullaby, a dissonant Bulgarian chant, a Ukrainian spring song first heard on a Kiev subway - Vostok's songs take the listener from bliss to despair and back again.
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Vostok members are staying home and keeping their communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are excited to return to singing together once it is safe to do so. Check back here for updates.