Yellow Blue Bus is a South Australian 6-piece global-fusion ensemble. At the core of YBB is the beautiful sound of the Ukrainian bandura, a unique 65 stringed cousin of the lute, originally the tool of Ukrainian storytelling minstrels. Layered onto the sound of this quintessentially Ukrainian instrument is accompanying melody on violin, guitar, mandolin and keyboard and a solid rhythm section. YBB draws on elements of traditional Ukrainian folk music, updated and contemporised, and blends this with a wide range of musical styles: from contemporary dance music, to rock, to reggae, to neo-classical, to experimental, as well as Eastern European oompah and cossack dance rhythms. In YBB, East meets everything else.
The result is a far cry from traditional, yet the cultural roots remain strong. Principal bandurist Ihor Kushnir has played bandura for over 30 years, teaches the bandura to students in Adelaide, has toured Ukraine as a soloist with 2 different ensembles, and has deep knowledge of Ukrainian culture, music and dance. YBB members have a passion for remaining respectful to cultural traditions yet bringing both traditional and original music into contemporary and global contexts.
Yellow Blue Bus recordings have been featured on Radio Kyiv, Ukraine as well as on Radio Vancouver, Canada. The ensemble has had the opportunity to share the stage in concert with acclaimed Ukrainian group Folknery, as well as world renowned Canadian Australian bandurist Victor Mishalow
Under Soviet rule, the bandura and players of the bandura were violently repressed because of the instrument’s symbolism of a free Ukraine. Given the current situation in Ukraine, YBB’s musical presence subtly invites an audience to think, as well as to dance, to be mesmerised and to be moved by 21st century Kozak energy