DAGADANA, for eight years now, have triumphantly merged elements of Ukrainian and Polish culture through jazz, electronic and world music. This time the band have embraced what tends to be overlooked today. Their record collects traditional songs from many regions of Poland (including Kurpie and Wielkopolska), as well as Ukrainian and Lemko folk music. And there’s an exceptional piece recorded in Chinese in collaboration with a band they met in Beijing – North Lab.

At the heart of the new album ‘Meridian 68’ are folk songs from Poland and Ukraine. Dagadana found their inspiration in many sources: amongst their families and friends, at ethnic music workshops, as well as on their friends’ and families’ bookshelves.

The Eastern influence is the result of an encounter with extraordinary musicians – Hassibagen from Mongolia and Aiys Song from China – during Dagadana’s visit to Beijing. As Dana Vynnytska says, “We first got to China while Ukraine and Poland were preparing for UEFA 2012. We spent a week there, and when it was time to go back home, I felt the same overwhelming sadness as if I were leaving Ukraine. It was a total surprise because after all it’s such a remote culture, unknown to us, and yet it draws you in, it’s intriguing and new”. Everyone in the band was deeply impressed by the first meeting with the musicians over there. “Even though we didn’t know each others’ languages”, Dana remembers, “we communicated easily through music”. This Chinese adventure is referred to in the record’s title. The 68th Meridian is exactly midway between Czestochowa and Beijing, the places where we recorded the songs. The album’s artwork is amazing too and refers to the band’s journey. Both on the cover and inside there are beautiful illustrations by the Ukrainian icon artist Olya Kravchenko.

DAGADANA is a group of outstanding musicians from Poland and Ukraine who take part in many important music projects at home and abroad: Daga Gregorowicz, Dana Vynnytska, Mikołaj Pospieszalski and Bartosz Mikołaj Nazaruk. Amongst others, the band collaborates with Raz Dwa Trzy, Gaba Kulka and the Pospieszalski family. They have played around 400 concerts in Poland and abroad (Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Morocco, Germany, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Hungary, Great Britain).

Their debut record ‘Maleńka’ [A Small one], won massive acclaim from the media and from cultural opinion-makers, and it was championed by Polish Radio 3. Dagadana were nominated for the Fryderyk 2011 award in two categories: World Music Album of the Year (which it won) and Phonografic Debut of the Year. Their second album ‘Dlaczego nie’ [Why not]) was nominated for the 2012 Fryderyk in the World Music category. The third record ‘List do Ciebie’ [A Letter To You] (with poetry by Janusz Różewicz) was warmly praised in both musical and literary circles.

Daga Gregorowicz – voice, electronic
Dana Vynnytska – voice, keyboards
Mikołaj Pospieszalski – voice, double bass
Bartosz Nazaruk – drums

Website: www.new.dagadana.pl
Video: youtube.com/watch?v=Bj86eOJVmhA