Paris to Kyiv
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Alexis Kochan
Alexis Kochan
Singer and culture-maker Alexis Kochan was born in Winnipeg's North End. She earned a Master's degree in Psychology from the University of Manitoba while simultaneously studying music and beginning a multi-faceted career as singer, teacher, producer, and recording artist.

Ms. Kochan's interest in the oldest layers of Ukrainian folk music led directly to her first recording, 'Czarivna' (The Princess), an album of songs connected with ancient seasonal rituals, produced with Arthur Polson and the principal players of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. 'Paris to Kiev', released in 1994, brought together musicians and styles from different worlds and began a process of collaborative musical exploration. 'Paris to Kyiv Variances', released in l996, and the newest Paris to Kyiv recording 'Prairie Nights and Peacock Feathers' are a further stage in this artistic journey and a deeply personal statement about the place of traditional music in an emerging world culture.

Alexis Kochan has performed her music throughout Western Canada, in Ottawa, Stratford and Toronto, and has just returned from a successful tour of Poland. She has also toured along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and in California, most notably performing at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, at both Harvard and Yale Universities, at the Carpenter Centre in Los Angeles and for the prestigious World Music Institute in New York City. She co-directs and performs in 'Night Songs from a Neighbouring Village', a program exploring the commonalities and contrasts between Ukrainian music and the musical traditions of the Jews of Ukraine. To date, 'Night Songs' has been performed at the Jewish Museum and at Symphony Space in New York City, at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood, California, and for Tage Der Jiddischen Kultur in Berlin. Musical theatre credits include the world premiere of Warren Sulatycky's play 'Babas' at the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon, for which Ms. Kochan selected and performed the music. Television and film rights to her work have been recently acquired by the CBC for 'Canada: A People's History' and by the popular television series 'Psi Factor'.

Her voice can also be heard on an album of lullabies produced for the Children of Chornobyl Canada Fund. Ms. Kochan's special interest in children dates back to her days as a psychologist, when she conducted research in language development and established programs for children with learning disabilities at Winnipeg's St. Amant Centre. She became a student of early childhood music specialist Edna Knock in 1983, and from 1984-1991 worked for the Winnipeg School Division as music specialist and animator of new programs in the arts and in gifted education.

As a speaker and workshop leader Ms. Kochan has worked with educators, education students, singers and speakers, business women, and choral and instrumental ensembles. She has conducted numerous singing workshops and music camps in Canada, the United States, and Europe. She speaks and writes about cultural politics and the arts in education, and her special interest 'ethnicity, artmaking, and the Ukrainian folk song'.

The current players of Paris To Kyiv:
Julian Kytasty
Martin Colledge
Richard Moody
Nenad Zdjelar
John Wyre