The ultimate cross-border party band. A blend of music from Ukraine, the Balkans, Iraq, Algeria, Brittany, Canada, and more, celebrating the convergence of cultures, celebrating music’s ability to unite us all. Moskitto Bar began in the woods at Ontario’s OM Festival, with the fusion of three talented artists who soon discovered new musical connections, while the mosquitos enjoyed feeding frenzy from a multicultural smorgasboard - thus, the name.
Tangi Lion (Brittany, France) brings lively Celtic/Romany melodies on accordion and vocals. Ahmed Moneka (Iraq) incorporates the influence of deep Middle-Eastern soul via percussion and vocals. Yura Rafaliuk (Ukraine) adds the Ukrainian/Balkan flavour on cimbalom and vocals. It wasn’t long before they were joined by Fethi Nadjem (Algeria), who completed the sound with traditional North African/Algerian influences with violin, and vocals.
Moskitto Bar became a family - adding more and more talented musicians from all over the world - Demetrios Petsalakis on Oud (Greece), Christopher Kettlewell on upright bass (Canada), Majd Sekkar on clarinet (Syria) and Naoki Hishinuma on trumpet (Japan), and often presenting ‘special guests”.
Moskitto Bar is the soundtrack of multicultural Toronto brought to life, and of the magic that is evident when artists from various traditions come together creating new environments. Like their namesake bug, but nicer, they feed off one other musically and gain inspiration through sharing. Despite the diverse backgrounds, languages, experiences, traditions, politics, and ideas of Moskitto Bar’s members, the deeper connections that are made possible by creating music, and the desire to celebrate their, working toward a better future, is what unites the band.
In their short history, they have already graced the stages of Koerner Hall, Harbourfront
Centre, the Aga Khan Museum, the Opera House, NAC and community events, festivals, and more. They’ve worked with Russian group Dobranotch, Bosnian icon Bozo Vreco and Ukranian group Burdon Folk Band. Their self titled debut album, came out in April, 2019.
As an ever-expanding, consciously genre-bending experiment, Moskitto Bar is more than the sum of its musical parts and a platform for musical exploration, it is proof of the magic that emanates when we focus on those things that unite us, rather than those things that separate us.