They all play together beautifully with passion, skill and obvious respect and enjoyment of their task. It’s a true world fusion music effort.
- Steve Horne, Adelaide Independent News 15 Jan 2014
IHOR "KUSH" KUSHNIR
Kush has played bandura for over 30 years and has been the only working soloist (and teacher) in Adelaide for the last decade. He has toured Ukraine as soloist with 2 ensembles and left his didgeridoo there both times. He has also toured Australia and Ukraine extensively as a Ukrainian folk dancer. Both predecessors of Yellow Blue Bus (Vodohray, S.o.V) operated under his musical direction and he has provided most of the initial arrangements for interpretation by the members of YBB.
The son of Ukrainian parents who migrated as children to Australia following the end of World War II, Damian retains a close knit family bond strongly influenced by the customs and culture of his Ukrainian heritage. Music has played an important part in his life from an early age, playing the piano and becoming adept on trumpet, drums and guitar. However, as a young teenager he was exposed to the traditional Ukrainian instrument, the Bandura. Combining his existing musical experience with this little known instrument he became focused on developing his skill in playing the Bandura and contributing to exposing this unique instrument to the wider community.
James has been performing with bands since learning violin at school in Far Far North Queensland. Down many low and high roads he has steered a circuitous path past Grunge, Blues, Rockabilly, Shoe-gazing, Metal, Covers, Hillbilly Swing and Irish Thrash. He finally boarded at the Yellow Blue Bus Stop in 2010. For 30 years he has been seeking a musical vehicle this much fun to ride on.
Tony has done all he can musically to flee from his white middle class Anglo Australian beginnings - studying African drumming in Ghana, classical Carnatic percussion in south India, and playing for years with Chileans in an Andean inspired global fusion band. He is an accredited teacher of the group polyrhythm process called Taketina, having studied with the founder of the work, Reinhard Flatischler. These influences, along with a background in classical and improvisational piano, are what Tony brings to Yellow Blue Bus.
Michelangelo is the most recent addition to the Yellow Blue Bus crew. He began his drumming training in Italy, and when he moved to Australia in 1988 he took up formal study in contemporary music and jazz. Since 1999 Michelangelo has been a kit drum instrumental teacher in a number of schools. He has played in diverse Adelaide bands, playing rock, jazz, latin, funk, Andean fusion, bebop, reggae and afrobeat. This is a treasure trove of expertise that YBB is only just beginning to mine. .