The New Melody Kings
Friday, July 7
The New Melody Kings was organized by Jerry Ozipko in 2015 in honour of his violinist father John, who founded and led the original Edmonton-based Melody Kings band between the early 1940s and 1979.
Classically trained violinist Jerry Ozipko has returned to his Ukrainian ethnic roots with the formation of The New Melody Kings. The name is his means of honouring his late father John, who established the original Melody Kings in the early 1950s. He received his early experiences with Ukrainian music in his youth at the invitation of his father. Having performed in various locations across Canada, the United States and Europe, he has spent most of his career as a music teacher, fostering the development of instrumental playing skills among both youth and retired individuals. Besides many previous appearances at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Jerry also performs regularly at a variety of local seniors’ residences.
Guitarist Don Eastcott holds a very impressive musical pedigree. He began his career in his younger days playing with J. R. Cash (the “Man in Black”) and jamming with Charles Hardin Holley (Buddy Holly). More recently, he has occasionally toured with Dwight Yoakam. He is a well-noted and respected songwriter by musicians in Nashville, as well as locally. You will recognize many of his songs through the recordings of many well-known country music artists. Don enjoys performing regularly at many Edmonton seniors’ residences.
Accordionist Terry Triska has a vast background of experience as a member of a wide variety of Ukrainian bands through the years. He has performed throughout Western Canada at festivals and fundraisers, special events, private parties, nursing homes and senior’s lodges. He is also a founding member of the Edmonton Accordion Festival. He performs a wide repertoire consisting of popular dance favourites, old time dance selections as well as soft, easy listening music for the less active events. Terry enjoys performing as a soloist and as just another member of a group of musicians making music together.
Besides having performed many times at Ukrainian Heritage Village and Babas and Borshch, the New Melody Kings have opened the Pysanka Festival in 2018, 2019 and 2022.