Toronto punk brass band Lemon Bucket Orkestra are playing a special concert tonight at the Opera House. The show celebrates the 32nd anniversary of the Opera House, and the band is donating all of the proceeds from the show towards humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
The self-described “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super Band” got its start as a quartet of buskers in Toronto. In 2012, they made international headlines when a video of the band performing on a delayed Air Canada flight went viral. Lemon Bucket Orkestra has since grown to a world-touring fifteen-piece guerrilla folk force. They have won over fans worldwide with their legendarily raucous live performances.
The band has been actively drawing attention to the Russian invasion of Ukraine since it began with force in 2014. Lemon Bucket Orkestra frontman Mark Marczyk travelled to Kyiv to provide medical assistance to the protestors involved in the Maidan Revolution.
“For the last eight years, we’ve been screaming at the top of our lungs like, ‘Hey, guys, this has to stop now because this is going to lead to World War Three,'” Marczyk said in an interview with the CBC. “When Crimea was taken, and then Donetsk was taken, and then all this informational warfare that led to Brexit and Trump being elected, [it] was all happening through Putin. And everyone was like, ‘Oh, that’s just conspiracy theory. Nobody cares about Ukraine, right?’ Right. So now we’re here.”
“Thank you to everyone who supported and was moved by our attempts to warn the western world of Ukraine’s tyrannical oppressor,” the band remarked on Instagram. “Now begins the next phase, which will be much more trying. Our hearts are with you, Ukrainians. Our ears are open for news. Our minds focused on how to help.”
Lemon Bucket Orkestra will be joined by special guests including Macedonian Balkan brass legend Nizo Alimov and Iraqi singer Tara Moneka. $1 from every sale will also go towards MusiCounts.