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While World Financial Markets Implode…

While World Financial Markets Implode… Pop diva Christina Aguilera: just one of many great new acts coming to the city in October.

Thank goodness some truly world-class performers are about to descend on Kyiv in order to take everyone’s thoughts away from world financial markets for a few minutes. Mind you, in two weeks when the first of these major performers arrives (more on them in a bit; be patient!), this whole crisis may have largely passed us by. Who really knows?!

So, first up will be Eros Ramazzotti, who will play Ukraine Palace on Oct. 15 at 7 pm. The Italian crooner, who has become the iconic face of popular Italian music these days, has made his fame with very simple ballads and duets with the likes of Cher, Andrea Bocceli and Ricky Martin. He’s got a great sound and is sure to put on a great show. Question is, is it worth going to see him here for the price they’re asking for tickets? The cheapest tickets are Hr 800 and they top out at a ridiculous Hr 8,000. That’s about what my fiancée earns in a month and she has a very good paying job.

Incidentally, that same night, legendary rockers Deep Purple will put on their own show at the Sports Palace also beginning at 7 pm. Tickets for the band so well known for its songs “Smoke on the Water” and “Child in Time” will be a much more palatable Hr 200 to Hr 500.

Over Oct. 17-19, the “Jazz in Kiev” festival at the Zhovtnevy (October) Palace (http://www.jazzinkiev.com/) will bring to town some of today’s leading lights in jazz music anywhere, including the New Tango Orquesta and Dave Holland quintet, which will open the festival on Oct. 17. The Alex Fantaev Band, United Quintet and the Avishai Cohen Vocal Project have the theater Oct. 18, while multiple Grammy-award winning artist Al Jarreau headlines on Oct. 19 with Charlie Hunter opening for him. Tickets can be ordered online from the festival website and are going for Hr 60-500 for opening night; from Hr 80 to Hr 750 for Oct. 18, and from Hr 150 to Hr 950 for Al Jarreau on Oct. 19. All concerts start at 7 pm.

Following shortly after the festival, American pop diva (and, like Jarreau, also a Grammy award winner) Christina Aguilera has set a date at Ukraine Palace for her legions of fans. On Oct. 21, Aguilera will be sure to belt out many of her hits, from “Genie in a Bottle” back in 2000 to the Moulin Rouge-esque “Lady Marmalade” of 2002 to her latest big hit, “Candyman” from earlier this year. Tickets for this concert start out priced with a bit more sanity (Hr 250 for the cheapest seats) then rise higher than her well-photographed neckline drops: Hr 9,500 for the best seats in the house. Just so you know, they haven’t changed the seats at the palace, so the ones in the back are just as comfortable (and old) as those in the front; you just pay a lot more for them.

Election fever

It suddenly seems that half the world is about to vote for new leaders this fall, and Ukraine is close to being the rule rather than the exception here. My family back in Canada will have the chance to go to the polls Oct. 14, while in the US the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will come to a head on Nov. 4 and the Kiwis of New Zealand will head to the voting booth just a few days later on Nov. 8. Austria just elected a new parliament, as did the Belarusians.

But here in Ukraine, the politicians are still working rather hard, surprisingly, to avoid a poll, which could come in December according to formulas circulating in my email inbox lately.


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