On music’s biggest night, with some of the world’s most iconic performers set to take center stage, one musician who isn’t yet a household name is hoping to bring down the house with a touching tribute to her homeland of Ukraine.
Siuzanna Iglidan is a Ukrainian musician, composer, pianist and professional opera singer. She wears many hats and just recently received a life-changing call from Grammy producers who spotted her work online.
“It was like a dream when they called me and said, ‘We would love to have you as our special guest,'” Iglidan said.
Best of all, she gets to perform alongside Grammy award winner John Legend.
“He’s such a cool guy. He hugs and compliments people. It’s nice to be around him,” Iglidan said.
Iglidan caught the eye of producers who were immediately drawn to the unique stringed instrument she was playing.
On Sunday, as she takes the Grammy stage, she’ll be playing a traditional instrument called the bandura. The bandura is considered the national musical instrument of Ukraine and became a rallying symbol for the country when hundreds of bandura players were killed by the Stalin regime.
Iglidan shared photos of her round-the-clock rehearsals this weekend with Legend and other musicians and described the outpouring of support she’s received in the midst of this war.
“I’m sitting on the middle of this stage in front of all these famous musicians — Lady Gaga, John Legend, many, many others,” Iglidan said. “I got on stage and looked at this huge theater and barely holding my tears, started crying. I could not stop my emotions because I’m there in front of all the U.S. showing how beautiful Ukraine culture and music sounds like.”
She moved to the U.S. eight years ago but still has loved ones back home. She says even though she’s thousands of miles away from her country, her heart will always be with Ukraine and the millions of families fighting to survive the war. She says they’ll all be honored on Grammy night.
“My heart is there. I love my people. I’m honored to represent Ukraine on the Grammy stage.”
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