“Mystical with Latin flavour” is how the genre-bending music of the Meliponas has been described by concert goers. Their upbeat, yet ethereal sound has been creating a stir in the Okanagan since the band launched in early 2018.

The 4-piece instrumental band out of Kelowna, BC, is made up of Victor Hugo Cobian (lead guitar and charango), Lucie Bardos (rhythm guitar), Megan Frederick (bass), and Ethan McKibben (drums). The four musicians’ extremely varied musical and cultural backgrounds reflect clearly in their music which draws on everything from Djando Reinhardt, to Jesse Cook, Balkan brass bands, and Santana for inspiration.

Their music features both covers and original compositions written by band founder Victor Hugo Cobian, who together with his wife Lucie, released an EP entitled “El Chaman Pasa” in 2015, which created a foundation for the unique sound that the band has since refined.

The Meliponas have been performing in and around the Okanagan since 2018, playing at festivals, such as the Kelowna World Music Festival and the Okanagan Wine Festival, while also fitting very well into more intimate settings such as restaurants and breweries.

The name of the band comes from The Melipona Bee, which is a type of stingless honey bee that is native to Central and South America. It produces a rare and valuable type of honey and is the primary pollinator of the vanilla orchid due to its unique evolutionary traits. It can be seen as a symbol of the beauty and fragility of our ecosystems.

The band is currently in the process of planning their first tour and developing a studio album with plans to release it sometime in 2020.