This year's Crossroads Festival presents sounds from the borderlands and the Orient's farthest corners.
Mongolian-Persian group Sedaa photo from www.sadaamusic.com
This year's Crossroads Festival presents sounds from the borderlands and the Orient's farthest corners
The opening concert brings in an ambience of mysticism and pulsating rhythms. The Georgian-Polish band Zubda opened on Krakow's Main Market Square on the 24th of July. Moishe Bagel, a Scottish klezmer-jazz band followed evoking the spirit of an Eastern European shtetl. The Mongolian-Persian group Sedaa performs overtone singing, characteristic for Asian shamans from the steppe, as well as oriental motifs which burst with life.
The Ukrainian band Dakha Brakha is the star of the night. The band's energy, links between tradition and modernity, patchworks of sounds from the East and the West in addition to rich instrumentation (Indian tabla, Buddhist gong, cello, maracas and Russian treschotki) are Dakha Brakha's distinctive features. They call their style ethno-chaos.
What's more, Crossroads comprises a series of chamber concerts (27-31 July) which will be held at such venues as the Krakow State Theatre School. The festival's line-up of artists inspired by the culture of the East includes: Nasta Niakrasava, a Belorussian vocalist; Dagadana, a Polish-Ukrainian trio (winner of this year's Fryderyk award for best Folk / World Music album of the year); Jorgi Quartet; Talya G.A. Solan & Israeli Ethnic Ensemble; Karima Nayt from Algeria; as well as international projects Indalucia and Boris Malkovski Trio.
Félix Laykó, a Serbian-born Hungarian violinist, one of the biggest talents discovered in the recent years, performs as part of the "One Instrument Concert" series on the 31st of July.
Two premiere concerts produced for this year's festival are particularly worth noting: the Israeli-Polish group Oleś Brother presents their ContraMUNDO project on the 28th of July; the following day is filled with Jewish monographs, in addition to Polish and Arabic love songs. Three captivating vocalists, Talya G.A. Solan, Joanna Słowińska and Karima Nayt perform at the concert titled "21 Songs of Love".
Still, Crossroads is not just about concerts. Thanks to the growing popularity of world music and original folklore, an increasing number of people take part in the music workshops and meetings with artists hosted at the festival club each year.
13th Crossroads Festival of Traditional Music takes place in Krakow 24-31 July 2011.
The event is part of The National Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency 2011.
Translated by: Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer