During the five days the International Music festival "Sharq Taronalari" that brought together the best artists in the world came to an end. While awarding the prizes the artists showed the peculiarities of their national music culture had a very strong feeling. We had an interview with them.
The tenth international music festival Sharq Taronalari (Oriental Melodies) completed in Samarkand on 30 August. This year’s festival, organized since 1997 on the initiative of President Islam Karimov, was attended by artists from 66 countries.
On the eve of celebration Uzbekistan's independence, ancient Samarkand lives in a special atmosphere. These days there focused on the incredible creative energy of the most talented representatives of the art of music come here from all over the world.
Famous Georgian folk ensemble "Didgori" August 27, made its first performance on the Registan Square. The group was established in 2003, its activity is mainly aimed at the revival of the ancient original Georgian folk traditions.
Within the framework of the festival "Sharq taronalari" concert programs with the participation of foreign performers are held almost in all notable places. One of these concerts was held in the fascinating culture and recreation park "Shaboda", in mahalla "Chashma ", which will be remembered to me for a long time.
«Obshor» folk music group (Afghanistan)
The existing folk music groups in the Afghanistan have their own distinguishing characteristics. They represent various languages, customs and traditions existing in the country’s diff erent regions. Formed under the leadership of Mukhammad Murod Sarkhush «Obshor» folk music group is founded at the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan in Kabul 2008. The music director is Abdudzhalil Said. Its repertoire includes classic rhythms and lyric songs as well as samples of makam which are completing part of 12-makam. The music and songs by «Obshor» are often played on Afghan radio and television programs. The group has been spreading the word of Afghan music in the music events and festivals in Tajikistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, France, the United Arab Emirates, and many other countries. The group members use the following music instruments: doira, nay, chang, afghan rubab, dombra, tabla, ghidjak (gidzhak). Their eff orts, to spread the music heritage that has been kept by the local musicians, are at the same time meant to assist the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on this purpose.
Music group of Dib El Ayashi (Algeria)
Dib El Ayachi is a leading musician and singer in the musical style Maalouf and Madikh for more than 50 years already. The artist is known for his artistic rigor, his commitment to the origins of the Maalouf School. He produced more than 20 music albums through which he revived the direction of Andalusia, marked by his strong voice. He is highly respected in the various artistic circles for his modesty and his special contribution to the preservation of the Maalouf heritage. He is kindhearted in communication with the artists of diff erent generations. Shih Hassan El Annabi and Hadj Mokhamed Tahar El Fergani played a great role in his way of performance, by bringing him love for singing Maalouf. He always renders assistance and support for the music associations of Algeria and takes part in the events organized by them. He has written a row of songs for Algeria television and prepares to record new products in 2015 which include old heritage like Ezedjel El Makhdjuz and El Madikh.
Trio Akk:zent (Austria)
Besides numerous clubs, cultural centers and churches, trio Akk:zent has also played at renowned festivals such as the International Accordion Festival in Vienna. Their music has also been played on radio in Austria, Germany, and Luxembourg. Stylistic openness, which the accordion brings to the table anyway, and the multifaceted nature of the four saxophones are combined with mature lightness and youthful gravity, coaxing music out of these powerful instruments that lies somewhere in the border area, or possibly even beyond the borders of world music, jazz, pop, contemporary, and techno. Their exceptional album was described as «accordion jazz therapy» by Radio Jazz of Poland. It also mentions: «In spite of its short lifetime, the trio Akk:zent counts among the most interesting representatives in the Austrian jazz and world music scene, presumably also because «Jazz» and «World Music» are insuffi cient names to describe the music it makes. Indeed, the three young musicians do not seem to know the limits of these concepts – and what else remains but to ignore them skillfully. And all of this defi nitely makes the trio Akk:zent a special listening experience.
Mugam group «Buta» was established under the leadership of Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, Professor Elchin Gashimov in 1994. Members of the group: Elchin Gashimov- tar player; Elnur Ahmedov - kamancha player; Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, professor. Kamran Karimov - drumer, winner of the Republican contest named after Fikret Amirov; Shirzad Fataliyev - Balaban performer, Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, the winner of the Republican contest. Mugam group «Buta» participated in a number of prominent republican and international Mugam Performers competitions. In 2009, the group took part at the festival of International Mugam performers in Azerbaijan. Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, a solo singer Tayar Bayramov participated in the contest of the fi rst International Mugam performers which was held in Baku in 2009 and won the Grand Prix. Currently, he is working at Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre as a soloist. «Buta» Mugam group had tours in a number of countries such as the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Iran.
Shilpakala Academy (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy is the National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. The Academy was established in 1974 as a statutory organization under the Ministry of Cultural Aff airs. The duties and responsibilities of the academy include promotion of the arts, national culture and creation of necessary facilities for their development. The academy also organizes workshops, seminars, discussion meetings, short-term specialized trainings, provides scholarships and fi nancial grants for talented artists, arranges competitions in the various fi elds of fi ne and performing arts. The Academy consists of the following departments, each headed by a Director, except administration, which is headed by the Secretary of the Academy: Fine Arts and Photography, Drama and Cinematography, Music, Dance and Recitation, Research and Publication, Training, Programme Production. Every year about 10 to 20 Cultural Delegations (music and dance) visit and perform abroad under the supervision of Music, Dance and Recitation department. Bangladesh Cultural Delegation to the X International Music Festival «Sharq Taronalari» is also a part of this. The team includes one folk singer, four acoustic musicians and the leader of the delegation.
Hilde Frateur and Trio HoP (Belgium)
Hilde Frateur is a singer – songwriter and travels with her diatonic accordion and ukulele. She plays and sings at concerts, conferences, and master-classes in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Philippines, Egypt, Austria, and SouthAfrica. Trio HoP which briefl y stands for ‘Hot on the Planet’ presents songs about sustainability, life, «the 4 elements», and climate. They also play in the album «Water uit de hemel» (Water from the himmel) of Hilde Frateur 2015. Hilde Frateur, Bert Van Laethem, and Hans Mortelmans have a musical show about the history of Patagonia as part of the project of Fundaçion Patagonista. Bert Van Laethem (violin) got a full classical violin training at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven. He collaborates with the most famous classical orchestras and ensembles. Hans Mortelmans (guitar, voice) founded his own band in 2005, mixing up Flemish traditional music with Gypsy jazz, Cuban Son and Bossa Nova. He was involved in a lot of musical projects, playing jazz, folk and French chanson. Another member of the trio - Bart Braeken (eco-percussion) likes re-using materials and gives other purposes to old things. The typical percussion in Flemish music is an old «Washboard».
Eva Quartet (Bulgaria)
Eva Quartet consists of some of the best Bulgarian female voices – the four young solo singers of the world famous female folk choir «Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares» (The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices). The group was founded by the four women in 1995. The repertoire of the quartet comprises authentic folklore songs from diff erent parts of Bulgaria. The whole programme of the quartet consists of old Bulgarian music and church hymns as well as modern music. In summer 2000 they took part in the project «Magic Voices» of the Tanz & Folklore Festival in Rudolstadt which found much interest. In 2002 EVA Quartet took part in a very special vocal project with the VeDaKi Group and Haig Yazdjian. In 2003 and 2004 EVA Quartet took part in big projects of Jeunesse Vienna. 2007 they participated in a very special project at Danube Music Festival. In summer 2007 Eva Quartet worked together on a special project with Banda Adriatica. Moreover, the quartet released two albums «Bulgarian Folklore Gifts» (Orpheus Music) and «Harmonies» (Kuker Music). The Austrian music magazine Concerto called the album «Harmonies» - the most beautiful CD of Bulgarian female voices. Quartet consists of Gergana Dimitrova, Sofi a Kovachev, Evelina Christova, Daniela Stoichkova-Dimitrova.
Jiangsu Women’s National Orchestra (China)
Being subordinate to Lian Yungang Performing Arts Group, Jiangsu Women’s National Orchestra is the only professional women orchestra that performs traditional Chinese folk music. The national music experts speak highly of the orchestra that this team has brought gentle breeze to Chinese national music. For youthful vigor, excellent skills and great integrity, it has received high praises and evaluation from foreign friends and overseas China, China Central Television, China Cultural Daily and other media have reported several times about the orchestra’s successful performances Jiangsu Women’s National Orchestra has been a name card of Jiangsu Province. It has received Music Awards such as the Best Performance Prize in the performance month of the fi rst Wenhua Art Exhibition in Jiangsu Province and the second prize of Chinese national instrument and folk music combinations performance in the tenth Chinese Art Festival. In 2014, the orchestra has organized tour performance named after the Silk Road, crossing seven provinces, twelve cities in Silk Road Economic Belt. Sixteen national music concerts have been held over the country, which have been crowned as one of the ten breaking news in Jiangsu Province in 2014.
Chamangul Baki (China)
Chamangul Boki was born in Urumqi. She graduated from the Music Education Department of Xinjiang Arts Institute. In 2014 she completed the Traditional Vocals Master Program at the Uzbek State Conservatory. During the study she gave two solo concerts at the hall of the Conservatory. Some of the radio channels still broadcast the songs by her performance regularly. Besides, she is an active participant of the regional and republican events and festivities. The scientifi c papers she has been writing on her interested topics have been published in a lot of scientifi c magazines and gained huge success by the specialists. Traditional Uzbek masterpiece songs performed by Chamangul Boki are incomparable in terms of its compliance with the classical performing styles. They also provide another delight to the works. Uyghur national songs, music and dances performed by her are appreciated with great enthusiasm by the audience. Chamangul Boki has been serving to the unity of the historically close relative nations with the help of her works.
Trio Elisouma (The Comoros)
The trio «made in Comores» with stars from three diff erent generations and musical worlds put aside their solo career to form «Elisouma». Eliasse Ben Joma, voted Best Indian Ocean Artist 2010, is the youngest of the trio. As an author, composer, singer and guitarist, Eliasse off ers music blending ballads of traditional ternary rhythms (taarab, mgodro, shigoma, sérebwalolo) from the Comoros and the Indian Ocean islands with binary rhythms derived from modern Western music (jazz, funk, rock). «Soubi» Athoumane Soubira, the «Tradition Man» plays old traditional instruments such as Gambusy and Dzendze. He is the guardian of the Comorian traditional music. Mwegne M’Madi, inhabited by the «Djin Spirit», is known for his unique and impressive Dzendze playing groove. He is often inspired by forgotten songs of the archipelago that he plays on his dzendze (box zither). M’Madi is a simple artist always with a smile on his face. All three compose, sing and play instruments to create together a sublime mixture of diff erent Comorian universes. For the fi rst time in the Comoros, this trio off ers a fusion of traditional and contemporary Comorian music.
Quelite Band (Costa Rica)
Quelite is a traditional Costa Rican music group that was founded in July 2008 as a part of cultural extensions of San Carlos Agricultural College, one of the most important Educational Institutions in the north of Costa Rica. At the beginning Quelite consisted solely of students and graduates of this institution. Over the years and prestige achieved by the group, they have integrated into high level musicians. Quelite is credited by many communities and theaters in the country with a number of performances since its creation in various activities and concerts. They represented Costa Rica in the International Folklore Festival in Arequipa, Peru in 2008. Their repertoire songs are presented in several of the traditional genres of Costa Rica such as «Tambito», «calypso». Their songs tell stories, thoughts and feelings of peasant life of the Costa Rican people. Quelite’s common instruments are guitar, accordion, fl ute and clarinet, also more contemporary instruments like electric bass, keyboard, drums, as well as traditional as case bass under the calypso rhythm instruments, jaw donkey, indigenous ocarinas, drums and rattles indefi nite sometimes marimba.
Inti and the Moon Band (Ecuador)
Inti and the Moon is a Latin fusion band founded in 2010 in New York City and led by the guitarist-composer Geovanni Suquillo. Geovanni moved from a small village of Valle de los Chillos Quito-Ecuador to New York City in 2002 with the idea of expanding his talent in the big capital of the Arts and Music of the world. Since then he has been part of Andean (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru)-folk music bands performing all over the country and also for MUNY (Music Under New York), a program run by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority). «Inti and the Moon» offi cially started the musical project in the summer of 2010. In the same year they produced their fi rst self-titled album, also the same year Geovanni with another member of the group - Concetta traveled to Ecuador and Mexico to promote the CD. Since the band is based in the international capital of the art and music, New York City, it has been infl uenced by a variety of music genres like Flamenco, Jazz, Mediterraean and Middle Eastern music.
Cairo Opera House Arab Music Group (Egypt)
The group consists of four musicians and one singer performing diff erent styles of Arab music such as muwashshah, maktoka, and theatrical music. This Group is part of Cairo Opera House Religious Song Ensemble. The main aim of the ensemble its preserve the religious song and the Arabic music heritage without changing the traditional rhythm created by both Egyptian and Arab composers. The conductor Abdel Halim Nowera founded the Religious Song Ensemble in 1972 and conducted its fi rst concert in 1973. The ensemble started its concert at the Sayed Darwish Theatre in El-Haram with 16 singers and 25 musicians. Today, the number of its members has increased to 50 singers and 60 musicians. Abroad, the group performed in diff erent Arab countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, as well as in countries like France, Spain, and Turkey. The group also participated in music events such as International Festival of Carthage in Tunisia, Asilan and El Rabat in Morocco or the Oum Kalthoum Centennial Celebration in Paris.
Silver Sepp (Estonia)
In the landscape of Estonian music Silver Sepp can be regarded as a lone wandering troubadour who is connected to the ancient Estonian runo-song tradition. He approaches runo-song in his own unique way that appeals to contemporary audiences. His own approach to making music is that he doesn’t use any conventional instruments familiar to the rest of us. He has developed on a traditional idea that everything he plays as an instrument is taken from his surroundings. With his voice he tells tales of great yearning, peace of mind, erosion, blossoming and homecoming. Silver Sepp has played in several well-known Estonian folk groups (RO:TORO, Svjata Vatra, Bombillaz etc.) and has given concerts all over Europe and North America. Now he has taken on the challenge of developing his solo performances, where he fi nds the most freedom to be unpredictable and the best channel to establish direct contact with the audience.
Unto duo (Finnland)
«Unto» is a duo consisting of two old friends. In their program they give examples of many diff erent genres of Finnish traditional music, spiced up with modern and popular music. «Voi ruusuni» is a lament from the Finnish gypsy population, while «Härmän häät» is a «fi ght song» describing a wedding that turned into a massive fi ght where the men «wrestled with knives» and blood was shed. The quintessential genre in Finnish traditional music is runolaulu, «poem singing», an ancient way of telling stories. The singer would use the songs to tell epic tales of heroes or tragic stories of love, but sometimes the songs simply described the joy and sorrow of everyday life. The songs could also be spells. In their song «Metsänpeitto» a woman goes into the forest to gather the cattle after the summer, but a forest spirit casts a spell to bind her in the forest. She is fi nally released when she casts a counter-spell. «Laulun lopetus» is a song for ending the story session. In this song the duo also do some Karelian yoik singing. Their main accompaniment is kantele, the Finnish national instrument. It’s a stringed instrument that can have 5-32 strings. The kantele that duo play has 10 and 15 strings. They also play the musical saw, which became a very popular instrument in the early 20th century among timber rafters.
André Gabriel and drummers from Provence (France)
André Gabriel started playing the drums in 1977. Today he is the holder of a number of prestigious prizes and awards, also the teacher of drums and traditional music at the National Regional Conservatory of Marseille and at a music school in Avignon. His motto is «Music has no borders, it always was and it always remains the universal means of human communication». As a drummer he has been to Europe, Japan and the USA with his concerts. He also arranges solo piano concerts. Together with the ensemble «Les Tambourinaires de Provence» (Drummers from Provence), André Gabriel performs mixed repertoire of national traditional music and new musical creations. His goal is to change the tambourine music returns without the support of other musical instruments. As a musician, André Gabriel is considered a great collector of musical instruments. There are more than 2500 instruments in his collection, including 60 drums, which he presents as visual aids during his lectures and conferences. In France he is recognized as «philosopher, collector, virtuosomusician, musicologist, magician, Provencal deep from the heart, in general the person with truly and unique character».
«Didgori» Ensemble (Georgia)
«Didgori» Ensemble was founded in 2003, under the guidance of teachers - Guram Tamazashvili and Levan Tsitaischvili. In 2004, with the support of Archpriest Nikoloz Chitia, the young choristers formed a church choir at the Saint Ilia the Foreteller Church in Tbilisi, Georgia. Their fi rst major concert was held on February 5th, 2006 at the Tbilisi Cinema House, followed a year later by a solo concert in the Tbilisi Conservatory (their fi rst CD contains live recordings from this concert). The Didgori Ensemble continues to perform in many diff erent venues, including performances at the International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony, held in Tbilisi in September, 2008, and in a second major concert with the Sakhioba Ensemble in 2009. The members of the Didgori Ensemble are committed to learning and popularizing Georgian traditional polyphony, and present their second album of studio recordings as testament to their work.
Early English Music Trio (The United Kingdom)
Multi instrumentalists and scholars Dr Jon Banks ond Dr Clare Salaman join forces with the virtuoso vocalist Honey Rohani and the well established percussionist Fariborz Kiani to give a truly spirited performance of Early English music. Jon Banks specialises in early and Oriental string instruments, particularly the medieval harp, lute, dulcimer and accordion. He is a regular performer and musical director of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London. Clare Salaman plays violin, nyckelharpa, hurdy gurdy, hardanger fi ddle, medieval vielle, and rebec. Honey Rouhani is a well established vocalist who has completed her studies from the Trinity College of Music, London. Fariborz Kiani is a leading Londonbased percussionist of Iranian origins. He studied percussion with master Iranian percussionists. Fariborz has performed throughout the world accompanying some of the fi nest Iranian musicians as well as internationally acclaimed musicians of other music cultures. He has performed with Jon Banks and Clare Salaman on numerous occasions including a performance of the Purcell Room in 2012. Fariborz is currently the Middle Eastern Ensemble director at City University London.
Dilrang Sufi Musicians (India)
Dilrang Sufi Musicians include fi ve musicians: Ustad Vajahat Hussain Khan - leading vocalist, Ravindra Panchal, Hyder Abbas, Lokesh Kumar Gandharva and Lalit Rathod. The group is lead by Ustad Vajahat Hussain Khan, an accomplished vocalist, composer, and a teacher who has certain major characteristics with extraordinary qualities. Vajahat Khan specialises in classical vocal, sufi songs, ghazals, persian compositions of Hazrat Umar Khusrau and many other sufi poets like Hazrat Bedam Warsi, Hazrat Raaz Niazi, Maulana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Maulana Abdul Rehman Jami, Hazrat Abu Abdullah Dja’far ibn Mohammad Rudaki, Hafi z Hindi, and Hazrat Baba Bulleh Shah. Being a commerce graduate, a keen musicologist, composer and an accomplished poet, Vajahat Khan has been awarded with several awards, prizes and certifi cates of honour for his extraordinary achievements. He has participated in almost all the major music conferences all over India and abroad like in the UK, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran, Spain, Kenya, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Japan. He also sings for Hindi Films and composes music for many serials and selefi lms. Together with Dilrang Sufi Musicians Group Vajahat Khan presents a number of rare poetry of Indian and Persian poets.
NastAr Ensemble (Iran)
NastAr is a traditional (classic) and folk music Ensemble. The members graduated from Tehran University, Tehran Art University and Tehran College of music. They got education and music knowledge directly from the renowned masters in Iran and presented their abilities at international music events and festivals including the ones in Turkey, Malaysia, Russia, Armenia, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan and many others. Some of their diff erent ranks of compositions and performances have been produced in the Albums called «Dar Atash - e Moshtaghi», «Doorha Avaei hast», «HinKaj o rastmiravi», and «Chaharsu» Barafshan «Darigh». In 2014 the ensemble participated at the International folklore festival of Petaling Jaya Malaysia, organized by CIOFF (International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals). Moreover, it is frequent to meet the ensemble representatives as the members of cultural house of Turkish Embassy and of a composer group in Iranian House of Music.
Laus Nova (Italy)
Laus Novalaus Nova group was offi cially founded in 2000 by the initiative of Mauro Branda, with the intention of bringing musicians with proven experience together, combining them with choir, the revival of vocal and instrumental repertoire of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The group has performed on several occasions and recently launched a new repertoire of contemporary pop with the laboratory of Medieval Music at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy) and the A.R.C.U.M. (Regional Association of Umbrian Choirs). The group addressed to the association «San Michele Arcangelo» with the aim of study and dissemination of Gregorian chant, more generally, of the ancient forms of singing. The group, after fi nishing recording its fi rst album dedicated to the folk songs of Umbria in central Italy, is coming out with a new album inspired by the sacred music of the peoples of diff erent religions and with the participation of artists of international standing.
Shamisen Association of music distribution (Japan)
Shamisen music distribution association was founded in 1998, formed by the initiative of the fourth successor of Nagauta* school of Yoshidzumi, Kosaburo Yoshidzumi (1876-1972), with the purpose of spreading the Shamisen music as family music. Nagauta school dates back to the end of the 19th century and has been existing for nearly 100 years already. In December 2000, Shamisen music distribution association has received the offi cial status of an «NPO» (Non-Profi t Organization) and since then expands the range of its activities. Chairman of the Board of Association’s directors - Kosayo Yoshidzumi. Their main activities are arranging presentations, workshops for teachers and school staff at schools, organizing Shamisen courses both for adults and schoolchildren, carrying out concerts, publishing books, videotapes, music CDs and others, and also renting musical instruments. *Nagauta - literally «long song», is a kind of traditional Japanese music which accompanies the kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) theater. They were developed around 1740. The shamisen, a plucked lute with three strings, is a very popular instrument in nagauta. Nagauta performers generally play the shamisen and sing simultaneously.
Birdzhan Bazildzhanov (Kazakhstan)
Birdzhan Bazildzhanov was born in Almaty in 1991. After fi nishing school successfully in 2009, he started studying «Traditional vocals» at Kazakh National Academy named after T.Jurgenov. From 2013 on he has been giving solo performances at Kazakh State Philharmony called Dzhumbul. Birdzhan Bazildzhanov has been on music trips in Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, and Austria. He is the laureate of the following republican contests: Diploma of III Republican contest of Traditional vocals in Pavlodar in 2013; Diploma of Republican contest of Traditional vocals in Kyzylorda in 2013; Laureate of VI Republican contest in Karaganda in 2014; Laureate of Republican contest of Traditional vocals in Oskemen in 2014.
«PUNG RYU» (Republic of Korea)
«PUNG RYU» Korea Traditional Performing Arts Troupe was founded at 2006 under the lead of Ms. Lee Jung Ah. The Troupe has many overseas performing activities for beautiful Korean traditional arts show to foreign people. Since the beginning of the troupe, they already had a purpose on that developing and maintaining Korean traditional music. That is why the Troupe had a lot of activities to reach our goal such as regular concert, project concert, and short courses. «PUNG RYU» Korea Traditional Performing Arts Troupe plays a leading role in development of regional culture & arts through the permanent performances conducted in the region every week till now and gives performances by being invited to domestic main festivals such as ‘Korea Match Cup International Yacht Contest and Kyunggi International Boat Show’, ‘Harbor Festival’, ‘Mujoo Firefl y Light Festival’, etc. In addition, they announce Korean traditional musical arts to the world and its artistic value is recognized internationally through international exchange activities such as invitation performances in U.K(Edinburgh), U.S , China(Shanghai, Tianjin, Nanjing, Shenzhen), Kazakhstan(Almaty) etc.
Ilana Eliya (Israel)
Ilana Eliya has unique voice. She was born to the family of Kurdish descent in Israel. Creativity of Ilana Eliya is based on her extensive cultural heritage as well as the rich tapestry of ethnic sounds emanating from the Middle East. She is a vocalist and storyteller par excellence. Whether singing songs from the classical Arabic songbook or performing multicultural and crosscultural material from Andalusia Ilana takes her audience on an enchanted voyage through the mysteries of the cultures she addresses. Ilana has performed all over the world with the work that continues to expand and cover ever-increasing musical and ethnic territory. Audiences in the United States, Europe and Israel have been introduced to not only relatively unknown Kurdish works, but also to classical Arabic pieces originally performed by legendary Egyptian singer, Oum Koulthum and a wide range of religious and secular songs from the Ladino, Andalusian, Moroccan, and Spanish cultures. Her repertoire includes plaintive works of unrequited love and longing, laments, lullabies, religious and secular compositions, and songs that relate simple tales of rural life in the mountains of Kurdistan. She conveys her message easily and with rare honesty and frankness.
Altynbek Kalynov (Kyrgyzstan)
Altynbek Kalynov graduated from the department of traditional music and folklore at the Kyrgyz National Conservatory named after K. Moldobasanov in 2011. Since 2009 he has been singing in the group «Еl ırçısı Еstеbеs» of Kyrgyz State Philarmonic society named after T.Satylganov. Altynbek has a unique, powerful voice, has great skills of folk singing and komuz playing. With his distinguishing artistic performance and expressive voice, Altynbek has become the Grand Prix winner of the international contest «Issyk-Kul Kadir tүn 2011». Also he was the winner of the national contest «Jash talent» (Young Talent) in 2003, winner of the international festival in Turkey (2013), and of the international competition in Kazakhstan (2014). From time to time he is involved in various TV and radio projects, demonstrating his creative talent and huge potential. Today Altynbek is a quite successful and famous singer in Kyrgyzstan.
Since the group was founded, Iļģi has released 14 albums and one best of compilations. In 2006 «Ne uz vienu dienu» reached No. 2 on the World Music Charts Europe and remained in a top ten album for four months. «Tur saulīte pērties gāja» debuted at No. 4 on that same Chart in April 2012. Over the years Iļģi’s traditional style has given way to fuller instrumentation and bolder arrangements. Violin, kokle and bagpipes blend with guitars, electric bass and drums to create a simultaneous ancient and contemporary sound, developed over the years by band members with diverse musical backgrounds. World music festival performances include: Trad-It, Posthof, Etnoplaneta, Rudolstadt, Suklegos, Viljandi, Chicago, Madison, Lotus, and Globalquerque. The Latvian recording industry has awarded Iļģi Best Folk Album fi ve times, most recently for the album «Tur saulīte pērties gāja». Group member Ilga Reizniece has received the Latvian Ministry of Culture’s Grand Award in Folklore.
Laimas Muzykanti (Latvia)
The ethnorock band «Laimas Muzykanti» was established in October, 1995 at Daugavpils University and is also known and asked to perform in Latvia as «Uškānu ģimenes ansamblis» («Uškāns Family Band»). The initial sounding of Laimas Muzykanti can be described as close music to authentic folklore, using ethnic musical instruments and authentic folk singing, which are done based on folk expeditions gathering chants from ethnic storytellers and folk musician playing manner. The sounding of that time can be heard in 1999 album «Danco Dievis» published by recording company «Upe», where «Laimas Muzykanti» have recorded four songs. In 1999 as the best vocal-instrumental folklore band Laimas Muzykanti takes 1st place in international festival – contest «Music World» in Fivizzano, Italy. Together with friends from folk bands «Iļģi», «Laiksne» two “Laimas Muzykanti” members - Artūrs Uškāns and Edgars Skrāģis take part in Upe recording company’s project - «Alus Dziesmas» («Beer Songs»), which gets Annual Latvian Music Recording Award as the best folklore recording in year 2001. In October, 2003 in the Izteiksme recording company the fi rst album of Laimas Muzykanti - «Gonam Gona» («It Is Enough For A Shepherd») is released.
Sutaras Folk Music Band (Lithuania)
Sutaras is the professional ensemble of Lithuanian national music. You will fi nd the whole range of Lithuanian instrumental folk music in its repertoire: from old rituals, authentic shepherds’ instruments dating back to the end of the 19th century, to the international and classical instruments that became increasingly more common in the villages of Lithuania by the beginning of the 20th century. Since its fi rst public performance in 1988, the Folk Music Band Sutaras has participated in over 5300 performances, which ranged from concerts, dances, television and radio programs to performances at festivals, exhibitions, and other festivities. Thousands of listeners applauded Sutaras at the PORTA festival (Czech Republic, 1991), at the well-known Skagen festival of Denmark (1992, 1995), in Rudolstadt (Germany, 1994), and in Mistelbach (Austria, 1995). They represented Lithuanian traditional culture at many Festivals and concerts including the ones in Europe, China, Australia, Netherlands, etc. In 2004 Sutaras became the winner of the prestigious Lithuanian award for traditional culture, «Golden Bird».
The group perform polyphonic and acoustic music and dance from diff erent regions of Madagascar. Hanta (pronounced ‘Yant’) originates from the highlands of Madagascar, but she spent her childhood in the South of the Big Island. She sings a cappella accompanied by traditional instruments such as kabosy, valiha, katsa. Having lived in various parts of the island, Hanta could really dive in diff erent Malagasy musical styles and soak in diff erent dances of the Big Island since childhood. With this large traditional cultural background, she has managed to create her own style without distorting its authenticity. Hanta composes her music, writes her words, arranges vocal harmonies of astonishing accuracy for the fi ve girls and boys of her group. Above all, it is endowed with a mesmerizing voice, fresh and compelling as it is expressed, rich of thousand of colors and rhythms of Malagasy music.
Sedaa means «voice» in Persian and connects traditional Mongolian music with the Orient which makes an extraordinary and fascinating sound. The base of their modern composition is formed by natural sounds which are produced with traditional instruments and the use of old age singing technologies of their nomadic ancestors with the help of which several tones are produced at the same time. Vibrating undertone vocals and the amazing harmonic singing Khöömii with the company of the melancholy sounds of the horse-head violin Morin Khuur and the pearly sounds of the 120 strings hammered dulcimer melt into the pulsating oriental drum rhythms to one mystical sound. With acoustically balanced titles, «Sedaa» presents live an innovative marvelous sound. The wild rhythmic songs, like the «trotting of the horses», or the tender played ballads take the listener on a journey in the wide landscape of nature.
Modern Māori Quartet (New Zealand)
Modern Māori Quartet (MMQ) area good looking, suave and multi-talented Māori foursome who aspire to be global cultural ambassadors for Aotearoa, representing the revival of a proud heritage of world-class Māori showbands. Modern Māori Quartet’s repertoire includes a wide range of traditional Māori music, which have been given a contemporary treatment, as well as contemporary music that have been imbued with their unique fl avour and twist. Their shows promise a trip down memory lane into New Zealand’s musical past and present as well as recent international hits, riddled with song, humour and charm. They describe themselves «golden syrup on warm Māori bread». *** «Billed as the new face of Māori showbands, handsome, hilarious and harmonious, The Modern Māori Quartet is entertainment at its best.» – Melan.
Night Band (Nepal)
Night is a new-school folk band that focuses on using traditional Nepali instruments and creating new sounds and reintroduce these instruments to a new audience. They aim to create new sounds, music and stories from these instruments while also attempting to rediscover a part of Nepali musical culture. Their music is dubbed as New School Folk. They also aim to introduce and also create an environment for discovery and adoption of rare Nepali instruments. The debut album was released to critical and popular acclaim on 27 December 2014 which features songs they have polished with all their fi ndings into the Nepali folk music and also features endangered Nepali instruments like the paluwa (leaf), mahali, and piwancha. The compositions for their debut album «Ani ukali sangai orali» (With uphills and downhills) have been inspired by their extensive travels to remote regions in the country, and their encounters with diff erent ethnic communities. The theme and concept of the album’s songs, also, mainly revolve around the hardships of village life in Nepal.
Folkcorn (the Netherlands)
Folkcorn is one of the oldest groups playing traditional early Dutch and Flemish folk music. Since 1973 the music group has been busy with digging up treasure from the music and lyrics left by past musicians and composers. After having started with early westEuropean folk music in general, the trio Folkcorn soon specialized in early Dutch and Flemish folk music. In 2013 its 40th anniversary was celebrated with concerts in the hometown Wageningen and a tour in the Netherlands. Since 1973 three Long Plays and four CD’s have been published. The most part of the group’s repertoire originates from the period between 1400 and 1800 AC and consists of historical popular music from the early Netherlands (present: the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium) and contains songs to be listened to, such as ballads and unaccompanied madrigals, as also joyful instrumental pieces including dance music. The musicians enjoy playing and showing it. The group is available for concerts, historical processions, banquets and school concerts, and also for background music at receptions. Their music appeals to all ages, at home and abroad.
Suroor band came into existence in 2012 when some like-minded musicians got together and decided to express themselves through their art, skills and music. Asif Arbab (Band Manager) was responsible for this union. This combination of the band members resulted in a very soothing sound in terms of Sufi , folk and popular music in Pakistan. Asif Arbab, a musician himself, has been in the music industry in Pakistan for over 20 years. Band members - Kanwal Iftikhar and Sheze Haroon, both sisters have been receiving vocals training since a very early age. Kanwal made her fi rst debut in 1992 in a musical series «Behta Darya» with music composer /singer Adnan Sami Khan. Thereafter she has performed solo and duets at various platforms, and events including the national television. Haroon and Sharoon Leo (twin brothers) are the other members of the band, very talented musicians specializing in instruments such as violin, guitar and percussions on a very profi cient level. Their music videos have been broadcast on television and social media. The above combination of musicians has captured its audience in a mesmerizing way in many of their performances that are purely composed in light classical, sufi and traditional genre.
Lucy Acevedo (Peru)
As far back as she can remember, music has been a vital part of Lucy Acevedo’s world. As a little girl of seven, she watched with admiration the young contestants taking part in a talent competition held in her home town of Callao, Peru’s principal seaport (west of Lima) and the birthplace of the canción criolla (Creole song). The winner had practically been chosen when a guitarist friend of the family lifted her onto the stage and asked her to sing ‘Con tanto a Dios’, a ballad by a famous group of that time – Los Angeles Negros. Her success was immediate. After the debut chance, Lucy Acevedo thus embarked on a long musical career, devoted to Peruvian song. With a voice that is not only strong and vigorous, but also sensuous and moving, Lucy Acevedo was soon regarded in Peru as the worthy descendant of great stars such as Lucha Reyes, Eva Ayllón and Chabuca Granda (she worked for some time with the latter). Between Callao and Lima she learned to master the art of música costeña, or ‘coastal music’ (as opposed to the ‘highland music’ of the Andes).
Kuntaw Mindanao (The Philippines)
The Kuntaw Mindanao is a group of local musicians based in Tagum City (capital city of Davao del Norte province), the Philippines. They are known for popularizing indigenous musical instruments through their songs that fuse the indigenous sounds with various musical genres. The group has won numerous awards in many songwriting competitions in the region such as Tunog Mindanao World Music Festival (Davao City’s bannered cultural festival), Musikahan Sa Tagum Festival (Mindanao’s Biggest and Grandest Music Festival), Kaimonan Festival (Local Indigenous People’s Festival), Visit Samal Festival (Davao Gulf’s Island Festival), Kadagayaan Festival (Davao del Norte’s Festival of Harvest) and many others. They have been invited to perform in diff erent cities and towns in the Philippines. Their advocacy on music promotes cultural awareness and protection of the indigenous people’s rights and the preservation of its culture, the protection of sustainability of the environment and Mother Earth. Their compositions and music became a music anthem for environmental campaigns of various non-governmental organizations and institutions. Further, Kuntaw Mindanao is the only Filipino band highly commended in the Freedom to Create Prize, a campaign on global peace and harmony that connects people’s lives.
The Song and Dance Ensemble of «Chełm» (Poland)
Founded in 1980, Song and Dance Ensemble of Chełm has been working regularly at the culture house of Chełm so far. Every day hundreds of people gather in three dance groups including soloist. Slavomir Pendzya is the leader of group and is in the group for 30 years. For fi ve years Mariola Pendzya has been instructing and choreographing in the ensemble. Cultivating and promoting the Polish folklore for 35 years the ensemble is a hallmark of being the Ambassador of the Polish folk culture in the country and abroad. With quite a few number of costumes, in the program they perform 18 choreographies, folk dances (Polonaise, Krakovyanka, Mazur, Suite, Kujawiak), regional (of Chelm, Lublin, Podlaskie, Rzeszów, Łowicz, and Gura Żywiec). The ensemble has gained a lot of evidence, recognition of their skills and crafts of art, including the diplomas of the Minister of Culture and Art, gratitude «To the merits for the Lublin Province», letter of gratitude from the organizers of the international folk festivals, government provinces and cities.
Senhor Vadio (Portugal)
José Flávio Martins is a musician of Porto that for over twenty years has been integrating and streamlining bands whose work has added much to our musical worldview. Now with his latest project, published «Letters of a sailor». Lord Bummer, the latest project led by the musician, whose sensitivity tests and taste are well mirrored in diff erent music travel and already with a theme in the novel TVI, «The Scorpion Kiss». For over twenty-year career the musician, lyricist and composer (and very from time to time, singer) José Flávio Martins always expressed in all groups created an immense love for traditional music, was fado or rural roots music, but never failing to extend that love - and a huge curiosity and study - to many other songs: so-called Celtic tradition, the Anglo-Saxon folk, fl amenco, jazz, tango and even some aspects of pop / rock. He has participated at concerts held in Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, the USA, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and Mali.
Evenki song and dance ensemble «Osiktakan» (Russia)
The ensemble «Osiktakan» (meaning a ‘Starlet’) was founded in 1967. Its fi rst live performance took place in 1968. In the 1970s they received the title of «national ensemble». The ensemble is the participant of local and regional festivals, the constant participant of all events held in the district, the winner of Russian and international festivals. The ensemble consists of two groups - vocal and dance, as well as it includes soloists and vocal trio. Their repertoire includes works that are the property of Evenki culture and often are the cultural heritage of Evenki people. In its work, the ensemble uses national folk instruments (tambourine, harp, noising «claws», beater, «gugara» bones). The ensemble was involved at the regional folk song contest «Sibirskaya glubinka» (Eng: Siberian backwoods) in Krasnoyarsk, Russian Festival «Siyanie Severa» (Northern Lights) in Ukhta, regional media festival «Sozvyozdie talantov» (Constellation of talents), III and IV International Festival «Stran Aziatsko-tixookeanskovo regiona» (of the Asia-Pacifi c region), Krasnoyarsk International festival of ethnic music and crafts «Mir Sibiri» (World Siberia) in Shushenskoe village.
«Sibirskie uzory» (Russia)
The ensemble «Siberskie uzory» of Smolensk culture house was formed in 1982. In 1995, the team was awarded the title «National Ensemble». With its professionalism, excellent performance style the ensemble has already gained high appreciation of the audience and respect of the colleagues. In-depth knowledge and brilliant performance of folk songs, preserving the best traditions of musical culture and spiritual values of the nation provided huge success for the ensemble. The team consists of ten participants, who perform Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Siberian songs and songs that are specifi c for Novosibirsk region, with the dance performances as accompaniment. Among the major prizes the team has been: - Laureate of the 1st stage of the allRussia festival «Sings the native village» in Irkutsk and Orenburg; - Laureate of the award named after G. Zavolokin; - Laureate of the Golden Culture Book of the Novosibirsk Region with the nomination «The best team of the year»; -Laureate of the International Festival «Radzima Moya Belarus» in Tomsk. By invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Belarus Republic, the team took part in the festivities in Grodno city in 2010 and in Minsk in 2014 with full energy and harmony.
«Rice of the East» (Singapore)
Nadi Singapura Ltd presents «Rice of the East», a gallant array of multiethnic folk tunes and lyrical melodies in a musical conversation, featuring a collaboration with Ding Yi Music Company. This organic and eclectic collision features the historic instruments like Dizi, Suona, Ruan, Sheng, Erhu and the mighty drums of the Malayan Archipelago such as Rebana, Kompang, Hadrah, Marwas and Jidur with fl avor and nuances of the Indian Maharaj. The amalgamation of the diff erent contrasting sounds from these instruments exemplifi es the spirit of harmony in diversity and beauty in commonality. Formed in November 2011, the Nadi Singapura ensemble is made up of young, aspiring and impartial musicians who believe in uplifting their traditional drums and percussions like none other. Established in 2007, Ding Yi Music Company is recognized as Singapore’s one of the most prodigious Chinese chamber music ensembles. Captivating audiences with its distinctive approach to music-making and dedication to showcasing a vast repertoire that extends from traditional Chinese music to contemporary avant-garde interpretations and cross-genre works, the ensemble has premiered many compositions by award-winning composers.
Folk Ensemble ŠARIŠAN (Slovakia)
ŠARIŠAN - Folklore ensemble, established by PKO (Park kultury a oddychu - Culture and recreation park) in Prešov, Slovakia, is a leading representative of Šariš region folk dance and music. Over 60 young people play, sing and dance in the ensemble, annually performing at over 70 live shows in Slovakia as well as abroad. Programmes of Sarisan ensemble are inspired by lavish folk dance and music traditions of East Slovakia regions - Šariš, Zemplín, Spiš, and Gemer. They signifi cantly represent Slovak cultural heritage all over the world. From its beginning Sarisan ensemble is unique with its original dramaturgy, successful experimental choreography and using wide scale of untraditional folk instruments. Spectators appreciate humorous, sensitive and technically perfected staging of dancing and musical-singing scenes. Folklore experts keep being impressed by originality of adapting to original folklore material as well as by top technical level of performers. Over the years of activity Sarisan ensemble have won a number of prizes and titles from the most prestigious folklore festivals in Slovakia as well as from its 110 performances at festivals all over the world. Sarisan’s professional musicians background enabled to issue 50 albums.
The Balkan Rog (Slovenia)
The name Balkan of the group, is due to the various origins of musicians coming from various Balkan regions – Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and playing its instruments. The term Rog originates from one of these traditional instruments - a horn. All musicians of the group «The Balkan Rog» met each other at the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Ljubljana in 2012, and later set up the group Balkan Rog playing at the various festivals «My Talisman». This group consists of musicians: Željko Filipović, Dževad Becic, Zoran Mosic, Maks Košenina, Gjorgji Cincievski. Željko Filipović is the Trainer of the Tambura’s group Communa in Slovenia and Dževad Becic plays and performs the Macedonian and Greek music. One of the talented artists of group is Zoran Mosic who can play the following instruments: saxophone and clarinet, guitar, jambo. Maks Košenina, the youngest member of the group started playing the folklore group in Skofje Loka – with the tours in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and France. Gjorgji Cincievski from 15 years has been playing in various folklore’s music groups playing on the guitar.
Voices of Africa (South Africa)
Established in 2009, Voices of Africa is a world-class gospel music group and the pioneers of African a cappella songs. They blend and combine African gospel praise songs with African traditional music and beat, incorporate it into one incredible sound and style. This newly created a cappella music style consists of dynamic vocal hymns and harmony, African rhythm and power which entertain and feed the soul. Although their fi rst aim is to sing for pleasure, they also want to transmit this feeling and promote the unique culture of South Africa through music internationally. Their vision is always to remain a world class musical arts group, well diversifi ed and integrated that praises rich African music and culture. It also aims to structure a music Institution which will enhance relationships among Business Units for economic development with local and international stakeholders opening opportunities for cultural exchange. Their mission is to motivate the youth and portray an image of success.
With the purpose of developing and enhancing music heritage Shashmakom the ensemble of makom performers under the initiative of Bobojon Gafurov was established at the Committee of TV and Radio broadcast of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. The ensemble is lead by Bobokul Fayzulloev, Shokhnazar Sokhibov and Fazliddin Shakhobov. Prominent teachers and masters invited talented musicians and solo performers in order to develop makom overall. During 54 years the ensemble added all parts of shashmakom and traditional art to the Golden fund of the TV and Radio broadcast Committee. In 1978, 1983, and 1987 the ensemble took part in the International Music Symphosium in Samarkand, as well as other events in Tajikistan and abroad. In 2000 according to the decree of the President to develop the art of performing Shashmakom, the ensemble was give the title «National». National Ensemble of Shashmakom has performed abroad in Iran, France, Russia, China, Kazakhstan and other countries.
S.Rachaphruk Mangkla Music Band (Thailand)
Mangkla music is the folk music performance of the lower northern Thailand, a region that is centered around with the historic city of Sukhothai. Mangkla comes from the word Mongkol which means an auspicious and prosperous thing. In this regard, Mangkla music means an auspicious music that is performed in the favorable events. At present, Mangkla music is widely performed in Sukhothai and Pitsanulok province. With its unique and joyful presentation of sound, rhythm and dance, Mangkla music represents the way of people’s living in that area. In 2009 S.Rachaphruk Mangkla Music Band has won the fi rst prize from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and from that time on the band has been co-operating with the Department of Cultural Promotion, Ministry of Culture in music promoting activities. Males dress up in a local Thai style and wrap their waists with colorful local cloths, some decorate their faces with powder. Females dress up in local style and wrap around their breasts with colorful cloths.
«Turk dunyasi muzik toplulugu» Shavk Kirchichek (Turkеy)
Şavk Kirçiçek got her fi rst music education as a member of the Turkish Youth Chorus at Turkish State Radio and Television in 1995. She also performed at a very big festival organized with the soloists of the orchestra in 1996. During 1998-2002 she studied at «Department of ethnomusicology and folklore» of the Hacettepe University State Conservatory. In 1999 with the Tümata society under the leadership of Dr. Rahmi Oruç Güvenç she prepared a research project on «Music Therapy and Treatment». She did a research on «Drama and Music Education» at the Contemporary Arts Association. As a result she completed the project «Creative Drama and Leadership». In 2004 Şavk Kirçiçek began her career as a singer at Ankara State Turkish World Music Ensemble of the Ministry of Culture and still continuing on this job. She aims at promoting Turkish traditional music in Turkic spoken countries and also abroad. Şavk Kirçiçek carefully examines the progress of traditional music samples’ history, compiles and writes notes on them and archives them. Then she off ers this music to the public in accompaniment with Turkish World music ensemble by giving regular concerts both in Turkey and abroad, performing for TV and radio programs, and also by publishing albums.
«Bakhshi» trio Turkmenistan
Trio Baxshi was established named after «Saparmurad Turkmenbashi the Great» at the disposal of the Palace of Culture in 2015 Mary, Turkmenistan. It consisted of Rozyev Bagtyyar Jumandurdiev Guvanch, Tuxtamyshov Akmuxammet. Music group performs masterpieces of the art of the Turkmen national baxshi. Team successfully has been taken part in a number of international artistic performances like X International Culture and Art Festival «Days of Anatolia» in 2013 in Turkey, a music festival which was held in Azerbaijan in March 2013. The art repertoire of the group based on the epics of Turkmen people and be performed as a trio. Such a creative approach to ancient heritage demonstrates the elements of its loyalty and modernity.
Ali Obaed (United Arab Emirates)
Musician Ali Obaed was born in Al Fujairah in 1980. After his graduation, Ali Obaed dreams to develop Emirati Music and making it universal with the performances of his band «Takht Al Emirate». Despite it has been newly established, the band took part in several local and international festivals, because of the musician’s faith and insistence on success. Ali Obaed bears huge inspirations to discover Emirati music all over the world. Moreover, the music band aims to show the Emirate’s traditional musical instruments which remain as treasure to the coming generations. Delivering it to the new generations and keeping it as element of the national identity and Emirati Existence in the future is what Ali Obaed is trying to reach. He is distinguished with his genuine passion, sentiment feeling, and innovation in music. Takht Al Emirate band has taken a part in a row of festivals, conferences, and events which are organized by the local and international organizations. With its concerts the band has been to Seoul/Republic of Korea, London/the UK, Canada, and Turkmenistan with its performances.
«Veseli Musiki» (Ukraine)
Today «Vesolie muzykanti» (Cheerful Musicians) is surely one of the most famous Ukrainian groups performing folk music. The ensemble was founded in 1981. Since 1988, the ensemble has been performing at the National Philharmonic of Ukraine. «Veseli Musiki» is considered to be one of the most famous music groups, not only in Ukraine but also abroad. Besides the local ones, the musicians of the ensemble have given 46 concerts internationally. Among them is the performance for the royal family of Scotland, in the United Nations Organization, in front of the presidents of Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, Estonia, Belarus, and many others. They participated and were awarded as the best at many international folklore festivals, including: Kaltenberg volksfest (1991 Germany), Folk for Peace (1990 Scotland), Маковецкая струна (1992 Slovakia), Riverfest -competition (1993 the USA, Texas), International Hackbret (1995 Germany) etc. In 2000, for the signifi cant personal contribution to the popularization of Ukrainian folk songs and high professionalism, all of the artists of the ensemble were awarded the title «Honored Artist of Ukraine».
«Native Pride Dancers» (The USA)
Native Pride Dancers are known internationally for their high-energy show which features an innovative blend of modern and traditional Native American dance style. Their dance is contemporary, and yet primal as they use every muscle and breath to express their rich cultural heritage. The dancers off er a variety of dance types from solo to large ensemble productions designed for classrooms, as well as, theaters. Based in Minnesota, the Native Pride Dancers represent a proud and vibrant tradition for local, national and international audiences. They celebrate the spirit and beauty of indigenous people. As individual artists, they join together as one! They honor their elders through music, dance and storytelling to refl ect the rich cultural history and customs passed down from generation to generation. They share the true history of bravery, fortitude, generosity and wisdom. The members are passionately devoted to keeping their traditions alive. Feel the beat of the drum, experience the hypnotizing power of dance, and enjoy the rhythm of the music as the Native Pride Dancers share the cultural history, traditions, ways, beliefs, and spiritual importance of indigenous peoples.
Kutinya band (Zimbabwe)
The name «Kutinya» evolved from the fastidious and euphoric marimba (wooden xylophone) play art. A marimba player, Nicholas Manomano, took the initiative of founding Kutinya Marimba Music Center together with the former Marimba players of the Dominican Convent High School and Prince Edward School in Harare (capital of Zimbabwe). This took place in 1999. Over the years, it expanded and accommodated players from other schools such as Gateway, Harare International School and many others providing marimba tuition. As the demand for tuition increased, the band was promoted to become a music institution whose artwork vibrated in all corners of Harare. Another instrument of the group, mbira (also called kalimba, sanza or thumb-piano), is nearly a 1000-yearsold music instrument from Africa. The European denomination for it is ‘Lamellophone’, although this term does not only describe mbiras, but also very many similar types. Although mbira is common in all areas of Southern Africa, only in Zimbabwe it has developed its own art of playing. Besides marimba and mbira, the band plays the ngoma - South African bass drum, hosho - pumpkin rattles, nyunganyunga /karimba - other members of lamellaphone instruments family, besides mbira.
Lingua Franca Ensemble (Greece, Cyprus)
Lingua Franca Ensemble circumnavigates on a musical wandering. A journey during which the rich eastern Mediterranean traditions blend and compose a colorful soundscape using music as their common language. The ensemble creates and performs music with respect to the character of the modal music cultures, based on the Classical Music tradition such as the Ottoman, Byzantine and Arabic as well as folk music idioms such as that of the Black sea region and the coastal music of the Aegean Sea. The original compositions of the ensemble create a foundation; a point of departure of improvised musical dialogues which lead the ensemble and the audience to unknown destinations. Being free from the need to create expressive exaggerations, Lingua Franca leads the audience on an emotional journey, off ering euphoria. In March, 2015, Lingua Franca Ensemble recorded Ephemera, their debut album. Ephemera’s intention is to musically capture and depict instants and emotions that are condemned to transience.
Gotrasawala Ensemble and Ana Alcaide (Indonesia/Spain)
Gotrasawala Ensemble (GE) isGotrasawala Festival’s on going project in world music that was conceived and produced by Franki Raden, a prominent composer-ethnomusicologist from Indonesia. The project is a collaborative musical work between West Javanese musicians and Ana Alcaide from Spain. The main goal for this project is to develop new musical possibilities and horizon in the 21st century based on intercultural collaboration between Indonesian Indonesian musicians and musicians from diff erent countries. GE started in 2013 and did it world premier performance during Gotrasawala Festival at the same year. GE’s music director for this specifi c work is Ana Alcaide, a highly talented Spanish singer and composer from Madrid. Gotrasawala Ensemble’s fi rst album entitled: «GOTRASAWALA ENSEMBLE: The Tales of Pangae» has received good reviews in various Indonesian and European music magazines such as Songlines (UK). Recently, the album got into number 15 of World Music Chart in Europe.
Akmal Usmonov va Alisher Abdugapirov (Uzbekistan)
Akmal Usmonov and Alisher Abdugapirov have already been awarded for their prestigious work of continuing the traditions. As for the musicians of the group, Ibrokhim Ilkhomov was the winner of Republican competition in ghidjak contest, Kamoliddin Dzhuraev for rubab instrument, and Dilmuroddzhon Abdudzhalilov gained this same prize for nai instrument. Hasanov Tolibdjon is the music director. Their repertory contains classical Uzbek songs, shashmakam compilations, prominent works by professional Uzbek composers, samples of «Katta ashula» style which are most touching of all Uzbek music heritage. Akmal Usmonov and Alisher Abdugapirov have been participating at a number of national events, receptions, and festivities. Their works have been broadcast on TV and Radio. Besides, they have organized a few charity concerts (for nursing homes, orphanages etc.) Their main aim is to reinvent, reproduce and represent the traditional vocal and instrumental works by keeping its authenticity which are the most precious part of the nation’s everyday life.
Gulzoda Khudoynazarova (Uzbekistan)
Quite impressive singing style has the well-known Uzbek singer Gulzoda Khudoinazarova who was born in Bukhara in 1981. After fi nishing school, she applied for the Bukhara State University of Arts, department of «Traditional vocals». During her student years Gulzoda took part in a number of republican competitions successfully. In 2001, at yet another Republican contest in Marghilan named after «Jurakhon Sultonov and Ma’murdjon Uzokov» she gained the 2nd place award. After having completed the education there, she was accepted at the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. Distinguishing singer of her time Gulzoda again got awarded at the 6th republican makam performers competition named after Yunus Radjabi. Being inspired by her successful performances she decided to give a solo concert the same year at «Zarafshan» concert hall for all the traditional music lovers. That same year she was awarded «Nihol» award on classical singing. Continuing pleasing her music fans she organized a next solo concert called «Istiqlol farzandiman» (Me as the generation of Independence) at «Istiqlol» (Independence) arts center in 2004. During 2005-2007 she studied Music of the Orient Master Program at the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan. After having graduated from the Master Study, Gulzoda Khudoinazarova started her career at the makam ensemble named after Yunus Radjabi. Till now she is an active performer at the festivities like Independence day, Navruz, and the concerts dedicated to Teachers’ Day, Constitution Day and the Day of Country’s Defenders.
Yulduz Turdieva (Uzbekistan)
A prominent singer Yulduz Turdieva was born in Bukhara in 1985. When she was a young girl she took part in the competitions organized as part of the competition «O’zbekiston Vatanim manim» (Uzbekistan - my homeland). Moreover, Independence Day celebrations and Navruz festivities were also a performance scene of her mesmerizing voice. After having graduated from the Arts College of Bukhara, Yulduz participated at the Republican young contestants of music performers in 2003 and was awarded the 1st place prize. During her student years as part of her artistic destinations she performed in France, Germany, Ukraine, Holland and many other countries. In 2009 she got the 1st place award at the «International Mugham Festival» in Baku, Azerbaijan. The same year Melaka Archipelago Drum Festival XII, Malaysia welcomed her and there her performance was praised as very enchanting and was awarded the top prize. In 2010 she got «Nikhol» award, the prize created to motivate young music performers. Musicologists of Middle East and Mediterranean area got interested in her artistic abilities. She performed Uzbek classic makams in Syria, Morocco, Israel and other countries’ festivals. That’s why she is helping to spread the Uzbek classical ways of singing all over the world. Besides, she took part in the Navruz festivities organized by cultural and arts ministries of France, Belgium, Spain, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Israel and Germany.
«Stars of Aykulash» (Uzbekistan)
Established in 1966, the ensemble was addressed with diff erent names till it gained its present name - «Stars of Aykulash» in 2005. During its career the ensemble has gained the recognition of not only the whole Uzbek nation, but also foreign audience with its Karakaplak national music and songs and its attractive dances. «Stars of Aykulash» has travelled to Germany, France, India with its concert programs. They are appreciated everywhere with great admiration. Almost all of the singers and dancers of the ensemble have been taking part in national and offi cial events, public festivities, international festivals, and other celebrations that are held in the country regularly.