Rough Guide: Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival
The Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival started back in 2005 and is one of the biggest events of it's kind in Central and Eastern Europe. More than one hundred and fifty individual artists and groups have featured in the festival over the years, and 2012's programme is jam-packed with phenomenal acts from across the globe.
Read on for World Music Network's exclusive top tips of the festival....
Gasparyan Iis one of Armenia’s most-loved musicians and is renowned for his virtuosic skills on the duduk, an ancient instrument similar to the oboe. Jivan began to play a the age of six, and now visits Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival with an extremely distinguished career behind him and exciting projects ahead. In 2002 he won the WOMEX award for lifetime contribution to music.
His music features re-workings and arrangements of traditional Armenian folk songs. His live line-up includes three duduk players, allowing audiences to experience the full instrumental family: soprano, tenor, baritone and bass.
Ayarkhaan are a female vocal group from Sakha(Yakutia) Republic. The ensemble was created to promote Yakut folk music and song styles, such as Khabarha Yryata and Tanalai Yryata. The group was founded by Albina Degtyareva who performs with her two identical twin daughters, Nurguyaana and Tuyaara.
Their music features reverberating khomus’ (like a Jew’s-harp) played creatively and with strong improvisatory episodes and the trio's sung vocals. Ayarkhaan’s distinctive costumes and enigmatic stage-presence always capture the audience’s imagination.
Ahn Sook-Sun is remarkable singer of pansori - a specific vocal style used to perform ancient Korean epics. Hailing from South Korea, Ahn Suk-Sun began singing at the age of nine and has gone on to dizzy heights, with an international career that has taken her to stages in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Her singing style is characterized by huge swooping dynamics and intensely felt emotion.
Boubacar Traore is the inimitable guitarist from Mali who pioneered playing Mandingo music on the electric guitar. In his sound you can hear shadows of traditional kora technique while his phrasing locks into the portentous African American blues arc.
Boubacar first came to prominence at home in the early 1960s and was a superstar symbol of the newly independent Mali. Despite his popularity he didn’t record his first full album until 1990 in Paris.Mariama, now a classic, is a poignant and melancholic work which was popular at home in Mali, and in the French diaspora communities. This September Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival present an un-missable opportunity to see one of the world’s finest West African blues legends up close and personal.
As well as enjoying all the great music above and more, visitors to Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival can take part in workshops. The programme presents a unique opportunity to play traditional, hand-made percussion instruments of the Near East.
Indian Singing Class - Master Anoop Mishra (India)
Korean Singing Class – Master Ahn Sook-sun (South Korea)
Rhythm Class – Master Bijan Chemirani (Iran)
Indian Violin Class – Master Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (India)
Improvisation Class – Master Vladiswar Nadishana (Siberia, Russia)
Dance and Musical Expression Class – Master Kilema (Madagascar)
Meeting the Master – Master Alexey Arkhipovskiy (Russia)
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