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World Music Festival

The historical centre of Bratislava will be revived by a colourful and multi-faceted festival of truly world music

World stars at gala concerts, but also a tour of the musical highlights of the domestic scene. This is all part of the popular music festival.

The seventh edition of the world music festival will take over Bratislava in the second half of August. Musicians from Slovakia, Argentina, Egypt, Cape Verde, Portugal, Poland and Ukraine will perform there.

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The aim of the biggest festival of world music in Slovakia is to offer again the best of the Slovak and international scene. The festival will also include a singing workshop for the general public and an international conference with free contributions from foreign experts.

Its biggest international star will be Vieux Farka Touré, composer, guitarist, son of the famous Ali Farka Touré, three-time Grammy winner from Mali. There will also be an energetic band Tabanka or Ricardo Silva, an excellent player on Portuguese guitar. From South America will come the Guanaco Trio, from Egypt the legendary Adel Shams el Din and Tarek Abdallah. Wernyhora from Poland and Volodymyr Voyt from Ukraine, together with Michal Smetanka, will be presented in the joint project from neighbouring countries.

Slovak performers will be represented by Sisa Michalidesová with guests, Ildikó Kali, Júlia Kozáková, folk trio Varkocs and Alapastel with vocal group Neha!.

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This time, the international festival dedicated to world music, folk music, ethnojazz and fusion with other genres, is a part of the Bratislava Cultural Summer and will offer its fans from Slovakia and abroad a varied mix of music and top performers from different parts of the world.

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The festival will start on Thursday, August 18, with an introductory event in the Klarisky Concert Hall, where the Polish trio Wernyhora, the Slovak multi-instrumentalist Michal Smetanka and the Ukrainian bandura player Volodymyr Voyt will perform. These performers will show viewers how the three neighbouring countries are culturally and historically interlinked, sharing a number of common traditions and destinies.

In the following days, performers from Cape Verde will perform for the first time in Slovakia, namely the Tabanka group with a funana dance style, or the Egyptian duo Tarek Abdallah and Adel Shams el Din, which will bring the traditional wasla style for oud and percussion.

For the first time in Slovakia will perform Ricardo Silva, an excellent player on Portuguese guitar, who, among other things, accompanied the famous fado singer Mariza. South America will be represented by the Guanaco Trio, whose members grew up in different cultural environments, but are united by their love of Argentine music.

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The performance of an artist from Mali also promises an extraordinary experience. Vieux Farka Touré is the son of the famous Ali Farek Touré, three-time Grammy holder in the world music category, but managed to step out of his father’s shadow. After a successful musical career in North America, he released this year the new album Les Racines (Roots), which follows the best traditions of “desert blues”. This album will be presented in Bratislava in a trio with an American bassist and a Malian percussionist.

The World Music Festival in Bratislava traditionally gives space to well-known or beginning musicians from Slovakia, who will introduce themselves to domestic fans and foreign delegates. This time it will be Sisa Michalidesová with a live version of the album Commedia, Ildikó Kali and her Golden Maiden, Júlia Kozáková with the project Manusha, hooligan folk trio Varkocs and the latest project of the group Alapastel with vocal group Neha!.

In addition to concerts, the festival will also offer an international conference with foreign experts and a workshop for the general public. Traditional venues, such as the courtyard of the Zichy Palace, will include some new venues, such as the Klarisky Concert Hall, Teatro Colorato and the Majestic Music Club.

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The multiday World Music Festival continues what was started by the Percussion Festival – World of the Drums that ran for four years until 2015. In 2016 the festival moved to the centre of Bratislava under its new name and expanded the program to include an international conference devoted to world music, public discussions, a children’s programme, a gala concert and accompanying events.

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