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World Music Festival

This multiday festival is dedicated to world music, folk music and fusions with other genres, 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 center 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.

The festival provides a lot of space for startup groups to showcase themselves, with music journalists and promoters from outside Slovakia in attendance. In 2017 the World Music Festival was admitted to the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (EFWMF).

Karolina Cicha is currently one of the most popular and followed singers on the Polish music scene. She plays a number of instruments at the same time and uses various vocal techniques she has invented herself. In her successful album she sings in 9 languages and plays with Bart Palyg, another multi-instrumentalist. The songs on this album were composed to lyrics sung in the ethnic minority languages of the Podlesie region of Poland. This cooperation results in a modern mix of styles in which both Karolina and Bart have space to show off all the dimensions of their talent. Karolina has won several awards such as the GRAND PRIX and The Viewer´s Award ­ New Tradition prize at the 2013 Polish Radio Folk Festival.

Oratnitza is a Bulgarian group whose 2016 album Folktron and particularly energetic live concerts have attracted a lot of interest. This band combines dubstep, ethno-fusion and instruments such as the Bulgarian kaval plus the didgeridoo, ‘gajdy’ and ‘cajón’. Singers who have brought fame to the Bulgarian polyphonic songs in Mystery of Bulgarian Voices and Cosmic Voices from Bulgaria enrich the sound of the band by adding a new dimension. Bulgarian polyphonic songs work with rapid-fire drum and bass in a combination that will win you over by the end of the gala concert.

Renaud Garcia-Fons is a French contrabassist whose work is widely respected by jazz and world music fans. His performances are distinguished by fantastic playing technique that turns his five-string contrabass into a melodic and percussion instrument capable of playing jazz, rock, flamenco and Persian music. Mediterranean music is also close to him, yet he is a popular partner for various crossovers as well. His Slovak and international fans now have a unique opportunity to see this top world musician perform as he literally pushes the frontiers of this kind of music. In Bratislava, he will be playing with Deryan Türkan, a Turkish Eastern Mediterranean ‘kemenche’ virtuoso. Together they provide an exceptional concert combining both the biggest and smallest string instrument. This performance should not be missed by any fan of high quality music.

The BEST OF World Music featuring top performers can be seen at the World Music Festival GALA CONCERT on September 23.


Thanks to the festival general partner Slovak Arts Council and other important partners such as the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, City of Bratislava, The Old Town of Bratislava, Central European Foundation, Music Fund of Slovakia, SOZA, the festival offers a wide range of events and concerts for both the general public and professionals.

05:30 PM Námestie SNP (square)-Hlavné námestie (square) Maribondo – drum parade across the city
06:00-08:00 PM SND (Slovak National Theatre), Námestie SNP (square), tunnel, waterfront Festival tram
06:00 PM KC Dunaj, Nedbalova 3 Kalascima Workshop – drumming and pizzica taranta dance
08:00 PM KC Dunaj, Nedbalova 3 The Dance House – teaching folk dances and 15th anniversary celebration of the DH’s existence
Friday (SEPTEMBER 22, 2017)
10:00 AM Zichyho palác (palace), Ventúrska 9 Conference – Slovak Traditional Music and World Music – speeches
01:00:00-02:00 PM


Zichyho palác (palace), Ventúrska 9 Workshop with live demonstrations – Muzikantské “harmaňije” from Telgárt and Šumiac
04:00 PM Kontakt, Ventúrska 12 Discussion:  On the Need for a Dialogue in Today’s Society
06:00-08:00 PM SND (Slovak National Theatre), Námestie SNP (square), tunnel, waterfront Festival tram
05:30 PM


Námestie SNP (square)-Hlavné námestie (square) Maribondo – drumming in the city
06:00 PM Hlavné námestie (square) Showcase and concert, free entry:
Ľubomír Gašpar Cimbal Project
08:10 PM Banda
09:00 PM Kalascima (ITA)
Saturday (SEPTEMBER 23, 2017)
10:30 AM – 01:00 PM Zichyho palác (palace), Ventúrska 9 Conference – Foreign speeches for musicians and professionals
02:00 PM Hviezdoslavovo námestie (square) Program for children, free entry:
Pastierske hry
Za slovenskými piesňami- CHFE Gerulata performance
La Portella – Children’s Latino show (40 min)
03:00 PM Poľský inštitút (Polish Institute), Námestie SNP 27 (square) Discussion – The Roma’s Image in Today’s Society


04:00 PM Hlavné námestie (square) Showcase, free entry:
Ľudové mladistvá (SR)
Band from Open Call- Audience voting
Katarína Máliková (SR)
07:00 PM Atelier Babylon, Kolárska 3 Gala concert, tickets available on site and on Predpredaj.sk
Joanna Slowinska and Muzykanci (PL)
Renaud GARCIA-FONS (F)  & Deray TÜRKAN (TUR)
Oratnitza (BUL)
11:00 PM KC Dunaj, Nedbalova 3 After party – Cuban Night
02:00 PM Zichyho palác (palace), Ventúrska 9 Workshop: Orchestra drumming – Rhythmics
06:00 PM A4 – priestor súčasnej kultúry, Karpatská 2 Festive première of the film: Ťažká duša (Heavy soul)
Screening of M. Šulík’s and ethnologist J.Belišová’s documentary and a concert


Discussion: On the Need for Dialogue in Today’s Society

Place: Kontakt, Ventúrska 12, free entry

Date and time: September 22 at 04:00 PM

Growing nationalism, extremism and xenophobia, as well as the complexity of today’s world, require a dialogue that reaches beyond the framework of individual religious, cultural and ethnic communities. These days, shadowed by information manipulation, dialogue is the only way to shed light on prejudice. However, real dialogue has to evolve out of respect for others and it has to be supported by knowledge. The varied combination of our guests will look for the answer to the question of what constitutes the essence of humanity in today’s world, where the power of the community starts and how to overcome the temptation to build walls instead of bridges.

Discussion moderated by:

Mário Nicolini – Executive Director, Forum of the World’s Religions Slovakia

Discussion: The Roma’s Image in Today’s Society
Place: Poľský inštitút (Polish Institute), Námestie SNP 27 (square), free entry
Date and time: September 23 at 03:00 PM

The Roma are perceived mainly negatively by society. The majority sees them through the optics of many stereotypes and prejudices. On the other hand, if the Roma are sought and desired by the majority in a certain area, it is for music, singing and dancing. However, this is also a stereotypical idea. These positive stereotypes can show the Roma in a better light, but they are still stereotypes, contributing to the inaccurate and deceptive image of theRoma in society.
Invited speakers, Roma women and men, will try to sum up the image and position of the Roma in society through the perspectives of their professional focus, their own identities and personal experience.

Adriana “Gitana” Dráfiová – a musician and singer, actively engaged in the non-profit sphere, devoted to working with Roma children

Jozef Šivák – television reporter, the founder of Internet news television and the Gypsy Fest – World Roma Festival Director

Stanislav Daniel – Chairman of the European Roma Grassroots Organization board of directors and Coordinator of the European network for support of the youngest Roma children

Jan Slowinski – the founder and director of the Polish music festival Etno-Krakow

Discussion moderated by:
Tomáš Hrustič is a researcher at the Institute of Ethnology SAS (Slovak Academy of Sciences). For more than 15 years he has been intensively engaged in research on various topics related to the Roma. He lived in a Roma settlement in eastern Slovakia for a long time and he speaks Roma language. He is the author of more than twenty scientific studies published in Slovakia and abroad. Since 2006, he has worked at the National Democratic Institute, a non-governmental organization, where he focuses on the political participation of the Roma.

In cooperation with the Institute of Ethnology SAS and the Polish Institute


15 years of Dance House’s existence in Slovakia

Rich cultural resources, natural communicability of traditional music and dance, and interactivity with the public are the basic pillars on which the project “Dance House” stands. It has been regularly organized by the civic association “Dragúni” in Bratislava and in Slovakia since 2002. According to its organizers, the event has already become a movement, with many regular, active participants.

The Dance House creates space for natural communication and active entertainment – the immediate use and development of traditional music-dance art under the guidance of high-quality lecturers. The concept is based on knowledge and respect for tradition. The ambition is to allow participants to experience first-hand and to create an atmosphere of live music production. It has had a stable place at the Pohoda festival for 11 years now, and the Nay Dance House is one of the most popular events at the festival.

What are its beginnings, results and visions? Where is the folk movement headed?  Who are the main people involved and what can Slovakia offer to both the European and the world music scene in this area? We will look for answers to these questions during F. Morong’s speech.

Children’s program

Place: Hviezdoslavovo námestie (square)

Date and time: September 23 at 02:00 PM

Pastierske hry (shepherds’ games) from Trenčín region

A children’s shepherds’ game from the beginning of the 20th century, played when herding geese, sheep and goats in the villages around Trenčín:

“Kocúrov ťahať

Šibeničky  preskacuvať

Za kolesom

Traf šišku do košíka

Na chodúle

Ze širákom na palici / širákový“

Commemorative photo – Dressing children in folk costumes and parents can take a photo of them

02:30 – 02:45 PM
Stage, Hviezdoslavovo námestie (square)

Za slovenskými piesňami – The performance of CHFE Gerulata

The children’s folk ensemble Gerulata has existed in Bratislava-Rusovce since 1992. The founder and head of this ensemble is the Sľuk soloist Ms Alžbeta Uhráková. She danced in the Sľuk dance ensemble for 20 years. Gerulata focuses on singing, children’s games and dances from various regions of Slovakia – from around Bratislava, Myjava, Nitra, Tekov, Považie, Liptov, Horehronie, Zemplín and Šariš.
During its existence, the ensemble has taken part in 600 performances not only in Slovakia but also abroad. It has participated in several domestic and international festivals, performances on Slovak Television, Slovak Radio and in the “Lúčnica and Children” program.
On November 25, 2017 it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

02:45 – 03:10 PM Stage, Hviezdoslavovo námestie (square)

La Portella – Children’s Latino dance show

La Portella, Children’s Dance School invites you to its children’s performances. Dances from Latin America performed by girls, among who are the world champions in Caribbean dances.

La Portella is a dance school for children from 3 years of age offering a broad view on the dancing world under the guidance of Nela Portella. All children can participate in different free-time activities, different performance and frequency categories, from hobby to competition categories, and they can combine different dance styles, such as Latino traditional dances, modern dances, gymnastics and ballet. La Portella has achieved great success in dance competitions both at home and abroad.

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