The Cross-Culture Warsaw Festival

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In September, world music will sound for the 8th time in Warsaw city centre. This year's theme is: ‘Inspirations: The Orient’. Polish capital will welcome artists from eleven countries, presenting fascinating cultures, from Central Asia to Far East. The encounter with different faces of Asia will be completed by a special film programme, prepared for the first time in collaboration with Planete Doc Film Festival. Festival will take place between 23 and 29 of September.

Direction: Asia

For seven days, in the festival tent that will stand in the centre of Warsaw, by the Palace of Culture and Science, the most famous and renowned musicians from the East will be performing. Several dozen artists from eleven countries will arrive to present the musical traditions of Central and South-East Asia, as well as Near and Far East. At the invitation from Stołeczna Estrada, the star ensemble of the festival in 2012 will include artists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and Syria.

The artists invited are living legends and ambassadors of their cultures. In their art, they refer to popular customs, rites, beliefs and mystic. Cultivating the centuries-old traditions, the musicians nurse the identity of their regions and communities, revive it and save it from oblivion, while at the same time searching for new forms and sounds for it. Inspirations: The Orient is an encounter with real Asia, rooted in tradition but going through significant changes.

The festival will open with concerts from two eminent musicians from Central Asia: Jivan Gasparyan from Armenia, virtuoso of duduk, famous for his romantic compositions and Alim Qasimov from Azerbaijan, master of the classical music known as mugham. From Yakutia, Siberia, Ayarkhaan are coming, virtuosos of khomus – one of the smallest instruments in the world. Their music, singing and ethnic clothes make up an exotic and vanguard show. Georgian choir Rustavi will sing, reviving the forgotten vocal styles and traditional dances. Al Kindi Ensemble with marvelous Turkish musicians will present the mystical Sufi music.

From Korea, we will welcome Ahn-Sook-sun, an eminent singer of pansori, a genre which, due to its almost theatrical form, is compared to opera. Playing the drums will be the Japanese group Ondekoza, promoting all over the world the taiko – spectacles of rhythm. Also performing will be the raising star of the Indian Sufi music – Raza Khan, singer and improvisor with an unparalleled vocal scale. France-born Titi Robin makes music from the bordering cultures: his compositions are influenced by the Indian, Moroccan, Turkish and European traditions. 

The festival's concert finale will direct our attention towards Africa. Mali's Boubacar Traoré will perform, a master of African blues. Young vocalist from the Ivory Coast, Dobet Gnahoré, is conquering the world: she's versatile, fearless, expressive. She knows how to captivate the public and give it amazing time.

As usual, the festival programme also includes the concert “Sum of traditions,” a common performance from the workshop masters mistrzów warsztatów, leading vocal and instrumental classes. The cycle of open workshops is an opportunity to learn from the virtuosos from such places as India, Iran, Russia and Madagascar. There will also be Children's Orientalia – workshops and concerts from the youngest, presenting, among others, dances and instruments from India.

For the first time, Warsaw Cross-Culture Festival is partnered by Planete Doc Film Festival. Kinoteka will host special screenings of films about Asian countries. Additional inter-cultural attractions will be waiting at the Festival Club in the festival tent outside the Palace of Culture and Science.

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