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Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival
10 years of World Music!
Throughout July on Heroes’ Square
Rialto Theatre celebrates ten years since it first introduced a series of open air, musical events on Heroes Square open to the public, and aiming at the development of the culture of tolerance and acceptance in a multicultural world. Ever since, the colourful Ethnic Festival grew and differentiated from its initial form, changing its name to Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival, yet remaining a meeting point for music groups and sounds of the world.
In 2011, with its integration in the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals, it mainly put its focus on countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, following the idea that a common approach and identity is determined by the geographical, historical and cultural relations between the countries of the region, recorded in their musical traditions.
Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival is one of the 11 Festivals of Cyprus that were honoured this year with their inclusion in the EFFE programme– Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe. This is a particularly important distinction for the Festival within the uropean cultural map, offering new perspectives for collaboration and further development.
Rialto Theatre transfers its main stage on the Square throughout the month of July, sharing music with a growing audience; Music originating from tradition, but with strong contemporary elements. The Festival showcases music performances with common origins and influences, drawing inspiration from every country’s tradition, mainly from the Mediterranean region, with Cyprus becoming the bridge amongst them.
The soul of Portugal emerges with Claudia Madur’s concert, as this young singer is considered one of the country’s most beautiful voices, giving new essence to fado. Yamma Ensemble, from the neighbouring country of Israel, incorporate musical elements from the Middle East with music forms from the West. Combining melismatic riches of the Eastern Maqam and the charming irregular rhythms, they also explore the territory of free improvisation. Savina Yianatou and Primavera en Salonico perform Songs of Thessaloniki, a city which has been a welcoming home to several cultures, religions, ethnic groups, allowing them to express their uniqueness. In this multilingual repertoire, Yiannatou’s performance is dazzling as she becomes an ambassador of the myths of the city.
The participation of Cypriot artists is also dynamic this year, marked with the presence of three music groups. Afro Banda Banana, devoted to the sounds of Afrobeat music, combines traditional rhythms of African dance tradition together with jazz and funk sounds. This nine-member band promises plenty of dancing, accompanied by vocals, percussions, strings, funk riffs.
The Amalgamation Choir, directed by Vasiliki Anastasiou, performs traditional-like compositions and rearranged traditional songs. A journey that balances between the sounds of the cool Mediterranean breeze, the echoes of the Balkan mountains and the rich tones of polyphonic traditions.
Finally, Rumba Attack perform a diverse repertoire, with a strong Flamenco essence: their own compositions, selected rearrangements of old Greek songs, and guest artists in a musical journey of ethnic sounds.
The Festival is proud of the established Rialto Residency, which started in 2012 and the past years it is being utilised with the collaboration of Platres village. This is a programme of musical encounters, where Cypriot musicians meet and collaborate with guest artists from abroad. This year, the Rialto Residency hosts the world acclaimed musician Ross Daly. he virtuoso musician, playing a variety of instruments- Cretan lyra, Afghan rabab, lute, Constantinople lyra, sarangi, oud, saz, tambur, - has come together with great musicians of the world, working with the musical discipline inspired by eastern traditions, and exploring at the same time new forms and creative improvisations.
A new, revisited interpretation of various music traditions shall emerge through the common study of Ross Daly with artists resident in Cyprus, and Kelly Thoma, and it will be showcased at Platres Cultural Centre. A live extract of their collective music journey will also be performed in the brisk summer air of Caledonia Falls in Platres Village.
All the events of the Festival will be free and open to the public and invite audiences of various ethnic backgrounds, either residents of Cyprus, immigrants or visitors, to join this colourful celebration of World Music and our multicultural world.