top of page

9th Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival

Monsieur Doumani

Monsieur Doumani, nominated for 'Best Newcomer' in Songlines Music Awards 2014, was formed in 2011 in Nicosia by Antonis Antoniou Angelos Ionas and Demetris Yiasemides. Although each member of Monsieur Doumani comes from a different musical background all three are influenced by Cypriot folklore on various levels. They focus on rearranging Cypriot traditional songs adding their own particular color to the sound and feeling of the songs. They also compose their own songs in the Cypriot dialect, which are inspired by contemporary Cypriot society, as for example the recent financial crisis that hit the island and the corrupted political system.


Even though their musical education was mainly oriented towards Western musical paths, neither of them has ever ignored the simplicity, the beauty and the unique melodies of their land’s traditional music. It is this uniqueness that Monsieur Doumani has focused upon, enriching traditional songs with new arrangements, melodies, rhythms and sounds and crafting a style distinctively their own. The traditional element is highlighted through the diversity of musical styles echoed in the group’s fresh and daring approach to the Cypriot folklore.



Antonis Antoniou: tzouras

Aggelos Ionas: guitar

Demetris Yiasemides: wind instruments



The Korrontzi group is famous for its dynamic and modern results, similar to the Celtic music, highlighting the Basque’s traditional music through instruments like accordion and a combination of various oboes.



Agus Barandiaran: trikitixas (accordion), txalaparta, voice

Ander Hurtado de Saratxo: percussions, txalaparta, drums

Kike Mora: double bass, electric bass, vocals

Alberto Rodríguez: guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, vocals


(9/7 @ Pafos’ Love Square within the framework of the collaboration with Pafos2017)

Ensemble Lingua Franca

The term "lingua franca" is from a particular example, Meditteranean Lingua Franca. Lingua Franca was a mixed language composed mostly (80%) of Italian with a broad vocabulary drawn from Old French, Greek, Arabic, Portuguese, Occitan and Spanish. It was in use throughout the eastern Mediterranean as the language of commerce and diplomacy in and around the Renaissance era.


(Source: Wikipedia)


Lingua Franca circumnavigates on a musical wandering. A journey during which the rich eastern mediterranean traditions and western music elements blend and compose a colourful soundscape using music as their common language.


The ensemble creates and performs music with respect to the character of the modal music cultures. Being free from the need to create expressive exaggerations, Lingua Franca leads the audience on an emotional journey, offering euphoria.  


The members originated from Greece, Cyprus and German carry with them their own geographic musical experiences. The just ten years old atmospheric sound of the tarhu blends with the intense and bright color of the violin creating a unique alloy. The emotional though dynamic voice of the oud perfectly matches the multilateral and powerful character of the percussions.


Finally the oldest of all instruments, the human voice, comes to fulfil the final painting.

Lingua Franca creates and performs music with respect to the character of the modal music cultures. Being free from the need to create expressive exaggerations, the ensemble leads the audience on an emotional journey, offering euphoria.



Michalis Cholevas: tarhu, yayli, tambour, ney

Michalis Kouloumis: violin

Giannis Koutis: oud, fretless guitar, voice

Ruven Ruppik: percussions


Trio Constantinople

The siblings Kiya and Ziya Tabassian of Persian origin are researching and interpreting the musical traditions of the East. Illuminating East and West, the band was established in 1998 in Montreal as a forum for the crossroad of traditions. During the last decade, the group has performed 35 new concerts in about 120 cities in 22 countries. The virtuoso musicians of sitar and tombak collaborate with great instrument players from all over the world, like the virtuoso oud musician and composer Kyriako Kalaitzides from Salonica, Greece.



Kiya Tabassian: sitar, voice

Ziya Tabassian: tombak, percussions

Kyriakos Kalaitzides: oud


(21/7 @ Geroskipou Pafos within the framework of the collaboration with Pafos2017)


Constantinople is nominally a French-Canadian early-music trio, based in Montreal. But it is not quite that simple. It was founded in 1998 by Kiya Tabassian, an Iranian-born performer on the setar: a Persian lute with a long, rounded neck. The ensemble, which Mr. Tabassian directs, includes his brother, Ziya Tabassian, a percussionist who is particularly adept on the Persian tombak, a goblet-shaped drum, and Pierre-Yves Martel, a viola da gamba player who splits his time between Montreal and Paris. But the group seems rarely to work in this stripped-down form: its Web site lists a long roster of regular collaborators who play Middle Eastern stringed instruments and sing, as well as a flamenco guitarist, a clarinetist and a D.J.

Both ensembles have performed in a number of Canadian cities. Kiya has collaborated with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on several occasions as a performer and special co-host. In addition, he performs regularly throughout the U.S., France, Greece and Mexico, both as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians.

Rialto Residency

Rialto’s Institution goes on for this year as well. The musical traditions of Persia and the East are the benchmark and meeting point this year of different musicians from Persia, Greece and Cyprus. Through residing and studying together, the artists develop a renewed reading of various musical traditions, aiming at a new common approach. The result is presented at the Cultural Centre of Platres. 


Artistic Director: Kyriakos Kalaitzides, oud


Kiya Tabassian: setar, voice

Ziya Tabassian: tombak, percussions

Petros Kizas: percussions

Anna Aristidou: violin, voice

Dimitra Ramp: qanun 


The Rialto Residency is sposored by the Anna Lindh Foundation


Neta Elkayam

"Inspired by their childhood, and as a gesture to Jewish artists from North Africa, Neta and Amit created two music videos that have been uploaded to the internet, garnering much praise and curiosity. From there, the two began to put together a musical performance with musicians that were raised on the same music. Today, they are the young generation which is spearheading the revival of Moroccan music in Israel.


With one foot in the past, and all the while continuing to deepen their understanding the music, the group sought to revive Moroccan music at exactly the point at which it was halted. However, they also sought to remain true to themselves: the children of Jews from the Maghreb, with a desire to continue and propel the music into the future, and write new arrangements for material that is relevant to today.


Neta Elkayam: voice

Amit Hai Cohen: piano

Elad Levi: violin

Netanel Ben Shitrit: darbuka

Moshe Bakhar: oud

The Amalgamation project

The band was established by Vasiliki Anastasiou, interpreting his own compositions. It also borrows and re-arranges traditional melodies from countries around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea but also from the whole of the Balkan Peninsula.

Project’s musicians make new music by sharing experiences from the jazz scene, classical and traditional music.


The Amalgamation project is more of a musical process than a band a collective of musicians sharing the vision of music with no borders (physical nor mental) and getting together to just play; Vasiliki invites guest musicians from different backgrounds usually jazz, classical and folk, to share musical thoughts and experiment with the blend The Amalgamatiion project is a cocktail of musical influences, traditions, experiences, colours and sounds, creating a cross-cultural bridge    connecting the ancient with the modern.



Vasiliki Anastasiou: voice, compositions, research

Ermis Michael: guitar, song harmonization

Alkis Agathokleous: ney

Nicolas Tryfonos: double bass

Stelios Xydias: drums



An original Mediterranean band whose music schools, influences and the origin of the five musicians coming from Italy, France, Austria and Basque’s Country result in an  incredible and enthusiastic mixture of rhythm and songs that can thrill all audiences.


SAffrAn! was put to the boil in simmering Barcelona a few fried eggs ago and today, between greetings and goodbyes, it keeps on cooking its tasty theatrical music dishes every day. With the different textures of their instruments, they sauté traditional folk  songs and french chanson, specialising in swing-klezkan-mediterranean rhythms. On the   menu they also have new dishes, such as homemade songs and original blends. A lot of saffron humour is the secret of the chef, and like good wine it carrys on getting better with every beat. Et voilá! Grilled Klipsy-Swing coming right up. Bon appetit!


SAffrAn! cooks nowadays in Barcelona, in music halls, theatres, bars and in the street. In Catalonia's villages they present their menu too, mainly in cultural centres, local festivals, weddings, divorces and other private events. Out of Spain, they have participated in several street festivals - Ferrara Buskers Festival (2012), Festa del Rosso Conero (2013) - and have toured in Switzerland (2013)


Arnim Scheidel (Austria)– violin, chorus and coffee pot

Francesca Frigeri (Italy) – voice and teapot

Manu Barandiaran (Basque Country)– cello, chorus and Rumba

Don Raphaël (France)– accordeon, wine box, chorus and jokes

Martial Larbourlette-Mehat (France) – guitar and bottles

bottom of page