From Italy/ Ethiopia
Born in Ethiopia and brought up in Italy, Gabriella Ghermandi grew up in a world full of different sounds like Ethiopian, Italian, Congolese and Indian. Initially receiving accolades as a writer, Ghermandi went on to acquire a reputation as a performer of Ethiopian and Italian fusion folk music. In 2010, as an attempt to bring together Ethiopian and Italian musicians to foster mutual dialogue and artistic creation, she formed the Atse Tewodros Project. It is named after Emperor Tewodros II, the most beloved emperor of Ethiopia who was not of royal descent and rose to power and modernized Ethiopia while respecting its traditions. Atse Tewodros was the winner of Battle of Bands 2015 and International Expo Competition “Energy, Art & Sustainability for Africa” (2015). Their album “Ethiopia Celebrating Emperor Tewodros II” was also in the ballot for the 59th Grammy Awards in two categories.
One of the most original folk bands in the Polish music world, Muzykanci is famous for its incredibly talented musicians and their ways of uniting their individual styles. From performing at village weddings to the world's biggest festivals, Muzykanci has been consistently experimenting with music and making thrilling versions of Polish folk songs from various Polish, Lemko, Hungarian, Balkan, Gypsy and Jewish tunes. The band's inspiration comes mostly from the dark folk tales of their homeland. Set to a musical palette of accordions, their music reaches out to everyone transcending all barriers of language. They have performed at numerous concerts in Germany, Scotland, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. They have been winners of Grand Prix of Polish Radio and Euro Folk Festival and selected as Folk Fonogram of the year.
Bringing Hungary's folk music to global limelight, Muzsikas is a folk music ensemble performing for over four decades now. The four member band is known for its unique musical skills, versatility and collaborations with various other artists of different genres like world music, classical, klezmer, jazz, etc. Muzsikas often combine traditional Hungarian folk music with the classical compositions of Bartok, Kodaly, Kurtag and many others. They have also performed in several renowned concert halls around the world like Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre and Carnegie Hall, to name a few. Their music pieces have also featured in movies like The English Patient, Music Box and Only Yesterday. The band has also provided the music for a contemporary dance piece titled "Dancing Room" which was performed in several theaters in England and filmed by BBC. Muzsikas won the prestigious WOMEX Award for World Music in 2008 as well as the Hungarian State award for artists, The Kossuth Prize. The ensemble will be accompanied by two guests: Hanga Kacsó, singer and István Berecz, dancer.
Donning Ray Ban on a craggy face, topped by heavy dreadlocks on a slender frame, Cheikh Lo creates an impression on his audience even before he begins to perform. Hailing from the Francophone country of Burkina Faso in West Africa, his music is a mix of mbalax, reggae and soukous influences. Cheikh Lo’s unique, cosmopolitan, graceful, slender voice is high-pitched, irregularly pulsating, and a treat to the ears of all folk music lovers. Working with the iconic Afro beat drummer Tony Allen and growing up in
The world “Tuuletar” comes from Finnish mythology and means Goddess of the Wind. This vocal performance group is formed by four diverse women from Finland. Since 2012, these vibrant musicians have been singing, composing and performing together, creating their own identity using music. From American Hip Hop to South Asian folk, Tuuletar takes inspiration from all kinds of music and pioneer the genre of Vocal Folk Hop. In July 2015, Tuuletar dazzled in their breakthrough performance at Austria's Vokal Total competition and won the topmost honor. Their success in Austria led them to their headlining performances at Vienna's Voice Mania in 2015 and the Budapest A cappella Festival in 2016. Tuuletar released their debut album “Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal” in June 2016. The album rose right up to the Top 10 in European World Music Charts as well as Transglobal World Music Charts. They also gave an exclusive radio concert in WOMEX 2016.