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Cross Culture

14th edition’s of Cross Culture Festival

Rokia Traoré, Nneka and Mulatu Astatke among 14th edition’s of Cross Culture Festival headliners. Who else?
Angola, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Ethiopia in the program of this year’s edition of Cross Culture Festival. For the 14th time extraordinary artists will perform on festival’s stage. It’s hard not to notice Africa dominating the line-up. Despite their origin, every artist builds through music his story and identity. What kind of stories will they bring to us? Let’s find out who will perform on September 16-22 near Palace of Culture and Science…

Stories of sounds and words:

Artists, using words and sounds, are actually discovering something that already exists, just like a traveler discovering new lands. This way, stories told with word and music are made. Its' purpose is to leave as much impressions and messages in listeners, as possible. Message told with lyrics is not always the same as the one left with music that comes to life not by intellect, but with emotions. Again, artists will bring their stories to the festival. Using compositions, improvisations with words, sound and rhythm they'll let us touch the secrets of human emotions, experience the very momens of creation – the seconds when a word fuses with music and the mind – with feelings” – says Maria Pomianowska, art director of the festival.

Unusual voices

The main stage will, as always, be conquered by stars. This year, Africa comes to the first plan. The inauguration concert will be opened by Waldemar Bastos, vocalist with Portuguese origin, born in the borderland between Angola and Congo. The strength of his music are universal values: hope, unity and harmony amongst people. His artistic message is formed with words and his melancholic voice.

Stars of CCF

The great Malian star will perform as the second – Rokia Traoré. She is a vocalist, composer and poet, mixing home country music with the elements of rock, blues and soul. The artist will bring to us her own stories – history of Mali and contemporary everyday's life problems.

Surprise of this year's edition will be the coming of Mulatu Astatke – Ethiopian visionaire, called the creator of "ethio-jazz". The history of his career is also one about musical travel through three continents, and mutual interfusing of numerous music styles and genres.

We'll have the opportunity to see also legendary formation from Senegal – Baobab Orchestra. Their music is the essence of Afro-Cuban style – it is one of the most important African music groups.

Dancing Cocktail

Nneka will also join a circle of artists – multi-talented Nigerian singer, who moved to Germany at the age of 19 to begin her studies. As she memorizes, writing songs back then helped her ease loneliness, cultural shock and homesickness. King Ayisoba can be introduces as charismatic "king" of kologo music from north-eastern Ghana. Ayisoba's world of sounds and words contains uncompromising and suggestive lyrics fused with hypnotic, powerful music and ecstatic dance, and also story about tradition, music – contemporary and of the past.

This year's edition's guest will also be Tunisian-French group – Ifriqiyya Electrique. Their music is a postindustrial experience of contemporary interpretation of a hypnotic Tunisian Bang god's ritual. The artists, with a world and sound, are telling about their ancestors, that are liberated slaves living in the desert, where traditional African beliefs mixed with the elements of Islam, creating new forms of animistic-Muslim cults. Their performances are the fusion of music and trance, they intent to cause a shock and to heal – it is a challenge and a confrontation.

Special projects

The musical special projects of the festival are going to be extremely interesting. A starting point in creating them was the meaning of words, their timbre, tone and stories written in music. During Sounds Like Poland a Polish-Persian project "When masters meet" will be presented, being a fruit of cooperation of Maria Pomianowska with Hossein Alizadeh. The main motto of this project is focusing on a spiritual aspect of art. Both artists agree that a couple of notes, a tiny ornament, quarter tone or subtle melisma is enough to create deeply moving piece.

Another special project – during Europe Collective bloc – will be "the Romani people of Europe". Agata Siemaszko invited Laćhe Lavutara's and Kalman Balogh's, the descendant of one of the best-known gypsy dynasties near Pannonian Basin, band to cooperate. All the invited guests come from multigenerational families of musicians, and are continuing the tradition of professional, virtuoso playing. It surely going to be full of emotions, energetic meeting.

Sound Like Poland

During Sounds Like Poland will also perform WoWaKin Trio and Bester Quartet. The first group mixes various musical experiences, freely and boldly interprets traditional repertoire of Polish cottage, the second one on the other hand is a formation with full-on program basing on own compositions, mixing klezmer music with the elements of classical, jazz, avant-garde, world beat music with improvisation.

The festival will be closed by a performance of a guest from Brasil. Tiganá Santana is a young singer and guitarist that reaches deeply into African roots of Brasilian music. Enraptures with his gentleness and subtle voice that doesn't fail to absorb listeners' attention.

This year's. 14th edition of the festival is for us a proof of lasting publicity's interest in world music. We are very proud that, this music event started by us 14 years ago, is now well recognized and valued. Carefully chosen by us group of artists will surely leave in the memory of listeners extraordinary music experience and additional attractions, that we're planning, will be a great surprise for all the festival's attendees and people, who are just getting to know Cross Culture festival this year" – says Andrzej Matusiak – Stołeczna Estrada's director, creator of the CCF.

14th Edition's of Cross Culture Festival program:

September 16 (Sunday)
11:00 a.m. – Little Cross Culture: concert for children "Singing forest", performed by Whistleberries band (Ireland, Poland)
7:00 p.m. – inauguration concert: Waldemar Bastos (Angola), Rokia Traoré (Mali)

September 17,18 (Monday, Tuesday) – additional events

September 19 (Wednesday)
7:00 p.m. – SOUNDS LIKE POLAND: WoWaKin Trio, Bester Quartet, Maria Pomianowska and Hossein Alizadeh (Iran)

September 20 (Thursday)
7:00 p.m. – EUROPE COLLECTIVE: Agata Siemaszko and Laćhe Lavutara (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary), Baobab Orchestra (Senegal)

September 21 (Friday)
7:00 p.m. – DANCING COCTAIL: King Ayisoba (Ghana), Nneka (Nigeria/Germany), Ifriqiyya Electrique (Tunisia/France)
11:00 p.m. – DJ set

Tickets will also be available at the festival tent during whole festival (September 16-22).
Whole festival carnet (16,19,20,21,22 of September) – 150 PLN /8% VAT included/
Single concert ticket – 40 PLN /8% VAT included/
Concert for children "Singing forest" – 20 PLN (free for children up to 3 years old)

About Festival

Cross Culture Festival is taking place since 2005. About 250 artists from 61 countries and 6 continents had already performed. It is the biggest presentation of world music and multi-culture in Poland. Program was prepared by Maria Pomianowska (art director), Maciej Szajkowski, Marta Dobosz, Anna Szewczuk-Czechu, Jakub Borysiak.

The festival is organized by the city of Warsaw and Stołeczna Estrada.

Medial Patronage: TVP Culture, Jedynka Polish Radio, Dwójka Polish Radio, National Geographic, Twój Styl, Aktivist, Polityka, Wyborcza Newspaper, Warszawa.wyborcza.pl, Co Jest Grane 24, Enter the ROOM & G’RLS ROOM