Antwerp Gypsy Ska Orkestra

ANTWERP GYPSY-SKA ORKESTRA A steamy brew of Eastern European gypsy music and Jamaican ska, seasoned with a rebellious spirit, that has been Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra’s trademark for the last decade. The trailblazing band now finishes it off with Kilo Gipsyska, their third album. Following Tuttilegal (2007) and I Lumia Mo Kher (2011), this one really accentuates these musical globetrotters’ pioneering role. Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra is formed by 7 traveling musicians from all the corners of the world, rising from ska and hardcore punk bands, who chose to bring together the music of the Gypsy orchestras in South-Eastern Europe and the dynamic ska/reggae-ska rhythms. Their concerts are incredibly danceable and frenzied.

Band of Gypsies

The 6th edition of Balkanik Festival will witness an extraordinary meeting, one of the most special events in the world of Gypsy music. TARAF DE HAIDOUKS, the most emblematic Gypsy band in the world, coming from the village of Clejani and discovered in the ‘90s by the Belgian sound engineer Stephane Karo, comes together on the same stage with the spirited KOCANI ORKESTAR from Macedonia. Both bands will join their instruments and forces in a never-before-heard repertoire meant to demolish all prejudice, walls between people, countries, ethnicities and continents. The new playlist has been written and arranged for a 26-musician orchestra and explores the contrasts between the intensities of each band. The wild violins, cimbaloms and accordions of Taraf de Haidouks clash with the trumpets and percussion of the Kocani Orkestar. The show BAND OF GYPSIES will gather musical elements from the Balkans, Romania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Orient.

Bollywood Masala Orchestra

Bollywood Masala Orchestra will take the audience on a colorful and musical journey from Rajasthan to Mumbai. Directly from India, the Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Dancers of India will make their Romanian debut on the stage of the Balkanik Festival. Spirit of India is an original theatrical event in which 17 lavishly costumed dancers, acrobats, fire-eaters and sword dancers perform an eclectic repertoire on Western and traditional Indian instruments. This lively, unique show is the bold vision of Artistic Director Rahis Bharti, who invites audiences to the world of music, dance, dynamic rhythm and spirituality that characterize India, the Indian Gypsies and, of course, the irresistible scores of Bollywood film soundtracks. A veritable feast of sight and sound, both the rich traditions and modern interpretations, captures the signature sound and vision of India.

Cumbus Cemaat

CUMBUȘ CEMAAT is one of those bands that, if listened to in one of the famous world music clubs in Istanbul, makes your journey to the city spread on 2 continents unforgettable. Their music was born on the banks of the Bosphorus from songs gathered around the Balkans and the Middle East. For the last couple of years, they have been frequent guests at the World music bar Araf in Istanbul, quickly gaining popularity especially in the famous Beyoglu quarter. They first performed in a festival in 2015 at the anniversary edition of Balkanik Festival and they kept the audience dancing for 3 hours, without pause. The most numerous encores ever seen led to their return to Balkanik Festival in 2016, this time, on the big stage.

Omar Souleyman

OMAR SOULEYMAN “was a prolific wedding singer with more than 500 live albums to his name before civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. As his country became increasingly unstable, Souleyman fled to Turkey, where performing for couples tying the knot was no longer an option. Yet he continued to write songs of love and positivity as a welcome distraction from the horrors of war and in the process found himself something of a star in the west.” (The Guardian) Omar Souleyman will bring his electric Syrian folk to Bucharest, not only to spread the contagious Oriental, incredibly danceable rhythms, but also to humanize the image of a country that is now suffering more than ever. Omar Souleyman performed at the Nobel Peace Award Ceremony in 2013 and had various collaborations with Western artists, like Bjork (for her album Biophilia) and Dan Snaith aka Caribou. "My music is from the community I come from – the Kurdish, the Ashuris, the Arabic, they're all in this community. Even Turkish because it's so near, it's just across the border. And even Iraqi." (Omar Souleyman)

Orange Blossom

Orange Blossom and their heavy-electronica music infused with Oriental vibes will be performing in Romania for the first time on the stage of Balkanik Festival. Once upon a time. there was a French band called Orange Blossom who, from the mid-90s onwards, created a musical concoction that married suspense-heavy electronica with Arabic rhythms – think Portishead relocated to the Maghreb. Having seduced the ears of one Robert Plant, with whom they subsequently toured, the Nantes-based collective then vanished off the radar. But they’ve been busy traversing the planet in search of new adventures and new collaborators. The result of these extended travels is Under the Shade of Violets, a record that draws from all over, but from Egypt in particular. It’s also a more urgent sound these days, underscored by a refusal to stand still. “You have to travel,” they say. “You have to move”.

Galanìas-Actores Alidos

Galanìas presents a repertoire of tipical female songs based on Sardinian tradition revisited in polyphonic and innovative key by Valeria Pilia, leader of the quintet.

"Galanìas in Sardinia means beautiful and precious things and Actores Alidos dedicates its musical project to the cultural preciousness of the Sardinian women’s song. The project was born thanks to the passion and care for research, respect for tradition and the need to watch the horizon" writes Gianfranco Angei, Actores Alidos’ Artistic Director.
Women singing, appreciated for its harmonic and interpretative beauty and especially for their social role inside the community, goes with all stages of life from birth to death. Sardinian women didn’t sing in order to show theirselves, rather because of profound needs: to rock children, to celebrate religious rites, to protect against diseases, to accompany dead people during their last journey, but also in order to give rhythm to their jobs, to drive away the fear of loneliness, to entertain children, to evoke love and lighten daily activities with humorous verses.

Valeria Pilia’s polyphonic arrangements are performed a cappella by five voices (the same Pilia, Elisa Marongiu, Manuela Ragusa, Roberta Locci and Valeria Parisi) and they are sometimes embellished by the sounds of traditional instruments (launeddas and accordion of the musician Orlando Mascia) or with ancient domestic tools.

In 2005 Actores Alidos recorded its first CD named "Songs of Sardinian Women" produced by Finisterre which had a great success on the international stage attracting attention and flattering critiques in European magazines: FOLK ROOTS put the CD "Songs of the Sardinian women" in its Top Ten, the French magazine FOCUS MAGAZINE gave it "5 Etoiles", TRAD MAGAZINE its "Bravo", FB-FOLK BULLETIN conferred to it the label "Fbis" for the quality and originality of the product.
The concert "Songs of Sardinian Women" circuited in the most important World Music Festival in over twenty countries, such as Womex in New Castle, the Vienna Konzerthaus and Manresa Fira Mediterranea in Barcelona. Actores Alidos had also several awards, at national level (Maria Carta Prize) and international too (First Prize at the Festival of Malzhaus Folkherbst Plauen- Germany), and it has been featured in many italian Radio and Tv Shows (live concert on Radio Rai 3, two times at the TG2, guest in the cultural show RAI 2 “Mizar” and "Resounding Italy" on RAI 3) and other countries.
It worths noting also the participation of Actores Alidos in 2011 at the Vinicio Capossela’s tour “Marinai, Profeti e Balene” (which means “Sailors, Prophets and Whales").

After the projects "Laras de Coraddu" and "Su Pitzinneddu" the new Concert Galanìas debuts at the end of 2015 and, in 2016, the CD “Galanìas” (with the participation of big international artists like Sainkho Namtchylak, Ambrogio Sparagna, Raffaello Simeoni, Redi Hasa, Orlando Mascia and Bitti’s Tenores) is distributed by Felmway throughout Europe and Japan, produced by Finisterre.