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About festival

The next round of EtnoKraków/Crossroads – the leading ethno-scene festival in this part of Europe is behind us. More than 100 musicians representing 4 continents performed from the 5th to the 8th of July at nearly 20 concerts to prove that artistic ideas rooted in cultural traditions are still topical. The revisiting the roots of music were enriched by a huge number of accompanying events: dance nights, music workshops and traditional crafts shows. All that in parallel with the session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Krakow at that time. The festival organisers are: the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office and the Crossroads of Culture and Tradition Association.
”The Festival perfectly complements numerous cultural events and other events to be held in Krakow in July” - said Andrzej Kulig, Deputy Mayor of the City of Krakow for Social Policy, Culture and City Promotion. – ”In addition, this year it will coincide with the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to be hosted by our city. The EtnoKraków / Crossroads 2017 Festival will be great fun while at the same time a valuable lesson showing the merging of various musical contexts from many cultural backgrounds.”

Festival artists appeared at nearly 20 concerts at extraordinary special venues, including the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the Galicia Jewish Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, Krakow clubs (Alchemia, Strefa) and the open-air stage on Wolnica Square.

”The artistic activity of many of our guests is inextricably connected with elements of traditional music, involving the aspects of world cultural heritage at focus of the UNESCO” – ensured us Jan Słowiński, EtnoKraków/Crossroads Festival Director. “Kayhan Kalhor, a world-famous virtuoso of the kamancheh – a traditional Persian stringed instrument which was entered on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List – will perform in Krakow, among other guests. Sanaa songs (Yemen), which inspired Gulaza group’s repertoire, are also on that list. Georgian polyphonic singing practiced by Urmuli quintet under The Spirit of the Mountains project, as is the duduk, a wooden double-reed instrument also used by that group”, added Słowiński.

The festival showed its two faces presenting two complementary stories, i.e. two closely related festival stages: In crudo, paying tribute to old, source folk and traditional music of the roots, and Inspirations stage proving that one can pursue one’s own voice, one’s own world outlook, still being captivated by traditional music, while at the same time reaching for modern or contemporary means of artistic expression.

”Each year the EtnoKraków / Crossroads Festival attracts visitors from distant corners of Poland and from abroad. The festival audience puts every festival edition on its agenda a year ahead” – said Robert Rozciecha, Deputy Director of the Krakow Festival Office. – ”We are very happy about that, because it shows that as Organisers we have taken the right path and than the Festival’s brand is becoming increasingly recognisable.”

The very essence of the artists’ meeting with the audience at EtnoKraków/Crossroads was pursuing authenticity. Something different from pop clichés and plastic music. Every journey, even that around the world of music, starts at home, so this year we focused on the author’s interpretations of music from the nearest neighbourhood. Ania Broda presented the charming songs from Warmia and Masuria. Sutari drawn inspiration from Polish folk music from various regions, e.g. Kujawy, Radom and Lublin and around. Karolina Cicha and Bart Pałyga tried to revive Podlasie Tatar music. There were also some fascinating international projects in store, for example Joanna Słowińska’s Polish-Scandinavian Archipelag_2 project, as well as Kayhan Kalhor’s and Maria Pomianowska’s joint artistic project. Our guests from abroad led us to the roots. Homayoon group presented mystical music, based of Sufi traditions and poetry of the greatest poet of their region - the mystic, known to the world as Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi). Debashish Bhattacharya, an outstanding guitarist from India, presented his breathtaking vision of Hindu music with the sound of Hawaii guitar in the background (his recent record subtitled A Tribute to Tau Moe – is dedicated to the artist who has made Hawaii guitar popular in India).

Let’s meet again at the Crossroads! At EtnoKrakow