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30 06

EtnoKraków/Crossroads 2017 Festival: Inspiring tradition

Music which we listen to, which we have shared with you for two decades of the EtnoKraków/Crossroads Festival, shows many everlasting features. Caring for tradition and skilfully merging it with the present-day art are the common values shared by the Festival and the UNESCO. The spirit of community will be celebrated in Krakow from the 5th to the 8th of July. The Festivalevent’s spontaneous, ludic whiles at the same time highly artistic power will be best expressed in open-air concerts.

The EtnoKraków/Crossroads is music integrates us, bringing together people from all over the world, who represent various environments, generations and tastes, no matter which style or genre they prefer. It also has a culture-creating and educational value. And last but not least – a high aesthetic value, because as someone once said: many artists from the folk / ethno / world music circles ”cultivate beauty”. This is how that music looks like. It can bring together strangers to experience a true feeling of community. Dancing, listening, and experiencing spiritual elation or just good fun.

The Festival is first of all the result of cooperation between important international groups which want to be involved. Two years ago, in July 2015, the Festival was strictly connected with one of the most prestigious world music events – the European Broadcasting Union Festival (popularly known as EBU Festival) held in the capital of Małopolska, which became inextricably tied with EtnoKraków/Crossroads two years ago.

This year the Festival has the pleasure and the honour to run in parallel with the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. It is an important and symbolic coincidence, because the great international organisation and the Festival share the same care for tradition and show similar determination to instil it in the contemporary era.

Importantly, many performers to be listened to during this year’s Festival’s edition are involved in promoting the aspects of world cultural heritage which are at focus of the UNESCO, as shown by a number of examples. Kayhan Kalhor, an ambassador of the Iranian music scene, is a world –renowned virtuoso playing the kamancheh – a traditional Persian stringed instrument on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The Sanaa songs (Yemen) that inspired the Gulaza group are on the same UNESCO List, as is Georgian polyphonic singing practiced by Urmuli quintet in The Spirit of the Mountains project and the duduk, an ancient double-reed woodwind flute, as well as the Slovak pipes to be heard at the concert of Katarina Malikova. The tradition of Sami people songs – joik to be revived by the Ural Pop group and the traditional runic songs of the Estonian Baltic coast performed by Pulkkinen – Räss – Sadowska trio are also on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Another part of the trio’s artistic endeavours, the Alpine yodel tradition is on a fairly advanced stage of the procedure to be entered on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage. Let us add that the language of Sami people used by Torgeir Vassvik and Ural Pop język is on the UNESCO Red Book of Endangered Languages.


The Baul tradition which is revived by the Indian band East West Local and the vocalist Debalina Bhowmick has been entered on the list on the UNESCO List of Oral and Intangible Heritage. Let us also mention that Podhale bagpipes (koza) used by Trebunie-Tutki are now on the National Intangible Heritage List in recognition of the skill of its manufacture and of playing the instrument. So the Festival will be a good opportunity to listen to the sounds of the Slovak pipes and the Podhale bagpipes.

EtnoKraków/Crossroads is more than inspiring, spiritual music as seen from an academic perspective. The Festival’s spontaneous, ludic, whilst at the same time highly artistic power will be best shown in its open-air concerts. They will surely reach the wide audience and captivate not only connoisseurs of the genre, but also those who will listen to this kind of music for the first time. .

The concerts on Wolnica Square:

  • Karolina Cicha & Bart Pałyga (Poland), 7 July, 7.00 pm
  • Elida Almeida (Cape Verde), 7 July, 8.15 pm
  • Joanna Słowińska Feat. Outi Pulkkinen (Poland / Finland), 7 July, 9.30 pm
  • Homayoon (Iran), 8 July, 7.00 pm
  • Dikanda (Poland), 8 July, 8.15 pm
  • Debalina Bhowmick & Folks Of Bengal (India), 8 July, 9.30 pm

Remember that a fantastic experience will be available already from 5 July. During the first two days of the Festival music will resound in St Catherine’s Church and Strefa club (Zone) on Św. Tomasza Street.