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The 14th Street Musicians Festival Ends


The third, closing night of this year’s Street Musicians Festival passed in marvelous atmosphere on the streets and squares in Novi Sad, with a great many visitors enjoying a diverse musical program. Two big projects of this event, “Open up” and “Circus as a Way of Life”, also ended successfully, to the satisfaction of both participants and visitors.


Saturday night in the city centre, thanks to the Street Musicians Festival, began in a bit of a romantic ambience, with the program intended for children. While the youngsters flocked to see the show “Prince Marzipan” and hear the Children’s Choir “Zvončići” or the Undiscovered Stars, somewhat older visitors were already enjoying the performances of the duos Candy Quince and the lively Italians Daniele and Alessandro. The guests from Rome, as well as their older colleague Birdman, spent all three festival days in Novi Sad, and thus, along with the master of percussions and fire, the Mexican, Rulas Quetzal, brought to this year’s gathering its main – international colors.


The evening program was opened by the band Moskva from Rijeka, as a special guest of the Festival. This young pop-rock ensemble, is led by the fabulous singer Tamara Dorčić, presenting a series of songs from their only album “Polygraph”, along with a couple of new ones, ready for a place in their discography. Meanwhile, on Theatre Square, Zabod Jam were spontaneously playing around with music and their instruments, with a lot of their creations made on the spot. The authentic street musicians from Novi Sad were replaced by the girls from the Belgrade dance school Bidadari, dedicated to the dance and music of Indonesia, under patronage of the embassy of this distant island country. On the Freedom Square at that time already beginning was the hip-hop party, opened by the Hoods from Vršac, the eloquent duet reinforced with a live rhythm section, where the bass player stood out with virtuous and innovative techniques.


Intense street poetry also marked part of the program within the “Open up” project dedicated to contemporary Romani culture. The rappers from Zrenjanin, Gipsy Mafia had a thing or two to say to the gathered fans of intensive gigs, as well as all others who consider themselves not being satisfied with the life they lead in the modern world. Less tension could be found in the Catholic courtyard at that time, a folklore-classical concert of the numerous Youth Choir from Moldova, presenting themselves as being very talented and promising in their own right.


The stars of the “Open up” were the guys from the band Kal, who completely justified their reputation of being the only ensemble from our country with a truly international career. Their invention, a modern mix of styles known as rock and roma, easily finds its way to the hearts of listeners, and with the fast and contemporary beats, intensified with typically Romani melodies, fun and entertainment are guaranteed. Nothing short of virtuosity was shown by the musicians from Priština, Gipsy Groove, presenting an equally interesting combination of jazz and funk rhythms with a traditional Roma musical base. The younger audience was amused by the rappers Roma Sijam and the song-and-dance performance of the GRUBB Foundation from Great Britain, on the Theatre Square.


The two-year long international project “Circus as a Way of Life” finally ended with the performance of the play “Utopia?”, beneath the full stands on the field of the Sokolski dom. Modern stage play based on performance, pantomime and contemporary circus skills, raised the questions of the eternal human pursuit for a better life, with an abundance of effects and a remarkable musical background. This project gathered youths from Gračanica, Tirana (Albania), Varaždin (Croatia) and Novi Sad, while during the project they were under the guidance of modern circus craft instructors, Capilotracté from France and Helix from Greece. The project was realized with the help of the European Commission.


Staging the midnight program in the Catholic courtyard was the band from Banjaluka, Sopot, a intense blend of different musical genres fused with a small dose of the local ethno tradition. A real finale to the Festival happened on Freedom Square, spirited in intercultural dialogue, as the main goal of this event. The project Ultrasound Sessions, gathered creative young people from all over Novi Sad, who presented themselves as skilled improvisers on topics of electronic music and rock. In the closing segment they were reinforced by the ever-present Italian musicians and Aleksandar Carić on mandolin, so the spontaneous stage cooperation resulted in an interesting acoustic experience with turbulent reactions from the numerous audience, united in wishing the swift beginning of the next – 15th Street Musicians Festival.

Photo: Branko Lučić and Miloš Čubrilo

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