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A Spectacular Start To The Street Musicians Festival


The spectacular musical experience, the concert of Harlem Gospel Choir from New York, last night on the Freedom Square in Novi Sad, opened the Street Musicians Festival which lasts until Saturday. This beautiful concert event gathered a crowd of about 7000 citizens of Novi Sad on the central city square, as an overture prior to the concert was the introductory program of the first festival day to the joy of the numerous visitors, even getting rid of the clouds and rain.


A seemingly normal day’s atmosphere in the pedestrian zone of Novi Sad was already in the early afternoon hours “destroyed” by the artists from three ensembles who, to the surprise of the passersby, all of a sudden started playing from three balconies in Zmaj Jovina Street. After three solo songs, Candy Quince, La Banda and the trio Dani/Ale/Zar joined together and played the famous theme Nina Rote from the film “Godfather”, exciting and amusing the audience passing bellow who were not expecting such a show.


A new surprise followed just a minute later, when on the Freedom Square parked the Van Stage, as a mobile setup of the Street Musicians Festival. From the colorful vehicle rushed out the Italian musical fellowship, Camillocromo Beat Band, delivering to the gathered crowd gifts in the form of addictive swing-jazz in a new form, with a brass section, DJ and singer. Half-hour of inexhaustible dancing beneath the feet of Svetozar Miletić and the end – the van moved on, replaced by the Mexican Rulas Qutzal with percussions and blazing fire figures, pointing out to the tradition of his Aztec ancestors and their divinity – the feathered snake Quetzalcoatl.


Most interesting to the kids was the older, but lively and vivid one-man-band Birdman from Italy, occasionally masked as colorful bird characters, all the while being dedicated to African rhythms played on dozens of rattles and drums, through which he told romantic stories only known to him – in French. The fans of romantic Italian urban culture enjoyed in the performance of the virtuoso duet on harmonica and clarinet, Daniele Mutino and Alessandro Federico, while later on the three Roman masters united, performing as a single ensemble.


The main program of the evening, on Freedom Square, started with a greeting from the director of the Festival, Borislav Beljanski and the deputy-ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, Gordon Duguid, who agreed that culture and music speak the same language of understandable in all corners of the world. The program of the Street Musicians Festival was officially declared open with one of the singers from the Harlem Gospel Choir, after which the show began. As much as it seemed distant and strange during the announcements, gospel music was very familiar to everyone, as the source of modern pop music, blues, soul and rock’n’roll. That is why the greatest hits of this genre, “Amazing Grace” and “Oh, Happy Day” were well known to everyone, even to the crowd in Novi Sad, who did not spear their vocal chords and hands with the magnificent choir and masters, supreme vocalists from the heart of the biggest city in America. Besides, when they amazed such world greats, as the president, pope and leading rock stars, why wouldn’t they delight us as well? Hallelujah!

Photo: Branko Lučić and Miloš Čubrilo


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