In the grand finale of the European Capital of Culture, the citizens of Novi Sad will enjoy the first edition of the world music festival Pocket Globe, which will gather world musicians from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Morocco, France, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus and Serbia from 10 to 13 November at three locations – Synagogue, the Youth Theatre, as well as, symbolically, at the Svilara Cultural Station, because the festival arose precisely from a series of concerts in cultural stations during the years of preparation for the European Capital of Culture.
Bringing traditional music from different cultures of the world mixed with contemporary expression, the festival, implemented by the Ring Ring association from Belgrade, is part of the Other? Europe programme arch.
Pocket Globe will be opened in Novi Sad’s Synagogue on 10 November with a concert by one of the most significant representatives of today’s sevdalinka scene, Damir Imamović, declared the best European world music artist in 2021 according to Songlines magazine. He will perform as part of a trio, as well as his author’s project, Singer of Tales. On the same evening, the New Ritual Ensemble by Boris Kovač, whose albums have been among the best five times by the World Music Charts Europe panel, will perform.
Friday, 11 November, will be an evening to remember at the Youth Theatre, because after the most famous music festivals ESNS, WOMEX, WOMAD, Sziget and Trans Musicales, a multiple award-winning trio from Cyprus, Monsieur Doumani, whose popularity has recently reached global proportions, will come to Novi Sad. Immediately after them, for the first time in Serbia, a Moroccan attraction, Bab L’ Bluz band, whose music is decorated with an extraordinary balance of familiar and exotic, elements well known to modern man (rock, blues, psychedelia) and archetypal energies, which the rest of the world senses in the culture of the eternally mysterious Africa, will perform.
The winner of the prestigious WOMEX Artist Award and two Grammys, Kayhan Kahlor from Iran, an extraordinary kamancheh player, will hold a concert at the Youth Theater on 12 November, and he will be joined at the concert by his long-time collaborator, baglama player, Erdal Erzincan. The concert will be preceded by the performance of the local Belgrade band Shira Utfila, which celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, and which the audience in Novi Sad will listen to for the first time in ten years.
In addition to the main concert programme, the first world music festival Pocket Globe brings three lectures as part of the accompanying programme. Members of the band Bab L’ Bluz, Yousra Mansour and Brice Bottin, will hold a lecture at the Youth Theatre on 11 November. On that occasion, they will open an interesting and unusual topic about the role of women in the music of Morocco, the breaking of stereotypes and the Nayda social movement that young Moroccan men and women started a few years ago, as well as about the music of the Gnawa ethnic group, which lives in Morocco and originates from the Sahara desert. Damir Imamović will present in a lecture his new research in connection with the traditional instrument called saz, its role in society and sevdah, at the Youth Theater on Saturday, 12 November, while Kayhan Kahlor will hold a lecture with special reference to the term radif and its importance in improvisation in the Svilara Cultural Station on 13 November.
Admission to the lectures is free, while the ticket price for each concert is RSD 800 dinars in advance sales, and RSD 1000 on the day of the concert. Tickets for the first night can be purchased at Gigs Tix website, and for the second and third nights at the Youth Theatre box office, with the possibility of online booking.
The Other? Europe programme arch presents the grand finale of the European Capital of Culture, and from 7 October to 27 November, with numerous programmes, it raises issues of dominant values in European culture and art and leads to the discovery of different, alternative, marginalized, minority and rebellious expressions.
Photo: Hamidreza Shirmohammadi, Almin Zrno, Sanja Anđеlković, Michalis Demetriades, Bojan Đorđеvić