The Orient to meet Eastern Europe at Balkanik Festival

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Band of Gypsies, Bollywood Masala Orchestra and Omar Souleyman, headliners treading the boards at Gradina Uranus.


During September 9-11, the Balkanik Festival returns for its sixth edition at Gradina Uranus, Rahova in Bucharest, while proposing the most provoking line-up so far that is to reunite the magic of the Arab, Turkish, Egyptian and Indian voices with the emotion of the Eastern European sounds.

Among the confirmed headliners of the 2016 edition there are Taraf de Haidouks and Kocani Orkestar, Band of Gypsies and the star of the Arab world, Omar Souleyman.Afis Balkanik

Bollywood Masala Orchestra joins the event, for the first time on a Romanian stage. Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra, Cumbuș Cemaat and Orange Blossom are also performing.

25 members of the famous Gypsy band, Taraf de Haidouks (Romania) and one of the best folk music bands in the world, Kocani Orkestra (Macedonia) will join forces in a new repertoire for a rare performance, Band of Gypsies, compared by The Independent to “a journey through the gypsy music from Turkey, Balkan medieval ballads and even Romanian pop oriental-like songs (manele).”

Bollywood Masala Orchestra is bringing a show of wild beats, strident colors, costumes and acrobatics that will take the audience in a trip to India, from Rajasthan to Mumbai, performed by a brass orchestra, infused with instruments like tabla, dholak or clarinet and spiced with stunts, dances and fakirs. The traditional music of the gypsies in Rajasthan, Indian movies hits and various dances will create a unique, stagy show.

Omar Souleyman, the most esteemed Syrian artists of the last decades and a star of the Arab music, brings his electric folk from Syria to contaminate Bucharest with Oriental beats. Discovered while singing at weddings in Syria, Omar ended up teaming up with Western artists such as Bjork (for the Biophilia album), Damon Albarn (Blur), Modeselektor, Dan Snaith aka Caribou and Four Tet, the producer of Omar’s latest album, Wenu Wenu. The show performed at Balkanik Festival is the first one within a music festival in Romania.

Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra consists in seven music travellers from around the world, came from ska and hardcore punk bands, who brought together the music of the gypsy orchestras in Eastern Europe and the alert beats of ska/reggae-ska.

Cumbuș Cemaat comes from Istanbul and combines folk, jazz, klezmer, rembetiko styles. They first came in Romania last year for the 2015 edition of Balkanik Festival, also being the winning bet of the organizers.

After 20 years of activity and a nine-year break, Orange Blossom band is coming back with a new album– Under the Shade of Violets, an exotic hybrid at the border of trip hop, new wave, pop-rock, muzică arabă and afrobeats. Settled down in Nantes, France, vocalist Hend Ahmed Hassan from Egipt, violinist Pierre-Jean Chabot (PJ Chabot) from France, percussion Mathias Vaguenez and Carlos Robles Arenas, drummer and sampler from Mexico.Orange Blossom

Early bird passes are available at for RON 100. One-day tickets will be on sale as of August 15 and will cost RON 50, while a pass will be RON 120.


Band of Gypsies

Omar Souleyman

Bollywood Masala Orchestra

Orange Blossom

Antwerp Gypsy-Ska Orkestra

Cumbuș Cemaat

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