Certainly the biggest stars on this year’s Street Musicians Festival are the members of the American ten-man swing band Phat Cat Swinger. Come September, for the first time, they will arrive to Serbia – from Apple Valley, a town in the American Sunny State of California – ready to gift the audience in Novi Sad an unforgettable night of dance.
West Coast swing, boogie-woogie, rockabilly and 50s rock’n’roll, are the chosen genres performed by these talented, experienced musicians, which you will certainly enjoy if you are into Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. The legacy of the great Brian Setzer is easily recognized in the music of Phat Cat Swinger, as well as the melodies and rhythms that once upon a time decorated the albums of the greats Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Cab Calloway.
Sax players Marko Palos and Will Pattinson founded the swing machine called Phat Cat Swinger “one hot California night” in August 2002. During the next thirteen years, they managed to record two studio albums, with a series of fantastic originals, as well as holding numerous successful live performances all across concert and dance halls in the United States and Europe.
Interestingly, we all saw the Phat Cat Swinger band eight years ago in the very attractive video for Christina Aguilera’s hit song Candyman and also three years ago in the video for the song In The End of the successful Irish alter-rock band Snow Patrol. The Main Stage of this year’s 15th Street Musicians Festival, in the centre of Novi Sad, will host the American masters of swing, Phat Cat Swinger, on Saturday 5th September.
Alt, tenor and baritone saxophones are first in line, closely followed by the singer, all the while joined by the solos from the trumpet, trombone, keyboards, guitar, double bass and drums. The set list of songs that Phat Cat Swinger does on concerts, as we found out, is known to be very colorful – somewhere in the range from Sinatra to The Black Keys.
The earliest beginnings of Let 3 can be traced back to the cult punkers from Rijeka, Termiti, and the multimedia project Strukturne ptice. Afterwards, by the beginning of 1986, came Let 2, and a year later Let 3. Bass player Damir Martinović Mrle and singer Zoran Prodanović Prlja were and remain the main driving force and creative strength of Rijeka’s shock rock band Let 3, the Croatian rock group which truly has a specific sense of the comic and bizarre, of provocation and activism.
– We don’t consider ourselves as a classical rock’n’roll band. We think we are much more than that. The easiest way of describing us is as a complete artistic expression which strikes all the senses – explains Let 3 frontman Zoran Prodanović Prlja. – It is my belief that everyone who has heard and felt within himself the artist’s calling, has also the responsibility to be socially active in this crazy world and in these crazy times.
Let 3 has hilarious studio albums (Two Dogs Fucking, 1989; El Desperado, 1991; Peace, 1994; Jedina (My Only), 2000; Bombardiranje Srbije i Čačka (The Bombing Of Serbia And Čačak), 2005), even crazier live recordings and uncompromising concerts, videos, performances and artistic actions and installations. Although a family event, it remains to be seen what will these (mustachioed) artists offer the Street Musicians Festival, in the very heart of Novi Sad…
– During our career, we had a chance to perform in front of the most diverse auditoriums, and the fact that the Street Musicians Festival is, in the manner of speaking, a family event – will certainly not bother us. On the contrary, we love to expand our fan base, and this is an ideal chance for something like that – said Prlja.
Let 3 will on Thursday, 3rd September, be part of the grand opening of this year’s Street Musicians Festival, more precisely: the festival street musical clash concert, which will be held on two stages on the Freedom Square, though one stage will host Atheist Rap, and the other Let 3; Novi Sad’s own will perform songs of Let 3, while the men from Rijeka the songs of the Atheists; plus, both bands will play their greatest hits.
All time best band from Novi Sad? Luna? Boye? Pekinška patka? Laboratorija zvuka? Obojeni program? Love Hunters? Atheist Rap, maybe? Concert wise the most active, ideologically the most consistent and the most professional (though, like, the most lax) – are without a doubt these last mentioned: the Atheists! They are, as was written somewhere: an authentic Novi Sad band, ever supported without reserve by their fellow citizens.
Radule, Pop and the crew were already a part of the Street Musicians Festival in 2012. This year we will hear them as part of the grand opening of the Festival, on Thursday, 3rd September, on one of two festival stages in the center of Novi Sad. The Atheists and the band from Rijeka, Let 3, will take part in the street musical clash concert in the Freedom Square, and in a way where Let 3 will perform the Atheist’s songs, while the Atheists will play the songs of Let 3. Of course, both bands will play their greatest hits.
Ahead of the street musical clash concert, the Atheists said: “We expect good fun, a mighty but friendly show-down, and all that as a goal of realizing a truly grandiose opening of the Street Musicians Festival in Novi Sad. Let 3 is a band we have fond memories of and follow ever since their first feather swallowing behind the Yellow House back in 1990. Since then our respect towards the band grew, and, to our complete and utter delight, we travelled the road from fans and associates, to brothers in arms on this event.”
– Their first song which we chose to cover and play on the street musical clash is a sort of their band’s ID, the second one is a local hit regional in character which in essence talks about what it is to do music, and the third is a classic for the soul – announced the Atheists, who recently returned from their twenty-day tour across Germany. Atheist Rap this year played also on over 40ish concerts in regional cities. The photograph at the end of the text was created recently – in Šabac, on the meeting about the street musical clash…
Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra
The Belgrade jazz band Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra – just as the Street Musicians Festival – celebrating its 15th birthday. The group numbers eight: singer Aleksandra Bijelić, keyboards Aleksandar Miletić, brass section Sava Matić, Nemanja Zlatarev and Veljko Kenkovski, Vladimir Racković on banjo, Ivan Maksimović on double bass and on drums Miloš Milosavljević.
“When all thought that this wonderful kind of jazz was extinct in our country for ever, some new, strong force propelled eight courageous people to pull it back from the bonds of memory and yet again return to the audience that wonderful atmosphere and swaying music from the beginning of the 20th century”, announced the members of the Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra, the only ensemble of its kind in Serbia.
Dixieland arrived to former Yugoslavia by the end of 1953. This type of music is regarded as the first major style in jazz, and was created by African-American and Creole musicians from New Orleans, who combined elements of blues and ragtime with the tradition of the brass orchestra. The most famous jazz musician that came from New Orleans was certainly the great Louis Armstrong.
The American city of New Orleans is regarded as the birthplace of jazz. Typical New Orleans’ style jazz is performed by a small group – combo, with five to eight musicians. Trumpet, clarinet and trombone are supported by the rhythm section, while the themes of the improvs were usually well-known melodies of marches, gospel songs, ragtime and blues.
Exactly that is the music played by the jazz band Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra, a group that, in a short amount of time, has quickly grown into, as can be noticed, an important cultural institution of the Serbian capital and a unique representative of our countries musical culture. Belgrade Dixieland Orchestra will perform on this year’s Street Musicians Festival on Saturday, 5th September.
Love towards 50s and 60s tunes, the twist and Latin swirls, retro dresses and oldie suits and fabulous hairstyles – that’s what you need for VIS Limunada (Vocal And Instrumental Ensemble Lemonade)! The group exists three years now, while the current line-up consist of: Miodrag Ninić (vocals and acoustic guitar), Vladimir Živković (solo guitar), Duška Rajković (bass and vocals), Borko Milojković (keyboards), Marija Kovačina (percussions and back vocals) and Stefan Pejatović (drums).
Not only do their concerts resemble the rock dance halls which we saw in some old, romantic films, but they revitalize and resonate the spirit of the carefree youths of the Nifty Fifties and Groovy Sixties (the older generations remember: listening to Radio Luxemburg, TV broadcasts of musical festivals and watching films like La Dolce Vita and Ljubav i moda (Love And Fashion)).
The guys and girls from VIS Limunadasing in several languages and are calling their musical preference The Old Wave: “That moment in time – the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s, that was marked by a magnificent combination of sophistication and indulgence, values and banalities, and maybe a naïve yet admirable belief in a better tomorrow. VIS Limunada, without nostalgia, but with passion, carries that energy, not letting it diminish even when lit by the contradictions that ensued.”
Their current hit single is named Rame uz rame (Shoulder To Shoulder), accompanied by a beautiful video bursting back the atmosphere from old dance-offs and musical TV shows. With this EP VIS Limunada announced their first studio album, due to be released this autumn. It will definitely be a great record (rockabilly, surf, mambo…), judging from the released singles – first we heard the song Ekspres kafa (Express Coffee), known for its performance by Đorđe Marjanović, and then Perfidija (Perfidy), from the repertoire of the unjustly forgotten Zvonimir Krkljuš.
On the Street Musicians Festival, beside the already mentioned songs, these contemporary jukebox kings will also perform Celentano’s immortal classics 24000 Baci and Impazzivo Per Te, the Cuban evergreen Quizás, Quizás, Quizás, Marjanović’s smash hit O, kakav mesec (Oh, What A Moon) and legendary songs of Buddy Holly, Neil Sedaka, The Beatles, The Ronettes, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates…
The four-member band from Rijeka, My Buddy Moose, creates, records and performs a mixture of garage rock, punk, soul and country. They are beloved by the audience prone to the so called Americana sound, but also the fans of good, quality rock. Whilst in studios they cooperated and shared the stage with some truly legendary international names of rock‘n’roll.
Luka Benčić (on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica), Matko Botić (on guitar and mandolin), Ištvan Širola (on bass and back vocals) and Jasmin Đečević (on drums) – better known as the greatest worshipers of Cosmic American Music, but also the garage energy of The Sonics and The Stooges – have been together for more than ten years.
After their first demo recordings and furious club performances, they entered the studio and recorded an album with production assistance from Dalibor Pavičić, from The Bambi Molesters. Praised by critics, the album led them to big festival stages and all the more frequent guest appearances on concerts of foreign rockers.
Their second collection of original tracks, the album Wonderful Feeling Of Emptiness, is recorded four years later. Playing on the album as guests are the greats of the Americana sound Howe Gelb (from Giant Sand) and Chris Eckman (from The Walkabouts). With Eckman, now as the bands producer, they create their third album, Shine! Shine! Shine! in 2013.
– In Rijeka live some guys who make sensationally beautiful music – wrote the popular Croatian journalist and writer Ante Tomić, referring to the members of My Buddy Moose, the band gladly listened to and always warmly welcomed in Novi Sad. You might say that the young Croatian rockers – who had performances in front of audiences in Liverpool and London – found their strongest fan base right here in the capital city of Vojvodina!
The Italian brass-percussion marching orchestraBadaBimBumBand will present to the audience of this year’s Street Musicians Festival not one, but two of their mobile shows – the first titled Bandita, and the other Wanna Gonna Show. As they announced, Bandita is an entertaining performance, fresh, easy, ironical and original. Playing for all ears, not restricting themselves to one, specific genre, but playing jazz, and Dixieland, and funk, and there will be a cappella parts, acquired from the musical heritage of Tuscany (from where these musicians come from).
What makes BadaBimBumBand a unique marching orchestra is also their imaginative choice of costume and great choreography. Namely, during their performances, the musicians move one moment in a row, another in a column, yet another in a circle, and sometimes they criss-cross, while sometimes they crawl, and then again sometimes they hide among or mingle with the crowd… and then in no time at all they again form a new formation. All in all, Bandita link innovation and tradition, holly and profound, the so called viewing music with music for listening.
On the other hand, Wanna Gonna Show possesses music ranging from Greek to Finnish folklore, and even from klezmer to tunes belonging to Bulgarian or Portuguese musical tradition. The show is adorned with a great choreography and quick costume changes. The group transforms for every new scene again and again, not lacking a cappella numbers as well. Wanna Gonna Show is an audience award winning show on the international competition from 2012 in the Basque country, when the group won first place, competing against 48 other ensembles from various countries.
Ferdinando D’Andria and Maila Sparapani arrive from Italy to this year’s Street Musicians Festival. After successful open-air performances in front of delighted crowds in France, Spain and Croatia, Nando and Maila, experienced street musicians and entertainers, will offer the citizens of Novi Sad and their guests a side-splitting play titled Sconcerto d’Amore.
As we found out, Sconcerto d’Amore is a show-concert, filled with gags, high-altitude acrobatics, juggling and musical virtuosity. “Nando and Maila are an art couple: he is an eclectic musician, while she is an acrobat musician. They always agree to disagree, on stage, as well as in real life. How to break the monotony of every-day life as a couple, when music, although rich in variations, always comes down to the same old song”, explains the announcement of the show Sconcerto d’Amore. “Suddenly, another actor joins the couple: someone from the audience becomes the object of Maila’s desire…”
During the show, Nando e Maila lead us from rock’n’roll to classical music, on a rollercoaster of jokes and turbulent emotions. Drums, contrabass, cello, harp, trumpet, violin, bells, cymbals, accordion, flute, electric guitar… create a magical atmosphere and an amazing world of sound, in the show which is, as they announce, going to be for all ages to enjoy.
Renowned French artist Jean Ménigault is coming yet again to Novi Sad, on the Street Musicians Festival! This talented street performer – actor, clown, dancer and pantomime – usually performs in front of audiences in Italy and France, solo or as a member of different troupes. Jean Ménigault (50) is a producer and art director, but also a teacher and instructor.
Whilst a teenager he was a hip-hop dancer, to which he then added a lot of original, clown comedy. Arriving to the capital city of France, the theatre boards saw Ménigault sing and dance, mostly in musical comedies and pantomime pieces.
His one-man show created by the beginning of the 90s, based on pantomime and clown comedy, bringing him numerous awards. Thunderous applause ensued on every festival and stage from Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Spain… all the way to America.
Street theatre soon becomes his greatest love, although business often leads him to the studios of different Italian TV stations. Nonetheless, during the years, the audience most of all loved seeing him on a unicycle, in hilarious clown comedy action, while the critics found most respect in his contribution to various operas by the greats, as are Puccini and Verdi.
Born in 1978 Parma, during her studies Lisa began to be interested in Indian philosophy, yoga and meditation. During that period she encounters her most important teachers, first in Italy, and then in Africa, where she studies yoga as a spiritual discipline. Through her love of yoga she reaches the theatre.
For a while she studied the classical Indian dance bharatanatyam, only to, during her travels across India, discover kathak. After that she got engaged in many other forms of Indian dance. Up to now, she has performed on various international festivals and held classes of Indian dance in India, Argentina and Italy.
The Indian traditional dance kathak was created more than two thousand years ago in northern India. Kathaka were wandering singing-poets traveling from village to village, carrying with them stories and messages, as well as the mythology from ancient texts, and all through song and dance (stories and legends from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas).
During the Middle Ages, kathak enters the royal halls and becomes a form of entertainment, gaining force and grace. The costumes became ever more elaborate and precious jewelry came to be worn. During this period, kathak developed into a theatre art combining the energy of steps and pirouettes with the subtle movement of the hands.
In the 19th century, kathak is enriched by abstract rhythmical phrases. The expressive side of dance retells the Indian epics through gestures and mime, while the dancers wear big gungru bells on their ankles, regarded as part of the dancers body, while their sound enables the audience to better follow the rhythm… During the Street Musicians Festival, Lisa will have no less than three performances!
Đuričić and the Drummers
The most famous rock and pop drummer from the former, great Yugoslavia – certainly is Dragoljub Đuričić. This Cetinje native, by the beginning of the 70s begins playing with different rock bands in Herceg Novi. He arrives to Belgrade in 1975, and straight away joins the band Ribelli, with whom he performs all across Yugoslavia, opening for the biggest names, as are: Zlatko Pejaković, Dušan Prelević, Arsen Dedić, Gabi Novak, Kemal Monteno, Bisera Veletanlić…
He becomes the drummer for the group Mama CoCo in 1977. At that time the band was led by the great Dado Topić. Next year, Mama CoCo opened for Zdravko Čolić on, until then, the biggest Yugoslav concert tour. But even that wasn’t enough for Đuričić, so by the end of the 70s he found himself in the renowned Belgrade YU grupa, and from 1981 he was a member of the great Macedonian ensemble Leb i sol. Into the band from Niš Kerber he entered during the mid-eighties, later only to return back to Vlatko Stefanovski’s crew.
Everyone wanted a piece of Đuričić – the grand master of rhythm! – from the big, commercial names, all the way to the alternative musicians. Today when he recounts, it turns out that he recorded seventy albums, some as a studio musicians, others as part of the band which released them. During his career, Đuričić played on more than six thousand concerts, on every continent… except the Antarctic. From 1997 he renews his collaboration with Čolić, at the head of his backing band, all the while managing to do some of his own work as part of the project The Drums Company.
Immense is the list of famous musicians who worked with Đuričić. Beside the mentioned, those are: Kornelije Kovač, Davorin Popović, Laza Ristovski, Đorđe Balašević, Stjepko Gut… On this year’s Street Musicians Festival, Dragoljub Đuričić arrives with his squad of young drummers, on a mission to gloriously open the Festival turning it into a great-spirited rhythm carnival which will live on in memory long after the dust has settled!
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Milivoje Petrović, known to audiences under his stag name Miško Plavi, arrived to the music scene at the beginning of the 80s. In VIA Talas he played guitar, while he played bass for the group D’Boys. Afterwards he was on guitar, bas and keyboards in Piloti. In the band Piloti he played for eleven years, while for a short period of time he even played bas for Ekatarina Velika.
His solo career begins 15 years ago. At that moment he goes to Japan for the first time, but as an accordion player, and begins to compose music for films. Miško’s notes decorate the films of the famous Jean-Marc Barr, while he became known to wider audiences through work on the film by Srđan Koljević Sivi kamion crvene boje (The Red Colored Grey Truck). Miško was first accepted as an accordion player by the audience in Japan…
– The program Music Around The World was created on the streets of Osaka and Tokyo, in 2000 and 2001. Then, for the first time I went to Japan, with the wish to see how it is to play in the street. Until then I was only used to playing with bands and on stadiums and squares, in front of ten, fifty and hundreds of thousands of people, but never in the street. In 2000 Osaka was one of the candidates for the Olympic Games, and because of that great many street musicians from all across the world dropped anchor in its port. The city was elated, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere reigned over the city – explains Miško.
– While still in Belgrade I made a plan: to show the Japanese what is an accordion! Three months I prepared a 45 minute program for the street, and as a result experienced incredible success. I earned a lot of money, although at first it was not my primary goal – reminisces Miško. – I met people who connected me to the main men of Japan’s music business. Later I played in clubs, signed contracts with a label, who remain my exclusive house even today. They made it possible for me to perform on more than 200 concerts across Japan and in the most exclusive music halls in the country.
On this year’s Street Musicians Festival, Miško Plavi will perform part of the program Music Around The World. “You will hear my original music through which I weave musical segments from other authors from the fields of rock, jazz, classical and ethno music”, explains the accordion player who has had numerous concerts and studio collaborations, but also an excellently accepted
album – the Japanese compilation Super Best Of Miško Plavi, while at home studio edition Istok ljubi Zapad (East Kisses West), and a concert album Live In Japan (released as part of the publishing of Miško’s travelogue – Planet Japan).
Nenad Marić – poet, singer and guitar player who has performed for ten years under the name Kralj Čačka (King Of Čačak) – arrives to this year’s Street Musicians Festival with a reputation as the best or at least most exciting new home-grown singer-songwriter. This will be his first real performance in Novi Sad.
Musical editors and critics adore him: for them, the King is a silent rebel and dreamer, a fortunate combination of a craftsmen and artist, charismatic entertainer with a message, chronicler and (singing) wise man. Colleagues respect and are regulars at his gigs, while the audience (as audiences are) see in him what they want to see – most frequently the Serbian version of Tom Waits – what has been the nickname for years of this talented Čačak man from Belgrade.
His empire spreads from blues, jazz and rock’n’roll, all the way to bohemian songs, cabaret and chansons. The lyrics are overflowing with social commentaries – ironical, bitter and humorous. But not all, so everyone can enjoy the King, and the audience is also prone to its romantic and melancholic content.
Bohemia, charm of loss, distance – themes which follow and describe him, especially in the light of the fact that he has not yet released a studio album, so on the radio you can mostly hear that one and only: the hit single Avatar, released by the end of last year.
The King’s first songs and demo tapes appeared back in 2004 and 2005. Ten years on, we see him on stage (Thom York and Jim Jarmusch are the first associations upon appearance) with his brother Marko Marić (electric guitar, piano, percussions) and Aleksandar Stanković (double bass).
The Belgrade singer-songwriter Ilija Ludvig emerged from musical anonymity in 2007, appearing on the compilation Jutro će promeniti sve? (Morning Will Change Everything?), rated as a great release by PGP RTS. The compilation offered songs of home-grown musicians who were those days making announcing their arrival – the bands Goribor, Repetitor, Nežni Dalibor and The Mothership Orchestra. But, even among such tough competition, Ilija’s exceptional number Mikonos shined in its full glory…
Today, Ilija Ludvig is – judging by the announcements for his ever more frequent performances – the underground king of Belgrade! “Ilija plays the guitar and sings, has stand-ups during concerts, expressing himself through songs and visually, engaged in a fight against all injustices of this world, always eager to show how much he cares about every single person in the audience. Ilija is a poet, entertainer, musician. He’s Woody Guthrie, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Billy Bragg, and Lou Reed”, note the fans.
– It is the end of the 25th year since little Ilija stubbornly asked for and finally received from his pa’ a guitar. And from then on the constant need for creating is not wavering one bit – tells us Ilija Ludvig. – I grew up with the vibrant tapes played in the car on route to Asprovalta, but also on video cassettes filled with concerts, films, videos and San Remo. And with Bajaga. That created a nice, fertile ground for all that later came to me.
To the Street Musicians Festival Ilija will bring his guitar and his loops and beats. It is left to be seen will he be dressed as Dionysus or Hermes… “I experience the performance as a ceremony. As such, it demands a different bearing. In the name of freedom. In the name of friendship. That is always the joy of the vision, some poetic-philosophical porridge which is filtered in that which becomes the costume”, explains Ilija.
Eight-member band Wooden Ambulance perform melancholy Americana mixed with rock and blues. In the foreground is the velvet baritone Goran Grubišić, while behind him is a very rich mosaic, composed of harmonica, banjo, slide guitar, and violin sections.
The audience remembers Grubišić as the drummer of the famed post-rock band from Subotica – Ana Never. His new musical adventure, beside being characterized as Americana, can be also described as a mixture of indie folk-rock and dream pop (although some, serious critics, see him as a sort of postmodern blues).
Wooden Ambulance has recorded four well-acclaimed albums (woodenambulance.bandcamp.com) – Intersection (2012), River Sand (2013), Rough Charms (2014) and North From Your Heart: Wooden Ambulance Remixed (2015). Grubišić and his crew can be heard on popular singer-songwriter /Americana compilations Bistro At The Edge Of The Forrest and Songs Under The Sheets.
The band played several dozen concerts across the entire region, and even had something truly unusual and unique: a bike tour (!), as well as a series of concerts across Holland. They were the opening band to some quality foreign musicians, and were seen performing on the first Americana Night Festival in the Belgrade Dom Omladine Civic Centre.
The Flamenco Thief
Craig Sutton, better known as The Flamenco Thief, plays jazz mixed with flamenco. This ambitious, English virtuoso, who travels and performs tirelessly, often treats his guitar as a purely rhythmic, percussion instrument, in front of crowds, who because of it love to get down and dance the night away. The Flamenco Thief is a fast and precise old-school guitar player, but a capable artist who loves to use modern guitar effects and rhythms close to hip-hop. As he himself says, ska and hip-hop, and most of all gypsy swing, were most influential on his style.
His debut EP The Flamenco Thief, released in the UK four years ago, quickly gained favor with renowned music critics from the BBC and New Musical Express magazine. Two years later, he released an album titled Liberating Parts Of The Cosmos, a successful collection of recordings which led him to three month long European tour (touring 17 countries all together). Finally, last year, The Flamenco Thief returned to the road, and in the space of just ten months performed no less than 250 times, in 40 different countries!
To the Street Musicians Festival The Flamenco Thief arrives as part of his current European Summer Tour. As we found out, in July he performed in Great Britain and Germany, while August is reserved for the Czech Republic, Poland and the Ukraine. Owner of numerous honors and awards for an innovative approach to utilization of the Spanish guitar, Craig Sutton will on the Street Musicians Festival and the crowd in the center of Novi Sad, have not just one, but two fantastic performances!
Gabon is a country in Central Africa, located between Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo. This former French colony, because of its significant oil reserves, is today one among the ten richest African countries, but, as things usually go, mostly in favor of the urban elite (most of the population still lives in the interior of the country, modestly, through agriculture).
Hip-hop collective Movaizhaleine was founded in Gabon by the beginning of the 90s, when Lord Ekomy Ndong and Maât Seigneur Lion were only high-school kids who loved to rap. In Libreville, the capital of Gabon, after winning several rap battles and local performances, and also appearing on a few Pan-African radio stations, Movaizhaleine becomes a sought after hip-hop attraction.
During the mid-90s, Lord Ekomy Ndong and Maât Seigneur Lion founded their own record label. The fact that their hip-hop included traditional Gabonese melodies and instruments maybe helped them the most on their road to fame and glory on the home front. Of course, as the lyrics are in the fore ground of any hip-hop act, their songs about the Gabonese paradox – a rich country of poor people, intrigued music critics.
Already by then, it was noticed that Movaizhaleine gave hip-hop in Gabon, and beyond, a certain new dimension. Moreover, their albums Mission en Mbeng (1998) and Mission Accomplie (2001) succeeded in reaching a wider audience not exclusive to hip-hop. Soon, the band becomes popular in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea… and today even in France. On the Street Musicians Festival, the African hip-hopers Movaizhaleine will be five strong and perform on Saturday, 5th September.
This year’s Street Musicians Festival will be a chance for you to meet Novi Sad’s Kreativni pogon (Creative Drive). “We are a citizens’ association gathered around current events and then finding a way to present them through our performances. As part of our work we use contemporary circus techniques, physical theatre, modern dance and all that we can think of, having crazy fun along the way. We develop our skills through everyday practice as well as taking part in various workshops and master classes having to do with the performing arts”, said the members of Kreativni pogon.
Their show – titled the Contemporary Circus Show: Proletarians – we will have a chance to see both on the second and third days of the Festival, in Danube Street, at the City Library. The show is accompanied by music which has, as they announce, lifted the working classes from the middle of the 20th century until today. The show will shed light on the history of the working class, on its rise and fall, “and what does it all look like today, and we will also talk about the contemporary need of consuming in a system whose offers are immense, but in which pockets are empty.”
– More than anything we love performing in the street, and, if it be possible, that it be accompanied by live music, but we ourselves know to play music our own way. When the weather is nice you can find us in one of Novi Sad’s parks, while during winter we are in a top secret location – Kreativni pogon explained. Their show lasts 40 minutes, and is accompanied by carefully selected music, as well as musical acts which the artists themselves perform.
Dance The Dance We Dance
The youngest visitors of the Street Musicians Festival will also be offered good energy and an interactive dance during the performance Dance The Dance We Dance. The creator of this show is Neda Popović, the choreographer and dance instructor from Novi Sad (two years ago, on the Festival, she organized the program Get Lucky Flash Mob!), while the kids who participate in the show Dance The Dance We Dance come from several Novi Sad dance studios (Studio Five, Partizan 2, Profesional and Heart Dance Team).
Neda explains: “Dance The Dance We Dance last about 45 minutes. It will be a performance which will through story and dance remind kids of the forgotten street games. In time of modern technologies, internet and smart phones, children far too rarely play with one another, until they find the treasure chest hiding old games and a rag doll which will reveal the magic of playing hopscotch, jump-rope, Duck… Duck… Goose! Through a number of explanations and choreographies, the children will learn how to have fun this way. At the end of the performance, the children from the audience will be invited to try out the presented games with the help from the kids participating in the play.”
Neda Popović was born in Novi Sad, where she graduated the Faculty of Technical Sciences. Parallel to that she danced, so that for over 17 years she is an active dancer, instructor and choreographer, and we can say with the utmost confidence that it is her first and true calling. She is most interested in performance and theatre, greatly helped by the scholarship from the American dance school Jacob’s Pillow, which she attended during the summer of 2014, when she worked with renowned Broadway choreographers. She collaborated with the Priština National Theatre, and the Culture Center in Novi Sad, and she also set up the musical for children Matilda with dancers from Studio Five (her current employer). Neda is also doing competitive choreography, with which she won several championship titles and runner-up champion of Europe and the world. She was the choreographer and stylist for the national representative on the Children’s Eurovision Song Contest in Cyprus 2008.
Fire serpents, fans, polls and poi, fire spitting, juggling on the edge of danger and excitement, the night adventure of the attractive icy show program, the big light party, acrobatics, ferry dancing… All this on the fifteenth jubilee Street Musicians Festival, in the center of Novi Sad, brings the crew of skilled street performers called Haos žongleri (Chaos Jugglers).
– We are a tem of jugglers which comes from Novi Sad. Our mission is to light up the city with fire and ice props, so much so that the street lamps will be unnecessary. Our specialty are children’s birthdays, and beside that we light up the atmosphere on music and children’s festivals – explain Haos žongleri. They say that they lit up squares and most towns in our country, from Subotica to Prijepolje. But, they managed to spread even further, lighting up Podgorica through Herceg Novi to Ulcinj. They inflamed even the first Wanderland Festival, Night Of Museums and all the craziest parties in this town! And that not even all…
– When we lay down our props, the most beautiful segment of our program begins. From dancing with fire to cabaret dance, modern dance, Ukrainian hopaka to special choreographies to which you can dance the night away. You will be especially amused and brought to tears by our history of dance and amazed by our ferry dance which has entertained people all across Serbia – said Aleksandar Zvončica and Marko Haos. – The up-beat salsa rhythms move all, from the youngest audience member to the oldest. We danced with everyone and all the cities in Serbia and Montenegro. Power, sound and the party starts now!
From the capital city of Croatia to this year’s Street Musicians Festival arrives Davor Peršić, an original entertainer, passionate circussologist and experienced street musician. This graduate of sociology (Sociological aspects of dance and the contribution to its affirmation the title of his thesis) inspiration for dance as his life’s motto, but also his calling, found as still only a child, from when his creative work with sound, wood and various other kinds of unusual musical instruments begins, continuing to this very day.
Peršić from 1999 actively performs as a clown and juggler, and then as a street musician as well. In the meantime, as a crown to all his pastimes, he built his own instrument – a modified contrabass, to which he at times adds various other sound components. In that self-initiated game of rhythms, bass lines and the occasional singing, as he says, he finds complete joy. Peršić thus becomes – under the stage name Magister Ludi Man Band (Magister Crazy Man Band) – the one-man band musician who leaves no one feeling unsatisfied.
The master of musical-comic street performances, Davor Peršić, as we found out, gives well attended and interesting art workshops, through which he transfers to his pupils his vast knowledge from the fields of juggling, clowning, stage movement, pantomime, equilibrism and street playing. Peršić performed once already on the Street Musicians Festival, in 2013, when he was much much more than just a street attraction on various points across the old core of Novi Sad.
Kezz is the stage name of singer-songwriter from Kikinda Tamara Ristić. As we find out, from her early childhood she has been on stage. She was just five when she began to act in the Kikinda Art Theatre, and while she was nine she already had her first musical performance. As an individual and as a part of various musical projects, Tamara has up to now performed in numerous towns across our country, but has also recorded performances in Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic and Norway.
She was the singer for the Kruševac band ZAA, up to 2011, and that cooperated for several years with the Belgrade band Škank, as well as with DJ MKDSL. “Kezz is my original project which I started last year. The music revolves around modern genres, while the characteristic singing is styled and in some segments inspired by traditional music from the Balkans”, explains the talented Tamara Ristić, whose unusual originals will grow to the hearts of those visitors of this year’s Street Musicians Festival who are into the so called alternative pop.
Above all, you will like her song Moma, which she released by the end of last year, as her first very own single. Interestingly, that song was shortlisted (out of three) on a competition by London’s World Music Network. This year, by the beginning of May, Tamara had an interesting live looping session, recorded in the yard of the studio Terra in Kikinda, on which Moma was performed with two new songs – Nikada mi neće biti dovoljno (It Will Never Be Enough) and Kiša (Rain). As for plans for the future, an EP is in preparation.
Five member ensemble of acoustic player InSession arrive to the Street Musicians Festival from Slovenia, more precisely: from Maribor. Tamara Pešić, on lead vocals, Matej Tisaj, on percussions, Mihael Miško, on bass, and Dejan Damjanović and Vid Visočnik on guitar, performing original and cover pop and rock tracks, while they explain the name of the band like this:
– After several jams, we found our direction, and, after many broken strings, we chose the name InSession. The name consists of words that best describe us as a band, and those are instrumental and (jam)session. Although, the similarity with the word insane is no coincidence.
They do not keep rigidly to any particular musical genre, but, they simply play. “We are a young band of acoustic players and our musical direction could be summed up in the words play what your heart desires. The idea is simple: music is born in the heart, so that it could, with the help of instruments and vocals, find the path to the heart of the listeners.”
They say that they love to play in the street above all else. “When you play in different cities, with a hat in front of you, when you brighten up the day to a small child, return an old couple to a time past filled, or catch a smile of a young lady, all that is priceless. That’s some other world!”
The young Slovenian acoustic band behind them have performances in Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium… Of course, they are overwhelmed by their arrival on the Street Musicians Festival. “Presenting ourselves on an event of street artists in Novi Sad – for us is a new perspective, but also an opportunity to expand our music even more, this time to the Balkans.”
The acoustic trio Drvo Truo arrives to the Festival from Kikinda. They play jazz, but that summer, swing kind, mixed with pop, rock and blues. They are side by side together for four and a half years – the line-up: Jovan Bajkin (vocals and rhythm guitar), Aleksandar Lipovan (guitar) and Srđan Stojanović (violin and back vocals).
Beside Kikinda, they played in clubs in Subotica, Bačka Topola, Novi Bečej, Bečej, Kovačica, Lazarevac, Valjevo, Novi Sad and Belgrade, but also playing in front of foreign audiences in: Podgorica, Rijeka, Timisoara, Berlin…
In the summer of 2011 their first album was released simply titled – Reproduction. The album is made up of ten cover songs of foreign musicians, ten really first-class unplugged works, creatively arranged and masterfully performed.
One year later, on request from the National Theatre in Kikinda, they arranged and recorded tracks that were to be the leading music themes for the play Pajama For Six. Based on the text by Marc Camoletti and directed by Olivera Đorđević, the play was an excellent opportunity for the audience to hear how Drvo Truoperform a sequence of great 80s hits, spanning from You Spin Me Round of the neo-romantic Dead Or Alive to Tell Me Lies of the great Fleetwood Mac.
Jovan, Aleksandar and Srđan last year recorded their first original single, for the song Zima (Winter), which later received a descent video. “Currently we are working on new songs, for our first studio album”, explains Aleksandar. “Live, on the repertoire we have selected songs mostly of foreign performers, covered in a melancholic Banat or manouche, jazz-swing manner, with a touch of country, blues, pop or rock.”
On this year’s Street Musicians Festival, Drvo Truo will beside their original compositions also play songs of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Sting, Paul Weller, Edwyn Collins, and the bands The Smiths, U2, Depeche Mode, The Police, Mando Diao, Kings of Convenience, Alphaville…
Banja Luka is their city, and Django Reinhardt is their great idol. Nylon Club is a relatively young gypsy jazz ensemble, created as a result of a common wish of three (then) high school boys to keep the musical legacy of the great Django alive, the influential Belgian-French virtuoso on guitar who has mixed his Romani musical spark with elements of jazz and French modern.
Band Nylon Club is made up of three young, talented musicians: Stefan Tešanović (20) and Luka Stijaković (15) on guitars and Slaven Bajić (18) on violin. They have been together from March 2013, naming themselves after the famous market in Novi Sad, which has, as they explain, associated to the name of the genre itself.
They had their first performances on artistic nights in the grammar school in Banja Luka. Later, with the expansion of their repertoire, they begin to play in jazz clubs in Banja Luka. “After that came serious performances, of which it is worth mentioning the participation on the Zelenkovac Jazz Festival in 2013 and 2014, but in 2013 we won third place, and then there is the participation on the festival Blue Jazzero in Imotska, where we were special guests. Also, the concert held in Teslić as a part of the event Summer in Teslić, should be also highlighted”, says Slaven Bajić.
Nylon Club’s repertoire consists of gypsy jazz standards played in arrangements signed by the band members themselves. Currently they are intensively working on their own, original songs, and on mastering new cover compositions, although arriving from completely different genres. Of course, they will be playing them in their recognizable gypsy jazz manner!
The band from Novi Sad Lepi Jova numbers six, met playing in an art center. Milorad Kukić plays the pipe and is the guitarist, on clarinet and saxophone Miloš Mijatović, Miroslav Majstorović plays the violin, Željko Džakić plays the guitar, Tibor Sabo on bass, while Njegoš Krakić is liable for the percussions (tarabuka, bongos…).
The idea to make a band combining pipe kolo and rumba was born in 2005, when the guys were with their folk troupe in Greece. The band was formally formed three years later, and from then on had successful performances on numerous festivals across the country and abroad. Musical critics note that Lepi Jova very steady and skillfully managed to merge the Serbian kolo, the so called Balkan beat and jazz with rock and electro music.
Lepi Jova is a person from Serbian folk songs and dances. In them he is often characterized as the fastest, prettiest, best, strongest… right after Marko Kraljević. Lepi Jova from Novi Sad creates original instrumental music, full of energy, bizarre ethno motives with quick shifts in rhythm, but also play interesting, unexpected covers. The pipe, as they say, was pulled out of folk, the so called twosie, and they gave it a greater freedom as a melodic instrument.
They record their most important performances on the Nisville Festival in 2010 and 2012. They also played on the Festival Of Ambient And Ethno music Carousel in Čačak and on the World Music Summit in Dom Omladine Civic Center in Belgrade, while in Novi Sad they performed on the public beach Štrand’s Festival Of Food and in the Serbian National Theatre and in Studio M. On the Street Musicians Festival, the multi-instrumentalist Kukić and his palls you will expect to hear playing tracks recorded on their premier album released two years ago.
Duo Nomadiko from Novi Sad are Neda Nosović (vocals and guitar) and Ivan Seničić (guitar). Performing music of the Russian Romani, known to the wider audiences for the Soviet cult film Tabor uhodit v nebo (Queen Of The Gypsies, 1975). The music of Duo Nomadiko is filled with strong passions, rebellion and melancholy. Neda and Ivan are working together from 2013. You have probably seen or heard them in one of the many cafés in Novi Sad, and, as we found out, they have performed in front of audiences in Žabalj, Zemun, Kraljevo…
Neda Nosović is a self-taught singer of Russian Romani music. Intensely playing the guitar during the last six year, in front of the audience in Novi Sad she had individual performances in the café-bookstore Nublu and the café-gallery Frida. Ivan Seničić, similarly, is a self-taught guitarist and pianist, finishing primary musical school in Kraljevo “Stevan Mokranjac” on the String department, and is an active member of the Novi Sad band Prkos Drumski, with whom he has had numerous concerts.
Older audiences probably remember the eighties and a band that worked in Belgrade, Ođila, which also performed Russian Romani music. It could even be said that Duo Nomadiko represents a reply to the popular Ođila. What is that answer – you will hear it in September as part of the Street Musicians Festival, but right now, if you click on some of the eighteen duonomadic
tracks from the album Divine Fantasy (http://duonomadiko.bandcamp.com), which Neda and Ivan recorded in June of last year and uploaded to bandcamp.
Novi Sad’s live electronic band Don’t Touch Anything (DTA) is up and running for the last two years. Moša and Špira founded the band, and then Marko the drummer joined in. Electronic live, is what DTA is bringing to the stage.
– Some time ago, Moša went from the band, but Lordan joined us on trumpet, bringing with him a completely new dimension to our sound. And then there is Alex Everbeatz, who does our post-production and sound. There are some other people who are eventually going to join in on the story. Most importantly, we are releasing our first single very soon – we found out from the DTA crew.
Novi Sad’s audience had a chance to hear them several times, as well as the venues in Bačka Palanka, Zrenjanin and Belgrade. DTA is part of the project Ultra Sound Session, which introduced itself to the scene precisely on the Street Musicians Festival. You could say that the audience’s reaction to the band was exceptional. Maybe because DTA paints a pretty colorful musical picture.
– Our music is a combination of everything we listen to, from jazz, punk and metal, trough hip-hop, ambient and experimental music, all the way to some wicked electro. Our sound could be characterized even as industrial, even though any and all categorization is ungrateful. Some of the things we like to listen to, that has to do with our sound is: Ministry, Lard, Aphex Twin, Sleaford Mods, El-P, Gang of Four, Young Fathers…
Maybe it is not a bad thing to know that Špira is also into design and that Marko works as a sound engineer. This year’s Street Musicians Festival will for them be, as they themselves said, a great opportunity to meet new musicians which they had not met yet. And they also add: “It will be a great big wicked party in the city center!”
This interesting trio, to Novi Sad, on this year’s Street Musicians Festival, come from the Hungarian town of Pécs. Bencsik Gergely (violin), Hajba Gergő (guitar) and Bánhalmi Zsolt (percussions) perform world and ambient music, that is post-folk and urban folk. Interestingly, INTU was most influenced, as they say themselves, by the violinist from Subotica Lajko Feliks and the popular Australian roots and jam ensemble John Butler Trio.
INTU posses three well acclaimed studio albums. The first was released in 2011 and is named Rege (Story), the second came a year later, under the name Vasárnap (Sunday), while the third is called Meridián (Meridian), which was released this year. They added that Nordinger And Rítus (Rite) their double album is soon to be released.
Dynamic tones, harmonies, silence, whisper, and then a violent storm (!) – that is the Hungarian band INTU (http://www.intuband.hu/). They made music inspired by folk heritage of several European cultures, but in the end they still play very intuitively and with loads of improvisations (https://soundcloud.com/intuband/sets/meridi-n-2015). They are glad guests to other musicians. The band was formed in 2010, as a band of furious street musicians, but later, after the arrival of their studio albums, they began to perform more and more in clubs and on festivals.
The man from Zrenjanin, Aleksandar Stamenković will introduce the audience on this year’s Street Musicians Festival to the greatest smallest instrument – the jaw harp, becoming especially popular in our country after the classic film Ko to tamo peva (Who’s Singin’ Over There, 1980).
– I wish to share the jaw harp’s sound with the citizens of Novi Sad. I have several of them, in various tonalities, and it is my belief that the unique sound of this instrument would be great as a solo act, but also a great fusion with the other street musicians – said Aleksandar. – This will not be the first time I harp with someone else, even with famous musicians, since I already had short performances with Miško Plavi and the bands Dubioza kolektiv and Atheist Rap.
Aleksandar performed in front of the audience in Novi Sad during one of the previous Long Night Of Museums, while in Zrenjanin he is a regular, recording numerous club performances with local bands, as well as being a household name on the Korzo Fest. “Take a look at this short jaw harp clip I made while visiting Novi Sad for Valentine’s Day”, suggests Aleksandar.
And he adds: “It will be a great honor and privilege to perform on the Street Musicians Festival, especially since it is the Festival’s jubilee; to fill in any gaps and empty spaces in the streets, if they exist, otherwise, the plan is to join some virtuosos and make some music on the spot. On the Festival I will be supported by my friend and DJ Ivan Milivojev. He’s a DJ Soundcutter, and will play light dance beats mixed with quotes from the films Ko to tamo peva i Maratonci, and all the while I’ll be doing my solos on the jaw harp. Our project for this occasion will be called Balkan Weirdos!”
Born in Sremska Mitrovica, Vuk Muškinja finished design school in Novi Sad. Afterwards, he graduated from the Academy of fine arts in Belgrade on wall painting. But, this painter always had his own, let us call it, musical side…
– I am engaged in music for over twenty years, but I started playing in the streets back in 1997. Playing in the street was, of course, mostly for fun and a wish to share some new songs. I played with many bands, and now I begin to comprehend that I am best when I am solo – Vuk (Wolf) had that typically lonely wolf statement.
Several years ago, also on the Street Musicians Festival, he performed as a member of the Lost Professors band. Afterwards, he won first place on Takt Fest in the Novi Sad café Pero. “A year or two later, I was in the band Šesto čulo (Sixth Sense), and the last couple of years I started learning to sing in foreign languages as are Greek, Romanian, Bulgarian, Portuguese… I know several Greek songs from which I would especially like to perform at least one on the festival in Novi Sad”, announced this year’s performance on the Street Musicians Festival poet, composer, guitarist and singer Vuk Muškinja.
Arriving to the Street Musicians Festival from Gornji Milanovac is Dušana Stefanović. Coming with her is her guitar, voice and love towards music – French chansons and songs belonging to the so called Ex-Yu rock. “That was the music of my parents, the music I grew up with. Songs of Jadranka Stojaković, and of newer artists as is Ana Stanić. I adored them and they led me to guitar playing. Now, when I am older, I am in constant search for new artists. I am amazed by the local band Ničim izazvan, and by foreign ones as well, Clapton, Sting and Arctic Monkeys”, explains Dušana.
One of the songs she will be performing on the Street Musicians Festival will be Je ne sais pas, one of the contemporary French chansons. “I performed this song on the Festival of French Chansons in Belgrade in 2013, and with her went on to the finals which were held in Niš”, said Dušana. “I cannot boast with experience of a real street musicians, because with me all is founded on playing in the park or in front of the dorm rooms, for an audience of friends in search of some good music.”
Dušana loves to read and is a great movie buff. “I adore films that lead me on journey of contemplation and have a good message. The film Into The Wild, directed by Sean Penn, which I recently watched, left a strong impression on me. Travels are also a great inspiration, but what inspires me the most are people who surround me, who are so different and who remind me every day on the good that has not yet completely vanished”, our new friend from Gornji Milanovac is quite the romantic.