Villages have been looming large in events this summer. Perhaps, after years of urban flow, we’re rediscovering our roots, falling back in love with the homes of our forefathers. Or maybe we’re all just looking for any excuse to get out of the stifling city heat! Whatever the reason, the last month has seen Fengaros taking over Kato Drys, and the Rialto Music Fest heading up to Platres, while the upcoming Paradise Jazz Festival is about to loom large in Pomos. This week, however, it’s the sleepy village of Katydata on the western plains which is headlining events, with the annual instrumental spectacular better known as the Windcraft Music Festival.
Now in its fourth year, this get-together has seen bands from all corners of Cyprus (including Tri-Cool-Ore, Duo Lelale and The Amalgamation Trio) descending on the sleepy village each August. And this month, the two-day event is returning to the picturesque hamlet for a musical weekend of concerts, workshops, screenings and parallel activities. Running under the tagline ‘Music, colours and dance… Voices, sun and hospitality!’ the award-winning festival takes place on August 12 and 13, and organisers promise it will be “more airy than ever, with bands combining different music traditions of the world and the winds giving the lead to a lively musical celebration.”
Organised by the non-profit cultural association Windcraft Loud, the festival will feature both local and international artists as well as a number of bands, and will allow the musicians to showcase their original music projects – in particular those influenced by music traditions of the world. Taking us “from European jazz and classical music to the brass sound of the Balkans and the melodies of the Mediterranean, and from the uplifting Afro-Brazilian rhythms to the gypsy paths of jazz manouche,” the festival hopes to “confirm that different cultures can indeed co-exist. Blending the past with the present, creating a common space for cultural understanding and interaction, and encouraging the audience to participate in the exciting process of music creation is what the festival aims for.”
Included in the exciting line-up are any number of well-known musicians, both local and foreign. Toubanaki & The Buzz Bastardz – one of the most remarkable projects of the Greek world jazz scene – will be mixing traditional and contemporary music forms in a delirious melodic explosion of Balkan sounds. The Windcraft Band are set to share the stage with the great Italian saxophonist Federico Pascucci, while the “classy new collaboration” comprising the Takoushis-Karapatakis Project (Marios Takoushis, Gabriel Karapatakis, Zacharias Spyridakis) and Greek trumpet player Andreas Polyzogopoulos will be performing original ideas and compositions based on the principles of jazz and improvisation, all infused with Mediterranean culture. Newly-formed Latin jazz group Macumba – a collaboration between Chilean bassist Rodrigo Cacerés and Elias Ioannou, George Morfitis and Rodos Panayiotou – promise to lift Katydata’s audiences with their own interpretation of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, while The Hot Club of Cyprus (consisting of musicians from both communities of the island) will transport listeners back to the 1930s, reviving the gypsy sounds of jazz manouche.
Adding to the line-up is the classical woodwind quintet the Quintus Ensemble, who are set to perform original arrangements of well-known compositions by Manos Hatzidakis and Vasilis Tsitsanis. And two “exceptional young musicians” will also be presenting their solo projects: Giannis Koutis (on the ud, classical fretless guitar, voice, cümbüş, and duduk), and Vasilis Vasiliou (who combines the enchanting melodic qualities of the handpan with the grooves of multi-percussion).
But it’s not all just music: actress Elena Agathokleous and musician Dimitris Spyrou will be performing an acoustic narration, entitled To Skasimon, which is “based on literary texts and boasts a background of music repetitions.” Workshops, lectures and parallel activities which involve everyone in the process of music creation will also be offered for free to visitors of any age while two documentary screenings on Cypriot musical traditions (The Cypriot Fiddler and bi-communal production Karsilamas) will be followed by performances of traditional music.
With tickets costing €15 for one day and €20 for two (kids under 12 go free), and all workshops free of charge, this is one village getaway that will be hard to turn down. So why not head out of the stifling urban heat on Friday and Saturday? Katydata is sure to be cooler, calmer, and ever so ‘windy’ this weekend!
The Windcraft Music Fest
August 18 and 19 in Katydata. For more information and bookings, call 22 377748, email [email protected] or visit www.windcraftmusicfest.com/