July is definitely not a quiet month, in any sense. Beaches are packed, restaurants are fully-booked and the events agenda is enjoying its peak season. As several summer festivals return this month, the island fills with art, music and theatre. Coming to Limassol very shortly is the 18th Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival, ready to fill Heroes’ Square with sounds from around the globe.
From July 14 to 30, the festival will welcome local and invited international artists to the stage to perform live. The evening concerts all begin at 9pm and are free for the public to attend. This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Angelina Nicolaidou, an inspiring, and prominent conductor who showcased the work of talented composers and was a beloved collaborator of the Rialto Theatre.
The festival will open with an international trio that will present their newly released album including a repertoire that organically fluctuates from original compositions in classical Ottoman style to anonymous rural dances of Cyprus. On July 14, Michalis Kouloumis (violin, voice), Tristan Driessens (oud) and Miriam Encinas (percussion, dilruba, pithkiavlin) will bridge a gap between classical and folk music.
Next, the multi-award-winning Cypriot trio Monsieur Doumani will take the stage on July 19. The band has participated in the most celebrated festivals and received numerous international awards, and will present music from their four albums, as well as new unreleased pieces.
Another acclaimed local trio will perform at the festival. Rumba Attack is set to enchant audiences on July 22, performing original instrumental material, as well as selected covers in their distinctive Flamenco-Rumba style. The trio will also present their debut album Harmonics with their own compositions and the covers of two Greek songs.
On July 24, the Gaba Project with perform original music and new soundscapes as they combine the handpan, lyra and double bass. Joined by Nicholas Tryphonos they will also present arrangements of musical traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Two days later, guitarist and composer Odysseas Toumazou will present music from his second personal album, titled Origins. Driven by improvisation, his compositions blend traditional Cypriot music with elements of jazz.
Concluding the festival is a funky band that blends brass music, disco, German poetry, jazz, circus orchestra and punk. Band Whiskydenker will take the stage on July 30 for a cheerful, rock’n’roll, groovy performance blending pogo swing and lively tunes to end the festival with a bang.
18th Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival
Two-week long music festival. July 14-30. Heroes Square, Limassol. 9pm. Free. www.rialto.com.cy