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Balkan Trafik 2014 – the first names!

the_title() 02/20/2014 - News

The first names for the 2014 festival have been confirmed! Read all about them. More to follow soon!

Esma & Amazing Roma from Macedonia

A spectacular show of music in which the rhythms will undoubtedly take you to a joyous mood… Esma Redzepova, also known as the Gypsy Queen of Macedonia, will visit us the with her phenomenal voice. Musically, this Queen has no limits. If one moment she seems to be Greek, one moment  later she will convince you she is Turkish or Bulgarian. As if she would like to tell us that she doesn’t belong to anyone specific, but simply to everyone. In brief, she’s a Queen with no boundaries whatsoever!


KAL are a young band with a rock ‘n’ roll in attitude, fuelled on dance beats and rooted in the Balkan blues. In their wit, imagination, ability to throw disparate sounds together, and refusal to play by “folkloric” rules KAL mark themselves as both part of Balkan gypsy tradition and 21st century Roma cultural activists. The identity KAL carry forward is racially proud yet ethnically inclusive, forward-looking while embracing the treasure of the last thousand years of lungo drom (long road), a culture determined to operate as equals in the ever evolving Nu-Europe we all share. While our post-modern, polyglot times may find employing terms like “commitment” and “mission” unfashionable, KAL are a band who aim to make a difference.

Shutka Roma Rap

Shutka Roma Rap is a potent hip-hop/wedding band hybrid that draws on both Eastern and Western sounds. They spit their rhymes in Romani, a language derived from the Hindi. Their rap deals with politics, girls, poverty, God, being a star, being Roma and all the struggles that it entails.

Dahka Brakha

Dakha Brakha is a fourfold Ukrainian group of three young women dressed in long white dresses, with an impressive hairdo and a man dressed in black. Dakha Brakha is a rather unusual name for a remarkable group. In their exceptional music, they take the finest parts of Ukrainian folk music and combine them with African, Arabic, Bulgarian and Hungarian sounds and rhythms, resulting in a powerful music with tribal and frenetic rhythms, alternated by softer parts to release the eardrums. These Ukrainian compositions will gently drag you into a musical trance.

Caci Vorba

Caci Vorba (meaning “true language” in Romani Language, an expression used by gypsies to describe their music) is an amalgamation of various Gypsy-cultures, a Polish-Ukrainian ensemble, created in 2005. At the heart of the band, accompanied by various musicians, stands the singer and violist Maria Natanson. Amongst contemporary artists, she’s seen as a true star of Polish traditional music. At the young age of 15, she left music school and her parents’ home, looking for a gypsy life in rural mountains in order to learn traditional music of the Carpates; and where, later, Caci Vorba was founded. The band consists of six artists and offers a unique musical approach by mixing gypsy music, acoustic music, with a hint of jazzy vibes. Inspired by ancient melodies from the Balkan-area, from gypsies and the Carpathes, Caci Vorba will take you to an atypical, extraordinary world of Romanian Rock ‘n Roll, Balkan twist, Roma Swing and Eastern melodies, creating thus a new genre called “joc ‘n roll” (“joc” means “game” in Romanian). Caci Vorba offers a refreshing approach to gypsy music!

Bistritsa Babi

Bistrica Babi, “The Bistrica Grannies”, originate from the Shoplouk area in Bulgaria. These remarkable women are among the last representatives of the traditional polyphony and the village of Bistrica is one of the only places in Bulgaria where this cultural form has perpetuated for centuries. Their tradition includes a polyphonic music genre called shoppe, ancient folk dances called horo, and rituals called lazarouvane, an inauguration for young women. Thus, “The Bistrica Grannies” take part in the Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra

Innovation and authenticity. Those are the keywords used to describe the repertoire of these formerly illegal globetrotters. They combine rough gypsy music and ultra-bouncy ska, blended with delirious brass instruments and unrestrained synthesizers. They are the true pioneers of this particular style, creating a completely new and innovating genre. Their second album, Lumia Mo Kher, translated as “The world is my home” in English, abounds with energy, ambition and devotion. Gypsy-ska has never been as revolutionary!


Jonianet is a vocal troupe originating from Southwestern Albania. The group performs a form of traditional polyphony distinctive to this region of the country. The group’s mission is to preserve and communicate the emotional and spiritual richness of this art as a heritage of an ancient culture.

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