The Island Of Freedom - Yeni Raki Roma Tent

  • 28 Jun 2013 9:00 AM
The Island Of Freedom - Yeni Raki Roma Tent
One of the most vibrant venues at Europe’s most exciting and colourful festival is the home of the international Roma music culture, the Yeni Raki Roma Tent. And this year the venue will be even more attractive! The magnificent line-up includes an Indian circus, Dutch pop-reggae-folk, French guitar music, Italian punk-dub-tarantella and classical hits mixed with authentic czardas, bossa nova, French manouche swing, tango and jazz. It is for sure worth to check out the venue every day.

This year the Roma Tent is named after the world's number 1 aniseed spirit and also known as the “The Spirit of Istanbul” around the world, the Yeni Raki. This symbolizes the fusion of different and diverse cultures which has always been really typical for the Roma Tent. Yeni Raki will be present with their own bar at the venue, where all Szitizens of the Island of Freedom can exchange their different thoughts and opinions.

A constant fixture on the program will be the Indian Kawa Musical Circus. The circus from Rajasthan follows the legacy of the most ancient Indian street performers with its mystical and enchanted show. Their programme consists of breath-taking circus stunts, dance and theatre performances as well as puppet theatre shows all accompanied by live music. As an appetizer for each night’s show the audience will be carried away into a colourful fable world through the dispute of the grouchy circus director and the happy musicians while discovering the world of gypsy music.

The debut concerts of the pupils of the Snétberger Music Talent Center will be another regular programme at the venue. The talent center is lead by the famous Liszt Award winning guitar player Ferenc Snétberger who is of Roma origin. Since its start in 2011 the center yearly helps 60 talented young Roma musicians between the age of 12-20 to fulfil their musical dreams.

Béla Kása has been exploring the most hidden villages of Transylvania and certain regions of India mainly populated by Romas since 1973. For more than 30 years now he has been photographing the musicians, shepherds and dancers he encounters on his journeys. For years now his photos are exhibited at the tent allowing us to meet up with travelling Roma from Romania and India as well as the late great Transylvanian musicians who are still looking back at us from these pictures.

Opening the programme of the venue on Wednesday will be Amariszi from Holland. The young Dutch band with a unique Balkan sound will be performing at the Roma Tent for the first time. Their original songs combine elements of pop, reggae and folk music in a creative way.

The band of the French manouche guitarist Christophe Lartilleux, Latcho Drom got its name from the movie by Tony Gatlif. Music runs through the entire Lartilleux family, Christophe will arrive to the Roma Tent with his daughter, who is the bass player in the band as well. His main influence and idol is legendary Django Reinhardt and he is constantly trying to get as close to his unmistakeable Django-sound as possible.

Tradinnovazione, or reinvented tradition could be the motto of the music made by Mascarimiri coming from Salerno in South Italy. It will be their first time in Hungary presenting their punk-dub-tarantella project called Gitanistan that is an exciting mixture created from the influences of the past and the present.

Closing the programme of the first day will be Dj No Sikiriki. The DJ of Croatian origin living in Switzerland is a returning guest at the Roma Tent. His music is a melting pot of traditional gypsy music and the sound of the Balkan, a place where electro meets off-beat. No Sikiriki is a real master of mixing.

Opening the second day will be After Phurikane. The group formed in 2007 out of a musical project for Roma and non-Roma people. The founding of the group was preceded by a serious ethnological study. This way their style that shows the traditional melodies and musical shapes in a new way was born.

Following them is the band Kanizsa Csillagai. Formed in 1993 this band is probably the most authentic interpreter of “beás” gypsy music in Hungary. They perform a variety of “lovári”, “beás” and “romungro” gypsy music dressed in traditional clothes.

Fanfara Transilvania is your ultimate brass-band: lots of instruments, a real big family, father and son, cousin, uncle all together on one stage. A band from Cugir, Transylvania will make you want to dance for sure.

And after that comes another round of DJ No Sikiriki for the night.

On the early evening of Friday you can listen to the young and innovative Hungarian 7-piece Harmonia Garden and their special mix of genres. In this unusual “garden” you will find classical hits mixed with authentic czardas, bossa nova, French manouche, swing, tango and jazz.

Currently living in France, the Spanish Juan de Lerida is one of the most important representatives of “Flamenco Nuevo” (new flamenco). His music feeds upon the clearest sources incorporating elements of jazz and classical music. His compositions make you want to dance, they are moving and free. He will be joined on stage for a couple of songs by the Hungarian Romengo band, who play “oláh” gypsy music.

Tsigunz Fanfara Avantura is a 7-piece polish wind section with members that grew up surrounded by jazz. Their music can be described as a mix of Balkan music with Turkish and oriental influences and a touch of modern ethno jazz embedded in a powerful and romantic Slavic musical foundation.

Friday night will be closed by DJ Baxtalo. The DJ of the late Radio C is familiar with this musical world. DJ Baxtalo (“DJ Luck”) is a Roma DJ from Budapest. His style is a mix of Balkan folk music, traditional gypsy folklore and electronic fusion.

Saturday kicks off with the music of Roma Hungaricum. The sound and style of gypsy music mixed with the knowledge of the professional musicians from the big cities that evolved from generation to generation is what describes their music. The goal of the Roma Hungaricum State Ensemble is to represent this genre on the highest level possible. They want to bring the genre of traditional gypsy music closer to the younger generation and make it more exciting for them.

Vojasa means with joy and the music of this band is really joyful. Their urban folk music feeds upon the traditional Hungarian “oláh” gypsy music but contains elements of pop-rock as well. The members of the group were surrounded by music from an early age on and participated in countless musical projects throughout the last couple of years. As the closing act of this year’s programme two Hungarian Roma cultures will meet when Vojasa will perform together with Roma Hungaricum.

Legendary Roma violinist, the 65 year old Venzi Takev meets the best Bulgarian beatboxer and singer, the 23 year old Skiller in this encounter of the generations. Accompanied by two remarkable musicians Nikolai Ivanov and Kolio Ivanov they form Balkan Khans. Their music is unpredictable, explosive, mysterious and vibrant. This original sound is comprised by the exciting harmony between vocals, keyboard, violin, Bulgarian bagpipe and the tupan.

The city of Vilnius has always been a cultural melting pot of nations. You can catch elements of all these nations ranging from Ukrainian and Baltic, through German, Jewish and Tartar to British and Roma in the music of the closing act of Saturday night, Baltic Balkan, so be prepared for their crazy cabaret.

On the final day of the festival the programme will be kicked off by Kálmán Balogh, one of the best dulcimer players to date and his band the Gypsy Dulcimer Band. The dynamic and energetic performance of this group can easily incorporate authentic Hungarian folk music, gypsy music and different types of Balkan folk music. The band will be completed by the singer Guszti Balogh on stage.

They are one of the most well-known bands of the Czech world music scene, their unique style is unmistakeable. The band is formed out of Roma and non-Roma musicians and the basis of their music is traditional gypsy music, but they take inspiration from other musical traditions as well. The musical style of Terne Čhave can only be described as rom’n’roll!

Serbia, Guča and brass section is all we need to say to make anybody eager to listen to the Slobodan Salijevic Orkestar. But the true strength of the band is that they play their traditional repertoire with the same confidence and virtuosity as they play the covers. They are real uncut diamonds: talented, innovative and not yet a part of the melting pot of Balkan music.

Finally closing the last day is Baltic Balkan again.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as there are more names and productions to come for the 2013 Sziget!

Further information and tickets available at

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