Each successive edition of ETHNO PORT does not seem to differ from the one which preceded it. The invited artists play traditional ethnic music, international stars perform on our stages along with Polish acts, the most active festival-goers attend our workshops, while the team who organize it all remains virtually unchanged.
And yet, ETHNO PORT today is an altogether different event than the festival of 2008, when it was held for the first time. Its significance has been redefined by the changing realities around us, where the social awareness is increasingly affected by FEAR. Its global map of fear is shaped chiefly by the concerns of imminent war, terror attacks, Islamic radicalism and the impact of climate change. Many politicians and their voters see remedy in separation from the world and consolidation under the banners of nationalism. Thus, each and every stranger becomes competition, if not an obstacle, to economic welfare and—equally importantly—a threat to further survival of the idealized, cultural identity.
Fortunately, there are also other contrary concepts of tackling global challenges, whose core is in the HOPE founded on essential humanistic and humanitarian values. The strength of the positive approach which relies on openness and dialogue does not hinge solely on the nobility of the very idea. Indeed, resolving the piled-up issues seems possible only if we manage to work out a common plan of action, choose a path which takes advantage of the potential of contemporary technology and respects cultural diversity.
In this opposition of mindsets, ETHNO PORT and its audience unequivocally side with HOPE.
THE FESTIVAL 2019
During this year’s Ethno Port we are going to listen to the world, keenly and deeply, and despite the many disquieting developments, we will try to look at how things are with great hope. This gift of hope will be brought by the artists as well as the audience: open as always and ready to embrace new experience.
Some of the artists we have invited draw on God directly in their work, looking up to the divine as the source of strength, goodness and beauty, and do so in a manner that has been practiced in their religions for centuries. Among them, there are the Bauls of Bengal, masters of Sufi qawwali as well as the women of faith who praise the Christian God in their gospel songs.
We will get to taste the fascinating diversity of approach to one’s own tradition both during three concerts of music from the Arab countries as well as during performances of Polish representatives of the folk genre. Other acts are also sure to make us more aware of the wealth of our world—the only one we have—with the Caribbean rhythms from Colombia, Greek melodies delivered with an energetic, contemporary punch, and Irish songs which as always resound with unadulterated sense of freedom.
The fact that women artists predominate in the lineup of Ethno Port 2019 is no accident. After all, it is women we should look to when, faced with the challenges of our times, we seek hope for a better world. Not given to the male ways of resolving conflicts and the ceaseless rivalry, they are genuine bearers of that hope.
When the history of Ethno Port began in 2008, little did we know how fascinating the journey we were embarking on would be. For starters, we found a beautiful, though somewhat neglected space on the river near the very heart of the city, and it was there that we decided to arrange a meeting of artists playing ethnic music with the audience. From the beginning, our most important task was to strive for the best possible quality of the encounter, ensure a splendid atmosphere and excellent arrangements. However, we worried how many people would actually come to the festival.
On Friday, June 13th, 2008, the first night in the festival’s history, it turned out that the number of people who knew a thing or two about ethnic music and expected to hear the best it can offer sufficed to create an unforgettable atmosphere during the shows. Meanwhile, the artists performing at the first Ethno Port, such as Värttina, Chemirani Ensemble, Adama Drame or Oumou Sangare set the standard which would then characterize all subsequent editions.
In 2013, the most important and the riskiest decision in the history of the festival was taken; Ethno Port relocated from the riverside plot to ZAMEK Culture Centre. The new formula, taking advantage of the potential of interiors which had just been completely overhauled at the castle, stood the test, while the transformation of the monumental stone edifice into a colourful venue proved a fascinating challenge.
Throughout the last eleven years, Ethno Port saw 120 bands and performers from all corners of the globe. About a third among those are artists from Poland, whom we consistently showcase along with the most outstanding personalities of world music. It cannot be denied that the list of all acts who came to Poznań is nothing short of imposing:
47Soul / Adam Strug Kompania / Ballaké Sissoko / DakhaBrakha / Danyèl Waro, Debashish Bhattacharya & Kacper Malisz / Dom Tańca Poznań / Driss El Maloumi / Félix Lajkó Trio / Iva Bittová & Čikori Los Pirañas / Maniucha i Ksawery / Mari Boine / Michał Felter „Polmuz” / Mosaik / Taraf De Haïdouks / Trio López / Petrakis / Chemirani / A Filetta / Abavuki / Adama Dramé / Alamut / Alireza Ghorbani / Amit Carmeli & Joca Perpignan / Andrew Cronshaw & Svetlana Spajić & Tigran Aleksanyan / Arifa / Balkan Beat Box / Banda Nella Nebbia / Baraji / Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba / Bijan Chemirani / Boban & Marko Marković Orchestra / Bubliczki / Čači Vorba / Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino / Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita / Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole / Celso Piña / Charming Hostess / Chemirani’s / Chicuelo / Christine Salem / Cumbia All Stars / Cüneyt Sepetçi & Orchestra Dolapdere / Dagadana / Dakha Brakha / Debashish Bhattacharya / Desert Slide / Dhafer Youssef / Dikanda / Dimitris Mystakidis / Djivan Gasparyan / Dom Tańca Poznań / Dubioza Kolektiv / Dżezbandyta / Fadia Tomb El-Hage / Eva Quartet / Faiz Ali Faiz / Fanfara Transilvania / Fanfaraï / Fanfare Ciocărlia / Ganesh-Kumaresh / Félix Lajkó / Fláre Beás Band / Gadająca Tykwa / Gramy! / Gulaza / Habib Koité & Bamada / Hanggai / Hee-Moon Lee Company / Hossein Alizadeh & Pejman Hadadi / Houria Aïchi & L’Hijâz’Car / Hysni(Niko) Zela & Albanian Isopolyphonic Choir / Ibrahim Maalouf / Ifriqiyya Electrique / Indialucia / Ionică Minune Band & Alex Simu / Iva Bittová & Lisa Moore / Jambinai / Janusz Prusinowski Trio / Jean-Luc Thomas & Yvon Riou / Joanna Słowińska / Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara / Kalàscima / Kapela Hałasów / Kapela Maliszów / Kapela ze wsi Warszawa & Mercedes Peón / Karolina Cicha & Bart Pałyga / Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan / Kimmo Pohjonen / Klezmafour / Krzikopa / LA-33 / Lautari / Le Trio Joubran / Les Tambours de Brazza / Lo Còr de la Plana / Lula Pena / Maalem Mokhtar Gania & Michael Zerang & Wacław Zimpel / Mairtin O’Connor Band / Mariana Sadovska / Mari Boine / Maria Pomianowska / Masala Soundsystem / Moh! Kouyaté / Mosaic / Motion Trio / Muzsikás / Muzykanci / Na Visoko / Nawal / Noreum Machi / Noura Mint Seymali / Oumou Sangare / Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia / Panjabi MC / Pekko Käppi / Rabasa / Radio Cos / Raphael Rogiński & Genowefa Lenarcik / Renata Rosa / Ross Daly / Rube Świnÿe / R.U.T.A / Sefardix Trio / Selamnesh & Badume's Band / Shafqat Ali Khan / Sirventés / Söndörgő / Speed Caravan / Staff Benda Bilili / Sutari / Taksim Trio / Tamikrest / Taraf De Haidouks / Titi Robin / Tarek Abdallah & Adel Shams el Din / Teresa Mirga i Kałe Bała / Transglobal Underground / Transkapela / Trebunie Tutki & Twinkle Brothers / Trio 3MA / Tsigunz Fanfara Avantura / uKanDanz / Vardan Hovanissian & Emre Gültekin / Värttinä / Vidlunnia / Village Kollektiv / Violons Barbares / Wimme / WoWaKin / Yat- Kha / Yemen Blues / YeShe / Zofia Dragan & Kapela Manugi / Żywiołak