It must be a tough job to open the festival of something as wide as “world music”. The term is really no good, but often used to cover everything which is not white, Western and performed in English – no matter the differences genres that might cover folk, jazz or whatever the musicians choose to play.
However, to prove that the joy of playing (and listening) to music does not suffer from lack of labels Copenhagen World Music Festival have chosen You Tube-star Ellie Jokar to host the stage at the opening night. Ellie is a talented rapper using her mixed Persian and Western background in her music.
During a break in the live performances we have a taste of what she can do. Soon everyone in front of the stage is dancing their office hours away in the late Wednesday afternoon in a worldwide chain dance.
Speaking of office hours, the opening of the festival happened in the middle of the afternoon while I was still working somewhere else, so I missed out on the opening speech from Copenhagen’s Mayor of Culture Carl Christian Ebbesen and the first concert from New Orleans gypsies Fitzroy. But they probably did a good job without me.
I did make it to hear Kurdish singer Mizgin perform with her band. It is a constellation of the world itself as her Danish husband Anders Honoré plays the sax, and she has also brought singer and composer Sakina Teyna, who is also Kurdish, but lives in Vienna – the European capital of music for centuries.
The two strong women do a great act on stage, and Sakina is not afraid to sing out the characteristic “Iiiih”-sound with great rhytm, which popartist Fallulah has made so wellknown to Danish people. The concert ends with Teyna’s challenge in Danish: “Alle klapper”. And we do clap, because it is worth it.
After clapping it is time to chill, like this guy …
… before we get our dancing shoes ready to DJ Dafa. She puts an honour in playing dancemusic from all over the world.
And finally … The Russian folk-punk-band Iva Nova enters the stage. The four women all have a very different taste in music, but they do look like rockstars. With attitude. Like they want to be married in Doc Martens (if ever married).
Most of all I am a fan of Natalia Potapenko and the way she works that accordion. Have you ever seen a punkstar like this? Teaming up with Galina Kisjeleva’s aggressive bass the ladies hit the nerve of true and meaningful rhythm.
After the first track it is time to say hello. Lead singer Anastasija Postnikova does that in heavy-accented English: “We are pleased to be here – and no fucking rain!” The latter was true at the time, even though the last couple of days have shown something different.
“The next song is about a girl. She waited. And waited. And then she died”, says the next introduction to a song. These strong women do not wait for anything. Their music is raw, happy and likable – like the bandmembers. This night they celebrate their 15th anniversary with a meet’n’greet after the concert, all included autographs, photos and shopping of their music.
If you are ready for more world music, the programme of Copenhagen World Music Festival is stuffed until Sunday. But please notice that most of the event are NOT free. However, it is possible to find fun 4 free if you take a close look:
- Los Cubraz & Son (salsa to dance), Friday at 10 PM, Café Mandela
- Learn how to play Baltic music (workshop), Saturday at 2 PM, Beta, Amager Kulturpunkt
- Female Reggae Night, Saturday at 8 PM, Kayak Bar
- Break & Afro (workshop), Sunday at 10 AM, Osramhuset
… are just a few. You can find more in the programme 🙂