In the year that marks the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Intangible Festival (Organized by Évora City Council and the Inatel Foundation) presents itself with a renewed image and a program that aims to celebrate the Intangible as a meeting point of the past, present, and future.
Music programming includes artists from various regions of the world such as Burkina Faso, Burundi, Kurdistan, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran, Latvia, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, and Portugal.
From the 19th to the 27th of May, Intangible Heritage will again be considered and honored in Évora, in its various forms, in the 3rd edition of the Intangible Festival.
One of the most expressive cultural areas in the Festival’s programming is music and this edition’s musical programming includes artists from various regions of the world such as Burkina Faso, Burundi, Kurdistan, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran, Latvia, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, and Portugal. It also includes artists from different generations, namely young musicians such as Ana Lua Caiano, Kaito Winse, Silvana Estrada, Kadinelia, and Danûk.
The opening of the festival will be in charge of Huelgas Ensemble, a project originally from Belgium, with a unique concert that will take place at the Sé Catedral de Évora. At the opening of Imaterial, the Huelgas Ensemble group brings a show dedicated to Vicente Lusitano, a black composer considered by many to be the greatest Portuguese composer of the 16th century, a pioneer in European classical music, and who is believed to have studied in Évora. His work, forgotten by many, is honored in the opening session of the event. This concert is supported by the Flanders State of The Art.
From Morocco come the Master Musicians of Jajouka, whose sound is like putting your ears to music that blows over centuries until it finally reaches us. Brian Jones, from the Rolling Stones, was the one who first showed the world the hypnotic and ancestral musical tradition preserved by the Attar family, whose magnetism is also due to the fact that it was passed down from parents to children in a remote place.
From Portugal, Ana Lua Caiano, represents the meeting between tradition and contemporaneity. It is the representation of a remote Portugal but also of cosmopolitanism, of a world brought together by technology in a single voice. Her music hits Imaterial at the time she releases her second EP, the long-awaited Se Dançar É Só Afterwards.
Iberi Choir, come from Georgia, presenting themselves as a group dedicated to the specific Georgian polyphonic chant, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2001. In their songs they take advantage of the typical improvisation characteristics of this musical genre to recreate, in a unique way, themes that are part of the collective heritage.
Kaito Winse brings the sound of Burkina Faso to Imaterial. Winse seems to need the variety of sounds he seeks around him to create a musical palette that matches his extraordinary voice, a vehicle of inspiring poetic richness and filigree in which it is possible to hear an almost operatic quality.
From Mali comes Kayhan Kalhor Trio, consisting of Kayhan Kalhor, Behnam Samani, and Kiya Tabassian. The music they compose from resources reduced to their essence is a beautiful, subtle, and poignant recreation of a pre-colonial narrative legacy. As if returning to the past was the only possible destination for the future.
Sougata Roy Chowdhury brings us the sounds of India, accompanied by Nihar Mehta (tablas). Sougata lived a childhood dominated by Indian classical music, but at the age of 10 he gave himself over to the Sarod, the central chordophone in this tradition, and in just a few years, his talent made him one of the most admired musicians of his generation.
From Iran comes Kayhan Kalhor & Kiya Tabassian & Behnam Samani. Kalhor is an amazing performer of Kamancheh (chordophone related to the violin) and one of the most recognized global representatives of Iranian culture. In this magnificent trio of hers, entitled Art of Improvisation, Kalhor is accompanied by Kiya Tabassian and Behnam Samani, and the three form the enlightened expression of enveloping music, creating an authentic and beautiful state of trance in whoever stands before her.
Silvana Estrada comes from Mexico. Winner of the Grammy Revelation in 2022, she is one of the most passionate song creators of the moment. Heartbreak was at the base of the surprising debut album Marchita. But because life is not all sadness after Marchita came the EP Abrazo, the celebration of love as a political force.
La Kaita, a gypsy singer born in Badajoz, represents the region of Extremadura. She is one of the most respected voices of traditional flamenco, bringing jaleos and tangos, genres typical of Extremadura, to her music. She sings as if pouring her soul out in each verse with a visceral voice, full of feeling, with a rare intensity, and a mirror of complete freedom that passes from life to her music. In Évora, without artifices that divert attention from her powerful vocal interpretations, La Kaita will appear in the company of guitarists Miguel and Juan Vargas, father, and son, expert musicians and in tune with the almost wild register of the singer, interpreter of flamenco that is made current for an urgency that can only be synonymous with the present. Évora will also be the place for La Kaita’s reunion with filmmaker Tony Gatlif, who was one of the many to be dazzled by this shortcut that La Kaita finds for the emotions of those who listen to her, calling her to the films Vengo and Latcho Drom.
The sound of Burundi comes to us through The Drummers of Burundi. This collective gathered around traditional rhythms of the region takes to the stage the music that accompanies various social rituals linked to their life in the community. The Master Drummers’ drums are built from the wood of a tree that exists only in Burundi and each musician plants the trees for the instruments of those who will succeed him, fueling an unstoppable cycle of renewal. An unmissable experience.
Danûk is a group of young musicians united by their common love for the traditional music of Kurdistan. Through music, they search for their origins and for belonging to a History greater than their own. Discovered playing on the streets of Istanbul, they ended up being asked to compose and perform soundtracks for cinema and radio, having ended up joining Michael League (multi-instrumentalist, producer of the band Snarky Puppy and winner of 5 Grammys) to the recording of the Morîk album.
Kadinelia comes from Greece and presents her travel music at Imaterial, but in which each stop seems to concentrate on several places simultaneously. A sound in a universe of acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies, and in which the Greek musical tradition is crossed by elements of blues or rock.
Latvia, a country that shares one of its cities with Évora as the European Capital of Culture in 2027, is also present in this edition of the Imaterial Festival. The Tautumeitas bring to their universe instruments and influences for the themes of the traditional Latvian repertoire. The result is a song that, despite its obvious specificities, becomes instantly familiar, as if the three thousand kilometers that separate Portugal and Latvia were suddenly swallowed up in the short interval of time that one of its songs lasts.
The Imaterial Festival closes on the 27th of May to the sound of Ganhões by Castro Verde & Paulo Ribeiro. For their concert at Imaterial, the men who reap the name of those who worked in the fields, at the service of sowing, harvesting or picking olives, join singer Paulo Ribeiro for the show “O cante não cai do Céu”, adding to the fashions of the traditional songbook a set of new compositions written by the former leader of Anonimato. These are themes worked on by Paulo Ribeiro from poems by Manuel da Fonseca, João Monge, Tiago Rodrigues, or Patrícia Portela, with a view to renewing Cante’s repertoire, bringing new perspectives on a song that is a Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. So that Cante does not forget to grow outwards – and not inwards.
With artists from various parts of the world, Évora thus celebrates multiculturalism and its relationship with the “heritage thought and lived”, now in light of the confirmation of the city as the European Capital of Culture in 2027, seeking to follow the example of the traditions it celebrates, and trying to become a reference in sharing knowledge.
In addition to the musical program, a program of diversified cultural offers will soon be announced, including Cinema, Conversations, and Heritage Tours.
The Imaterial Festival has free admission and in the last edition had more than 3 thousand spectators. This year, the objective is to increase the number of visitors and participants in the different sections of the festival, reaffirming Imaterial as a meeting point.
Always confirm with the concert hall or promoter the conditions of access, confirmation of the date or time, tickets place of sale, price, and availability.
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