Ghanafest welcomes eclectic musical mix this June

Multicultural mix of sounds on the cards for this year’s Ghanafest as Renzo Spiteri takes over as artistic director, with the three-day festival taking place over June 10-12

Percussionist Renzo Spiteri takes over as artistic director for Ghanafest
Percussionist Renzo Spiteri takes over as artistic director for Ghanafest

The sound of French troubadour music, eclectic Estonian music and atmospheric Tuareg arrangements will be part of Ghanafest’s programme for this year at Argotti Gardens, under the new artistic direction of Renzo Spiteri. The line-up will also consist of renowned local musicians.

This festival, which will be held on June 10-12, will be converging soundscapes from various musical backgrounds.

Sirventés will be performing on the first day. They are quintessential revivalists of the troubadour style and they have, over the years, managed to deliver a protesting or satirical poem that describes very well the violence of past times that France and Europe have passed through, as well as reflecting on the fleeting nature of human feelings.

Estonia will be the first Baltic state to be represented at Għanafest thanks to Trad.Attack!, who take their inspiration from old archive recordings of Estonian traditional songs and contemporary music.

Ezza from North Africa will be closing procedures on Sunday. This powerful trio transforms and brings the Tuareg music off the usual path, blending without any concessions modern rock sounds, African pulse, rhythmic trances and relentless groove.

This year’s Għanafest, apart from a wide selection of traditional folk singing and performance that is much sought after and which itself is part of an old rich cultural tapestry, will offer contemporary Maltese music revived and renewed with passion or intertwined with other forms of music.

Cushion, an Indian fusion band which is based in Malta, offers a very interesting mid tempo fusion of western and eastern chill-out music, mostly inclined towards the sound of India, with dominant sitar licks, eastern inclinations on vocal threads, backed with sublime ambience from the keys, and interesting bass and drum patterns to wrap it all up. However, apart from the likes of Anoushka Shankar, among Indian influences, Cushion also admits to liking indie and cutting edge rock talents, notably Morceeba.

KażinSka is a band as well as an ongoing project embracing Maltese roots and world music. The music of KażinSka, as the name suggests, focuses primarily on ska music fused with traditional banda marches.

Mistura started as an acoustic duo by Malcolm Bonnici and Antonio Olivari. It debuted in 2012 at L-Għanja tal-Poplu where they won the World Association of Festivals & Artists (WAFA) award for Best New Talent. Għanafest will see them performing for the first time as a rock band after their short unplugged set in 2014.

Ghanafest Malta World Music Festival 2016 is organised by Arts Council Malta and supported by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, MSV Life and TVM. The festival will take place over June 10-12 at Argotti Gardens, Floriana at 19:00. Tickets: €3 and €7 for a three-day block ticket available at the door. Parking available at the Floriana Boy Scouts headquarters, right next to the venue. More information: