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18th Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival @Heroes Square

Updated: Jun 28, 2023


14 FRI 21:00 (75’)

Music for Shepherds and Sultans | Michalis Kouloumis


Music from Cyprus and classical music of Constantinople / Contemporary Modal Music. Michalis Kouloumis and Tristan Driessens embark on what is just the beginning of a closer partnership, with Catalan multi-instrumentalist Miriam Encinas joining them on frame drums and pithkiavlin. Their repertoire organically fluctuates from original compositions in classical Ottoman style to anonymous rural dances of Cyprus. With this choice of repertoire and especially with their way of interpreting it, Michalis Kouloumis, Tristan Driessens and Miriam Encinas bridge a gap between classical and folk music. Compositions such as Isfahan Saz Semaisi or Köyde Sabah somehow reflect how classical music has always been deeply inspired by folk music legacies. Originally rooted in daily life’s rituals, folk traditions draw their expressiveness from a cyclical journey of constant transmission and renewal, which defines their actual legitimacy through time and space.


Michalis Kouloumis - violin, voice Tristan Driessens - oud Miriam Encinas - percussion, dilruba, pithkiavlin


19 WED 21:00 (90’) Monsieur Doumani Monsieur Doumani will present music from their four albums, as well as new unreleased pieces.

The multi-award-winning trio has been impressing audiences worldwide for the last ten years or so with music strongly rooted in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their music has been extensively presented on worldwide media, and they participated in the most celebrated festivals such as ESNS, Womex, Womad, Sziget, Trans Musicales, to name only a few. While their lineup may sound unusual for a three-piece (tzouras-small bouzouki, trombone, acoustic guitar), Monsieur Doumani are using electronics, effects and loop pedals to venture into a world that is refreshing and exciting. Their fourth album released by the acclaimed Glitterbeat Records pushes their trademark Mediterranean sonics into a deep psychedelic and avant-folk direction. A danceable fever storm of stringed instruments, multi-layered singing and trombone-driven low end.

During their 9-year career Monsieur Doumani have received numerous awards including the ‘Best Group’ Award in Songlines Music Awards 2019 and the ‘Critics Award’ in Andrea Parodi World Music Awards. They have also been awarded with the German Records Critics Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik) for their album Angathin (2018), which has also been awarded as 'Best album of the year 2018' in the Transglobal World Music Charts.

Antonis Antoniou - tzouras, vocals, electronics Demetris Yiasemides - trombone, flute Andys Skordis - guitar, loops, percussion, vocals


22 SAT 21:00 (75’) Rumba Attack Rumba Attack perform original instrumental material, as well as selected covers in their distinctive Flamenco-Rumba style, blended with sounds from Greek and Middle Eastern origins. After 10 years of countless performances, this year, Rumba Attack proudly present their debut album entitled Harmonics (2023), which consists of eleven tracks, nine of which are original compositions and the remaining two are covers of known Greek songs. Their energetic performance at Rialto will include instrumentals including Open Sea, Inspired and Fire, as well as traditional Greek vocal songs performed in their own unique style.

Constantinos Lyras - guitar Memnon Arestis - guitar Savvas Thoma - cajon, vocals


24 MON 21:00 (80’) Gaba Project


In this new work, Gaba Project will present their own compositions, and share with the audience new soundscapes resulting from the combination of handpan, lyra and double bass. The compositions are based on melodic lines, which develop both in a rhythmic and improvisational way during the performance, always following a structure and, at the same time, leaving freedom for dialogue between the three musicians. Although the style (tempo, rhythm, scale-makam) of each composition is unique, creating space and time for improvisation during the performance is a key element. In addition to their own compositions, they will also present a small part of arrangements of musical traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean region (Armenia, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria), in a completely fresh mood, even transforming their rhythm. The use of mixed rhythms, scales and makams together with strong changes in dynamics, are key elements characterising the band’s music. Gaba Project combine for the first time globally the handpan and percussions with lyra. The handpan is a contemporary instrument with a “mystic” sound, whereas the lyra comes from the well-established Cretan musical tradition. The duet focuses on experimenting with new musical approaches (arrangement, composition, soundscapes), both with the instruments and with their own compositions. Improvisation is a core element of the duet that comes from the musicians’ varying musical knowledge and experiences, creating new perspectives.


Vasilis Vasiliou: handpan, percussion

Christina Polycarpou: lyra with sympathetic strings

Nicolas Tryphonos: double bass


26 WED 21:00 (90’) Origins - Odysseas Toumazou

Guitarist and composer Odysseas Toumazou will be releasing his second personal album this summer, titled ORIGINS, consisting of original compositions driven by improvisation. Blending the traditional Cypriot music with elements of jazz, these compositions are transformed into an idiom that is both intense and authentic, having its own personal sound colour. “These compositions have been pulled into creation by the calling of my identity and the sounds of my origins; timeline of existence that traces each living being to the moment of its creation; the roots of lineage run deep within each being tracing back to each moment in time. This album identifies and commemorates everything that made me what I am today. Identity is rooted in origins. To know who you are, you must know where you come from. To evolve, is to embrace and commemorate the passage of time and create new memories, mixing the knowledge of the old with the potential of the new.”


Marios Menelaou - doublebass

Vassilis Philippou - percussion, vocal

Odysseas Toumazou - compositions, guitar



30 SUN 21:00 (90’) Whiskydenker | Pogo Swing Teadance Brass band and disco!? German poetry and hot jazz!? Circus orchestra and punk!? Impossible to find a pigeonhole for the band Whiskydenker. Some say they reconcile Meute and Bukahara with Hildegard Knef, others just call it pogo swing. Maybe it doesn't matter, because fortunately the music of the Whiskydenker is always charming, cheerful and wonderfully danceable. Maybe it's exactly this dance on the razor's edge that brings rock'n'rollers, swing dancers, jazz nerds and party kids together at the Whiskydenkers' concerts. Maybe that's exactly the sound of the new 20’s.


Florian Wehse: vocals, trumpet

David Riaño Molina: banjo

Oliver Saar: tubax

Philipp Rittmannsperger: drums


This 18th edition of Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival is dedicated to the memory of Angelina Nicolaidou, a close and beloved collaborator of the Rialto Theatre. An inspiring, prominent conductor, Angelina lit the path of many young people, generously performing and showcasing the work of talented composers.

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