Ikaria, Greece – Icarus Festival for Dialogue between Cultures returns for a second year, July 22 – August 7. The International Music Festival came to life in the summer of 2006 on the Greek island of Ikaria in the North East Aegean Sea (an island that bears the name of the mythical flyer Ikarus).
This Festival is an annual venue organized by all 3 municipalities of Ikaria, under the artistic direction of Klaudia Delmer, an artist herself. The full name of the Festival is "Icarus Festival for Dialogue between Cultures " and its purpose is to host performances by artists or groups whose music is a product of multicultural participation or inspiration.
The 1st Festival took place on the island of Ikaria between July 21-July 30 2006. The festival takes place every summer and 2007 is the second year of its activity. The festival identifies with the myth of Icarus who soars over the frontiers and flies for freedom and acts in a daring way at any price.
"We invite artists who in their music incorporate elements of other cultures thus extending themselves, opening up, studying and therefore loving something beyond their own self," says festival organizer Vangelis Fampas. "This music cultural dialogue can be also open between now and the past or any historical or any diverse artistic expression emerging from this same geographically place.
"We also feel that in order to open a dialogue one has to have an ability of appreciation and then knowledge of one’s own culture and an activity of an inter-cultural dialogue only adds up to focusing and defining one’s own culture. We usually prefer artists with original work."
The festival is supported by the 3 municipalities of Ikaria: Evdelos, Agios Kyrikos, Raches "and has been “born” from our common desire to create an event which will bring high quality music, ideas and ideals in an “unspoiled” environment which we all agree upon for the benefit of the Icarians themselves, the visitors and the artists participating."
The island was named Ikaria by Hercules after the fall of Icarus into the waters of the Icarian Sea, very close to the shores of the island (the rock close to which Icarus fell to the sea can be seen in the district of Agios Kyrikos). It is also believed that Dionysus was born here, in the cave of Iero, otherwise an enchanting amphitheatrical beach close to Faro.
Ikaria was also a place of retreat for the goddess Artemis (temple of Artemis in Nas) The Ikaria of today is still a trip into Greece of long ago and into a land where people do things “their way”. Hospitality, friendliness, philosophy, poetry, the wisdom of taking things slow and great love for their island are inclinations of the Icarians of today.
The artists scheduled for this year are:
Etnika, Malta’s fabulous Folk Band
Yes…but they “bow” towards folk music and then go beyond it playing Malta’s ancient vanishing melodies they establish their relevance in a contemporary context using creative approach and a focusing on a vivid performance.
Their music is a fascinating mix of cultures which have affected the history of Malta throughout the ages: Arabic, Italian, Sicilian, British and of their own exuberant creativity.
Encardia, Tarantella Fest
“What is a tarantella? The music which cures the bite of a venomous black spider, it is a part of a phenomena known as “tarantism” with roots reaching far into the middle ages in the South of Italy which was inhabited then by some of then Greek speaking , from the times of Pythagoras who not only cured with music but gave her the healing power.”
The Greek band Encardia embraces the music of South Italy and invites its audience to a tarantella dance and more.
Vassilis Lekkas, with Giannis Spathas
Songs of wine, Songs of love
Vassilis Lekkas, one of the most expressive and artistic Greek singers opens a dialogue between two worlds: the ancient and the contemporary. With a presentation of his two albums “Songs of wine, Songs of love” based on the lyrics of ancient poets and music by his recently released album “Spinthiras”on lyrics of a famous contemporary poetess Lina Nikolakopoulou and music of Giannis Spathas.
Giorgos Psichogios, From Cuba to Ikaria
One of Greek best pianists ( and accordionists), with an exhilarating technique and phantasmagoric capacity in his improvisations he will present a program for solo piano improvising on the known melodic themes from all the world with the “ikariotiko”(Icarian dance) rhythm as a point of reference.
Maria Bermudez and Chicana Gypsy Band
Maria Bermudez, a flamenco dancer?, a jazz singer? Born in New York with parents of Mexican origin she starts off as a jazz and blues singer and eventually, living for many years in Southern Spain, she evolves in the art of flamenco.
Accompanied by a “gitanos” band from the heart of Andalucia she comes to Ikaria for a flamenco/jazz fusion concert.
More information icarus-festival.ikaria.gr.