This year, the fourth annual Porto Etno Festival will once again live up to its nomadic reputation with completely new locations – from 1 to 3 October, the Croatian House of Culture in Sušak, the Neboder Hotel terrace, and the square outside the School of Construction, will be the venues for meetings, music, and great food from all corners of the world.
Several formidable names from the contemporary ethno music scene have been announced for the festival’s musical line-up this year, including LADO Electro and Božo Vrećo, backed by the Porto Etno Orchestra, who will be performing on the stage of the Croatian House of Culture, while the terrace of the adjacent Neboder Hotel will be a meeting place for all aficionados of a wide range of ethnic snacks, with live entertainment provided by the musical groups, Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na. and Veja. The representatives of active minority communities from Rijeka will showcase their rich traditions during the folk dance programme at the square opposite the School of Construction, with musical support from the Hormonika Balkanika duo from Rijeka, as well as at the exhibitions in the atrium of the Croatian House of Culture and at the Kortil Gallery.
Fans of ethno music and gastro travel will get the chance to experience the best of both worlds: on Thursday, 1 October, LADO Electro will be performing on the stage of the Croatian House of Culture, and after the concert, you can saunter over to the Neboder Hotel terrace for a helping of the world on a plate, with live music by the band Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na.
Indigenous scents, flavours, songs and melodies of Istria and Kvarner are melded together with those from around the globe into a vibrant recipe for a multicultural and open city. The backbone of the Porto Etno festival is the ethno music and gastronomy of the countries whose minorities are active in Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, as well as all the other world music and gastronomy that we encounter due to increasingly intense migration. We take the best of culture and nature and transform it into a spice that gives a new flavour to Rijeka. This creates new spaces for friendships, solidarity, and tolerance.
1 October – LADO Electro / Croatian House of Culture in Sušak / 7.30 p.m. – HRK 70.00
Ethnic snacks + Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na. / Neboder Hotel terrace / 9 p.m. – HRK 50.00
combined daily ticket – HRK 100.00
2 October – Božo Vrećo / Porto Etno Orchestra / Croatian House of Culture in Sušak / 7.30 p.m. – HRK 100.00
Ethnic snacks + Veja / Neboder Hotel terrace / 9 p.m. – HRK 50.00
combined daily ticket – HRK 130.00
3 October – Folk dance programme / square outside the School of Construction / 5 p.m.
Hormonika Balkanika / square outside the School of Construction / 7 p.m.
Exhibition programme / Croatian House of Culture atrium and Kortil Gallery
Božo Vrećo is an artist with an angelic voice that heals the soul and opens the heart, as the New York Times describes him. The virtuoso performer, songwriter, and composer of the famous traditional “sevdalinka” love songs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, is seen as synonymous with total freedom. This artist with a vast vocal range, inimitable voice, and a unique visual identity, has set himself apart from the rest of the contemporary musical pioneers, as the most intriguing and best known interpreter and writer of “sevdah” songs in recent times.
The concept of the concert performance in Rijeka, in collaboration with the Porto Etno Orchestra, rests on the dedication to the songwriting body of work of Božo Vrećo, and as such, in a way, melds what is experimental and primarily avant-garde, sacral, mystical and occult, within the scope of “sevdalinka” songs, a traditional musical form from the Balkans, which he constantly explores, compares, and frees from stereotypes and rules in his opus.
Porto Etno Orchestra
This band was formed as part of the Porto Etno Festival, and comprises musicians from Rijeka and its surroundings whose names (and music) may sound familiar even to those uninitiated in ethnic and jazz music. With the band leader Zoran Majstorović at the helm, they have performed with numerous global world music stars, such as Iva Bittova, Saba Anglana, Mihaly Dresch, Denise Dantas, Vasil Hadžimanov, and many others. Most of the Orchestra members studied at jazz conservatories in Graz, Trieste, and Klagenfurt, and between them have given hundreds of live performances, winning just as many coveted music awards and collaborating live with world-renowned musicians.
The LADO Electro project was initiated in 2003 as a fusion of traditional and electronic music, and whose songwriters were inspired by songs from Lado’s repertoire, as well as traditional melodies which the artists of Lado had not encountered before. The powerful vocals of the male and female Lado singers and the tones of the traditional instruments create a magnificent sound when coupled with the contemporary electronic club style, and bring deep emotions to the surface with their atmospheric qualities. Standing behind the turntables, project creators Crnić and Harfman will accompany the solo vocalists and musicians of the LADO Ensemble, the only professional folk dance ensemble in Croatia.
Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na.
Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na. is a five-piece Croatian band that draws inspiration from traditional Balkan songs and consists of amazing young musicians from Rijeka and Kvarner: Ivan Valušek – handmade bowed string instruments, Ivan Paulić – bass, Elvis Devčić – electric guitar, Lovro Mirth – vocals and flute, and Dorijan Šikić – djembe and percussion.
Veja is a folk/ethnic/world music band from Pazin that successfully experiments with traditional Istrian music by using a variety of instruments from all over the world to provide a fresh and modern take on this musical style. The main features of the band’s sound are frequent time changes and mystical, even ominous build-ups in the songs, combined with traditional Istrian melodies and local folk tales. Veja are: Goran Farkaš – vocals, Istrian mih, violin, bagpipes, kaval, Saša Farkaš – guitar, percussion, Marko Pernić – vocals, accordion, Sebastijan Demark – bass, Ljuban Rajić – cajon, and Marijan Jelenić – sound designer.
Hormonika Balkanika from Rijeka is a DJ duo that selects from a wide range of Balkan and gypsy music; ranging from roots artists to dub, chillout, ambient, d’n’b, house, swing, electro… Their sets are accompanied by live instruments and they often perform as a band. Hormonika Balkanika is a project born out of years of hanging out together, jamming, performing and, most of all, enjoying great Balkan and Romani music in all its shapes and forms.
Individual, daily, and combined festival tickets are available at mojekarte.hr by clicking the link below, at the Dallas Music Shop, Foto Revija and New Sound (Matulji), as well as at the ticket office of the Croatian House of Culture an hour before the beginning of the event.
Tickets for LADO Electro at the Croatian House of Culture are HRK 70.00, while the gastro-musical experience on the terrace of the Neboder Hotel, which includes a helping of 5 snacks from various countries, a glass of wine, juice or mineral water, and a musical journey with Če Bo Bo, Če Na Na. is HRK 50.00. The food will be prepared by the kitchen staff of the Neboder Hotel by following the recipes provided by the representatives of the active minorities in Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The daily ticket, which includes both events on the first day, is HRK 100.00.
We have a similar scenario in store for you on Saturday, 2 October. Following the concert performance by Božo Vrećo and the Porto Etno Orchestra for HRK 100.00, we have new ethnic snacks prepared for you, along with a drink of choice, and live music by the band Veja for HRK 50.00, while the combined daily ticket is HRK 130.00.
Entrance to the event at the square outside the School of Construction on Saturday, 3 October, the folk dance programme and the live performance by Hormonika Balkanika, as well as the exhibitions at the Croatian House of Culture and the Kortil Gallery, is free of charge.
The festival ticket which grants access to all the events during the first two days is HRK 200.00.