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Birthday celebrations at 'Balkan Trafik'

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Birthday celebrations at 'Balkan Trafik'

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The famous Bulgarian clarinetist Ivo Papasov showed his virtuosity at the sixth annual Brussels’ ‘Balkan Trafik’ music and arts festival.

Though Papasov admits various influences, he considers his music as a genre of its own.

“It is Balkanic, jazzy and international music but it is MY music and there is no other music here,” he said.

Roberto de Brașov and percussionist Okay Temiz were two musicians he shared the stage with wile others included the Romanian accordionist Roberto de Brașov and the Turkish percussionist Okay Temiz. It was an all-star band which was put together by the organisers of the festival.

“Last year we met Papasov’s manager and he said to us as Papasov will turn 60 in 2012 he would love it to happen at Balkan Trafik. So with those words from his manager it happened and we gathered around Papasov the best, stylish musicans, “ explained the Festival co-producer Nicolas Wieërs.

Thousands helped over the two nights of music and dance in Brussels’ ‘Bozar’ arts centre. There were more than 20 bands from the Balkans and the ‘dispora’, superstars as well as newcomers, altogether more than 2,000 musicians on the different stages. There was also an underlying cultural ambition.

“Generally when you talk about the Balkans its about prostitution, trafficking in organs and the image is deep rooted and negative.

‘Through this festival, Balkan Trafik what we are aiming to do is to show the cultural richness of their communities,” said Nicolas Wieërs.

Another highlight was the performance of the Romanian rock star Ovidiu Lipan who has had a career of more than 30 years – including decades of exile in Germany – and who lately returned to more traditional music, which he described in poetic words.

“It’s smells like Romania, like craving, like love, it’s a tear of joy!”

In Brussels Lipan was accompanied by the Zece Prăjini-fanfare, a typical band from eastern Romania. It is dance music which is traditionally played at all kinds of parties.

But the ‘Balkan Trafik’ festival is also about music everywhere, in the corridors – and even outside ‘Bozar’.

‘Balkan Trafik’ will be back next year, from the 18 to the 21 of April at Bozar in Brussels.

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Ovidiu Lipan

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