STA, 23 July 2019 - Great names of jazz and world music will perform admission-free concerts against what is arguably the most picturesque backdrop in Slovenia as the annual Okarina festival kicks off in Bled tonight.
Held for 29th year running, the festival will get under way at Bled Castle with a concert by Vigüela, the Spanish ensemble performing authentic rural music from the Castilla-La Mancha province.
After a concert by the Serbian folk band Legende at the castle the next day, the festival will move to the promenade by the lake where another ten gigs will follow daily until 3 August.
The Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas will perform there on Thursday, followed by a fusion French breakbeat and traditional Qawwali music from Pakistan, to be performed by Markus & Shahzad Santoo Khan.
One of the musical treats for the weekend will be Ravid Kahalani and the Yemen Blues ensemble, who combine traditional Yemenite melodies with funk, blues, and jazz rhythms.
Another will be the Belgium-based band, Panta Rhei, who have given the traditional music of Eastern Europe a new twist with tunes from England and Swedish melancholia.
The second festival week will see the greats such as Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander, the Lovell sisters aka Larkin Poe, known for heavy electric guitar riffs and slide guitar, and Tunisian oud master Dhafer Youssef.
The official website, in English, can be found here