This year’s festival was a fascinating exploration of Minor Asia and its music and culture in the most wonderful ways. Exceptional artists from Greece, Turkey, Israel and Iran will made their ways to Gibraltar to perform for the very first time at the St Michael’s cave for two nights in June.
Gibraltar Productions is a brainchild of Yan Delgado and Frederic Ohana. They were the driving force behind the first Gibraltar World Music Festival “Sephardic Divas” back in 2012. Festival’s great success let them to develop a bigger festival that will happen this year.
Gibraltar Productions now is managed by Fatosh Samuray who is originally from Cyprus and resides in Gibraltar since 2005. She, being an inspiration of this year’s theme, recruited the talented Maestro Tom Cohen (Artistic Director, Conductor and Musician) and Liene Lapsevska (management of the festival. Gibraltar Productions Ltd not only runs the festival but also is involved in artist management (Mor Karbasi for example) and production of albums and development of Sephardic Stories.
Wednesday, 19th June 2013
20:00 – 20:40 En Chordais
21:00 – 22:15 The Sweet Canary Ensemble
On the 19th of June, the first night of the Festival welcomed En Chordais (www.enchordais.gr) from Thessaloniki (Greece). With their 30 minutes concert they showed the soul of immigration between Turkey and Greece during the last century. Through an osmotic procedure the group successfully combined Byzantine and art music of Mediterranean with Greek regional idioms and contemporary music. Collaborating occasionally with virtuosi from all over the world the ensemble presented a multimedia mosaic dating from the 13th century to today.
The main show of the night was The Sweet Canary Ensemble (www.mysweetcanary.com) a tribute to Rosa Eskenazi, the Turkish/Greek singer who sublimed the Rebetiko style music from the thirties to the seventies. Three Divas, a Turkish, an Israeli and a Greek one performed together on stage with their 12 musicians and in their respective languages.
Thursday, 20th June 2013
20:00 – 20:40 Mark Eliyahu Ensemble and Amir Shahzad
21:00 – 22:15 Yasmin Levy and Mediterranean Andalusian Orchestra Ashkelon
The second night started with Mark Eliyahu Ensemble. Mark was born Jewish in Israel and spent years learning how to play the Kamencheh, the Persian “violin” in Azerbaijan. The main act of this second night welcomed the famous Yasmin Levy, the most important Sephardic Diva nowadays performing with more than 20 musicians from the Mediterranean Andalusian Orchestra Ashkelon conducted by Tom Cohen.
Passage to Asia is a unique World Music program and its existence could not be possible without the involvement of the Gibraltar Government, Hyperion Group of Companies, SG Hambros, Hassans, Instituto Cervantes Gibraltar, Schimmel Family and Margaux Philanthropy.