Barevná Devítka brings cultures together

The festival in Prague 9 offers a world of family fun and music

Podvinní park in Prague 9–Libeň on Aug. 26 will be celebrating different cultures with the Barevná Devítka festival.

The festival, called Vibrant Nine in English, embraces the diversity of the city and offers music and dance performances, culinary specialties from across the world, handicraft workshops and many other attractions. Entry is free, and the event is family oriented.

The big change for this year is that the festival starts at noon, so there are two more hours of family fun than in previous years.

There will be a main stage, a chillout zone and stands with food, beverages and items from around 20 countries and regions, plus presentations from nongovernmental organizations.

One of the headline acts is Chinese singer Feng-Yűn Song, who has long been based in the Czech Republic. She sings in a variety of genres and has several CDs to her credit.

Regional folk music will be popular at the festival. Moravian-based Romany band Terne Čhave has a motto of “it's only Rom ’n’ Roll, but I like it.” The eight members have performed across Europe and had international success with their song “More Love!” in 2008.

Also from Moravia, the band Avlija has one Serbian, Nikola Djokic, in the lineup. But the musicians stay true to Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Romanian and Greek folk music traditions. The cultures of Moravia and the Balkans are not so different. “For instance, the Moravian farmers' dance is very similar to one that is danced in Balkan countries,” Avlija accordionist Josef Keller said. The band often passes along lyrics and invites onlookers to dance during concerts.

Latin American music will be played by Encuentro, which brings indigenous instruments to Prague. They will play folk music from Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador as well as contemporary Latin American music. Edwin Aguirre, the man behind the group, first came to Vienna in 1990 for a festival sponsored by UNESCO. He relocated to the Czech Republic in 1993.

Bijou Camara and Guinee Toumboui will present the music of west Africa. Dancer Bijou Camara was born in Conakry, Guinea, and spent a decade there as a member of Ballet Soleil d’Afrique. She will be backed by the drumming band Guinee Toumboui.

Also on the program is singer and accordionist Mário Bihári from Slovakia. Despite having a visual disability he has become a leading musician working with several top names as well as his own group, Bachtale Apsa.

There are plenty more acts on the program, and other activities throughout the day.

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