The Slovenia Times

35th Druga Godba festival


This time the festival organiser, Zavod Druga Godba, has joined forces with three co-producers: Cankarjev Dom and Kino Šiška in Ljubljana and, for the first time in the festival's long history, Narodni Dom in Maribor. Six organisations from the partner cities of Birmingham, Dublin, Helsinki, Lodz, London and Lyon will also be taking part. They will help Druga Godba design the programme and prepare a music conference; both activities are the first to be undertaken as part of a joint project supported by Creative Europe.

The 35th Druga Godba festival will feature 16 concerts by artists from 11 countries and four continents. The main section of the programme will take place over three packed festival days at Kino Šiška in Ljubljana and at two venues in Slovenia's second city of Maribor, including the summer auditorium of Maribor Puppet Theatre, where the festival finale will take place. This will feature the the first performance of the new album by Bakalina, expanded for the occasion from a duo to an eight-piece ensemble called Bakalina Velika and featuring guest vocalist Bogdana Herman.

Appearing after Bakalina will be one of South Africa's most intriguing bands and one whose music has got audiences dancing the world over. BCUC come from Soweto and are famous for their eclectic re-interpretations of the Zulu and Xhosa musical traditions. Last year's festival favourites The Brother Moves On, also from South Africa, make a swift return, this time at full strength and with the addition of Slovenian keyboard maestro Bowrain, who has continued working with the band since stepping in at the last minute in 2018. The fruits of this collaboration will be seen for the first time at Klub CD, after which the band head out on a European tour.

This will not be the only premiere at this year's festival. At Druga Godba's urging, Helsinki trio Mopo will be joining forces with saxophonist Jimi Tenor before heading to the studio to record an album; and the second premiere will be Slovenian in colour, as Irena Tomažin presents her new project iT: Just Another Crying Game. The leading light of the London power-jazz scene Shabaka Hutchings has been a regular visitor to Druga Godba and other events in Ljubljana over the last few years; this year's representatives of the current UK scene will take the form of wildly popular soul-Afrobeat collective Kokoroko, jazz-groovers Ill Considered and fast-rising trumpet player Laura Jurd and her band Dinosaur. Bassist Ruth Goller is a key member of Dinosaur and has performed at previous editions of the festival with Melt Yourself Down and Rokia Traore.

The festival's rich and varied line-up also looks east. DakhaBrakha from Kiev are hugely popular throughout Europe with folk music that mixes ancient and modern to superb effect. This will be their second appearance in Ljubljana, having previously performed as part of the Cankarjev Dom Tuesday Series under the auspices of the City of Women festival. Also returning to Ljubljana is Maarja Nuut from Estonia, this time with an ensemble that melds her vocals and violin with electronics and superb visual effects. We're also very excited to welcome to Slovenia, for the very first time, the Polish jazz scene's number-one man Maciej Obara and his brilliant vocal-instrumental trio Sutari. They will be performing in the wonderfully atmospheric surroundings of the Minorite Church in Maribor.

Druga Godba always seems to reach across the Atlantic for inspiration and this year is no exception. Yonatan Gat, described by Village Voice in 2013 as the best guitarist in New York, will be joined on stage by the bassist and drummer from legendary American avant-gardists Swans, and fans of original folk music from the indigenous peoples of North and South America will be given more than enough to chew on too. And if all this weren't enough, there's Liniker e os Caramelows, who will hit the big stage at Kino Šiška on Thursday night with their unique variant of Brazilian funky soul fronted by charismatic singer Liniker.
The Druga Godba international festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture as part programme co-funding of the work of Zavod Druga Godba. The City of Ljubljana and Creative Europe are supporting festival organisation and execution as part of a project-based co-funding arrangement.
The main sponsor and main media sponsor will be announced in the next press release.
We look forward to seeing you at the 35th Druga Godba festival in May.
The Druga Godba team


Ljubljana, 21-24 May

Tuesday 21 May / Channel Zero
Ar Ker (FR)
Mopo ft. Jimi Tenor (FI)

Wednesday 22 May / Cankarjev Dom
Štihova Dvorana: Shane Latimer Solo (IE)
Klub CD: Maciej Obara Quartet (PL)
Klub CD: The Brother Moves On ft. Bowrain (ZA/SI)

Thursday 23 May / Cankarjev Dom and Kino Šiška
Štihova dvorana: iT: Another Crying Game (SI)
Kino Šiška, Komuna: Dinosaur (UK)
Kino Šiška, Katedrala: Yonatan Gat & Special Guests (US/BR)
Kino Šiška, Komuna: Ill Considered (UK)
Kino Šiška, Katedrala: Liniker e os Caramelows (BR)

Friday 24 May / Kino Šiška, Katedrala
Maarja Nuut & Ruum (EE)
DakhaBrakha (UA)
Kokoroko (UK)


Maribor, 25 May

Minorite Church: Sutari (PL)
LGM auditorium: Bakalina Velika (SI)
LGM auditorium: BCUC (ZA)

Pre-sale tickets (before 20 May):
Day tickets:
21 May: EUR 15, 10*
22 May: EUR 15, 10*
23 May: EUR 22, 18*
24 May: EUR 22, 18*
25 May: EUR 15, 12*
*Under-25s, pensioners and over-65s
Festival pass: EUR 46

Festival passes, and day tickets for the events in Maribor on Saturday 25 May, include free coach travel from Ljubljana to Maribor and back.

Tickets are available from


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