ARACELI TZIGANE (Spain)
Araceli Tzigane began her activities related to the dissemination of world musics in 2000, out of an irrepressible need to share with others the sounds that brought her so much happiness. This has been the driving force behind all the initiatives that were to come. Araceli is the director of Mapamundi Música. Her constant activity and international presence drive her to keep abreast of artistic news and keep in touch and exchange information with cultural agents and artists from all over the world. She is also founder and administrator of Transglobal World Music Chart and makes the radio show Mundofonías, together with Juan Antonio Vázquez, that is broadcasted in 18 countries. Mapamundi Música is a management and booking agency specializing in music from the peoples, mainly acoustic, settled in Spain and working worldwide. We also support artists in developing their discourse and facilitating their access to the decision makers and to the public.
SVETLANA SPAJIĆ (Serbia)
Svetlana Spajic is a singer internationally renowned for her researching, performing and teaching work in the field of Balkan and Serbian traditional singing. Her expertise is the study of microtonal a cappella singing and its unique vocal techniques and function. The research led her to travel the Balkans for 25 years now, studying firsthand with the best village singers of the oldest generation. She gave concerts on four continents and performed at WOMEX, WOMAD, MOMA New York, MOCA Los Angeles, gave lectures at Jad Vashem Institute Jerusalem, Grotowski Institute Wroclaw, IRTCP International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony in Tbilisi, co-operated with art academies worldwide (Sibelius Academy Helsinki, ARIA for early and baroque music in Nantes, France, DROM Academy for oral tradition and modal music, in Brittany, France, teaching mostly young professionals). Spajic has collaborated with world’s best traditional singers including Hronis Aidonidis, Domna Samiou, Yanka Rupkina, Cherifa Kersit, Stella Chiweshe. Other notable artists with whom she has performed are in the field of contemporary and avant-garde music and art such as Marina Abramovic, Robert Wilson, Zeitkratzer, Antony and the Johnsons, Sainkho Namtchylak, William Basinski… She has published or produced some twenty albums, mostly the projects of preserving intangible traditional culture. She has embodied her knowledge and experience into working process of many groups in the country and abroad, among them Svetlana Spajic Group, Belgrade based female ensemble.
SOTIRIS BEKAS (Greece/Austria)
Sotiris Bekas is a journalist, backpack journalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, music critic and editor. He is the vdeo program manager of Central European University (in Vienna) and has been working as media professional and a researcher of Greek folk and world music, since 1996. In 2008, he launched his own column called Paradounai kai Lavein (Given and received) first presented in the most popular music magazine in Greece, Difono (1995 – 2010) and then hosted in one of the most well known Greek webzines for music, musicpaper.gr (till today). During all these years, he has been covering very closely the work and development of music generation that popped up in Greece during the 90s and had the chance to meet and learn from the great musicians of the past. Sotiris had illustrated the portraits of the most prominent figures of folk and world music in Greece both in print and in videos. In 2020 he launched a series of documentaries on the female activity and work in folk music, called Women in Folk Music; in 2018, he presented a documentary about the Hungarian philosopher György Lukács and after a decade of filming and research, a documentary film on the work of Zoltán Kallós, the legendary ethnomusicologist of Transylvania, is about to be released. Sotiris holds an MA in Quality Journalism and New Technologies (Danube University Krems, Austria) and a B.A. in European Culture Studies (Hellenic Open University, Greece).
IVANA MARAŠ (Serbia)
After her studies at the Music Department of the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad and the work in the education field, Ivana Maraš has been working since 2005 as the editor of the music program of the Student Cultural Center in Kragujevac. Since 2017, she has been the director of the Student Cultural Center. She has collaborated with all relevant local and international cultural institutions, artistic and educational institutions and media, with well-known and most important artists, representatives of artists in the field of classical and contemporary music, jazz, world music, contemporary Serbian and regional pop and rock music scene, international artists from the region and the world, the most important actors of the contemporary local and regional visual and literary scene, theater and folklore ensembles from the country and the region, as well as international ensembles and festivals. She was the initiator of the Jazz Monday program, which started the jazz scene in Kragujevac and gave birth to many young bands and musicians who have enviable careers today. She started the field of music publishing as a form of support for the local music scene, which has developed over time, and today the releases are recognized in Serbia and the region. She initiated and organized numerous seminars and workshops in the field of art and jazz music, drum school and guitar school in cooperation with the Guitar Art Festival. At the Student Cultural Center, she founded the jazz/world music ensemble Eclectic Orchestra, and organized the work of the mixed choir Kragujevac Singing Society. In 2020, she started the production of a show (TV format) about the culture of Skc kvArt. It has launched several cultural and educational programs and festivals, including the Estam World Music Festival, which had its fourth edition this year.
IVA NENIĆ (Serbia)
Iva Nenić is an ethnomusicologist and theorist of art and media. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Department of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade as a valedictorian and winner of the award from the Aleksandar Đorđević Fund for the best graduate paper in the field of ethnomusicology (2004). She holds a Magister’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Theory of Art and Media from the University of Arts and a PhD from the Department of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Arts. She studied at the program of advanced undergraduate studies of the Belgrade Open School (BOS) and within the program of the Center for Women’s Studies in Belgrade. She is an assistant professor at the Department of Ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. She has been cooperating for many years with the programs of BOS, Petnica Research Station and the Center for Women’s Studies, and she has given invited lectures at other academic institutions in Serbia and abroad (Austria, Great Britain, Japan, Italy), and at various cultural and public-oriented events. She worked as a music editor on the III program of Radio Belgrade, with a special focus on traditional music and the global polygenre of world music. During the first decade of the 2000s, she sang in the Belgrade world music/fusion band Arhai. Her scientific research belongs to the domain of contemporary post-identity ethnomusicology, cultural studies and gender studies, and touches on various issues, from Serbian neo-traditional music and the development of the local world music scene where she traced ethnomusicological dealing with these phenomena from a research perspective to transgenerational cultural knowledge transfer on the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution. gender regimes and sound, ideology and cultural/musical practices. For the book Gusle Players and Other Female Traditional Instrumentalists in Serbia: Identification by Sound (CLIO, 2019), she received the Andjelka Milić Award (2020) from the Section for Feminist Research and Critical Studies of Masculinity (SEFEM) for the best achievement in the field of social sciences and humanities that contributes to gender studies in Serbia. She manages the research project Female leadership in music: a cross-genre research of women’s roles, agency and collaborative music-making practices in Serbia, funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, as a part of the Program for excellent projects of young researchers PROMIS.
SOFIA LABROPOULOU (Greece/Austria)
Sofia Labropoulou is a kanun player and composer who merges the worlds of Greek and Mediterranean folk, classical Ottoman, western Medieval, experimental and contemporary music. Although she is classically trained, having studied piano and theory since the age of eight, it was love at first sight when she first encountered the kanun almost a decade later. With her Byzantine music studies degree in hand, she moved to Istanbul in 2003 to pursue her love of the kanun and study Ottoman music. As a soloist, she frequently collaborates with world-renowned musicians, she travels with various projects and presents kanun and Greek folk music at master classes worldwide. Since 2013, after years of playing together with Vassilis Ketentzoglou, they released the duet’s first CD Butterfly (Odradek Records). Her first solo album Sisyphus was released in December 2020 (Odradek Records). She currently lives in Vienna.
ROK KOŠIR (Slovenia)
Rok Košir’s experience with music dates back to turn of millenia when he became regular guest of an International Festival Druga Godba in Ljubljana, Slovenia. After attending similar festivals around Europe and elsewhere and writing about them in several Slovenian magazines he was invited to join the program board of the festival. His affection towards traditional music from around the world only grew. He was getting also more and more involved with the Druga Godba festival, not anymore only as a member of program board, but he started to act as an interim director in 2014. For the next four years he was working hand in hand with artistic director of the festival. After four years at the Druga Godba festival he found new challenge in writing Creative Europe project Voices of Minorities which connected four festivals: Musicastrada from Italy, Trefpunt from Belgium, Budapest Folk Fest from Hungary and the Nights in Old Ljubljana Town from Slovenia. One of the main objectives of the project was helping local artists from involved countries to enter international market. That was – and still is – also his aim at Slovenian Information Music Centre (SIGIC), which he joined in 2016. He runs his own R.O.K. Booking & Management agency and collaborates with various venues and festivals both in Slovenia and internationally.
JULIJANA BAŠTIĆ (Serbia)
At a very early age of five Julijana Baštić began playing tambura – traditional chordophone instrument which is well known and widely used in northern part of Serbia as a typical orchestra instrument. Trained and educated in classical music at music school, she got the first musical experiences as a soloist, and later began playing in the tambura orchestras. After graduating in ethnomusicology at the Academy of Arts, Novi Sad, she worked in the elementary music school as a tambura teacher and as a leader of a few tambura orchestras at the cultural-artistic society in Novi Sad and throughout the region. At the end of 2013 she founded La Banda with her colleagues – a specific female tambura ensemble that perform a non-standard repertoire through which they explore the new sound possibilities of tambura instruments. Today she works at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad as an assistant of the Ethnomusicology program, and she is actively involved in the study of tambura practice from a scientific perspective. Julijana writes for the Serbian World music Magazine Etnoumlje as well.
GIUSEPPE BORTONE (Italy)
Giuseppe Bortone was born in Taranto in 1987. In 2018 he founded Zero Nove Nove, a Management and Booking agency. Zero Nove Nove (099 is the telephone prefix of Taranto) takes care of the artists with whom we share values, paths and ambitions. As a global sound Hotspot, we focus on the artistic and cultural message of a work, feeding its essence through the management strategies, the booking activity, and the discography’s chances. Giuseppe is a manager of Maria Mazzotta who is becoming one of the most appreciated voices on the European world music scene. In 2021 he took care of the production of three video documentaries: Maria Mazzotta introduce Amoreamaro, La Cantiga de la Serena presents La Mar, Enza Pagliara tells La Simpatichina, the singing tree. From 2021 the Zero Nove Nove also becomes a Label for artistic production.
BOJAN ĐORĐEVIĆ (Serbia)
Bojan Đorđević, music activist, lives and works in Belgrade. Founder of Association Ring Ring, as well as several music festivals – International New Music Festival Ring Ring, World Music Festival Todo Mundo, Swiss Music Days, Umbria Jazz Balkanic Windows (co-founder), Zajedno Zusammen. Since 1997 he has been participating on the music conferences and also has been giving lectures about Balkan and Rroma music, as well as about brass band tradition worldwide. During 80s and 90s Bojan has been organizing concerts, writing about new music and releasing audio cassettes. He is promoting Serbian artists throughout the world since 1987. For 2 years he has been selecting music program of Belgrade Summer Festival (BELEF) and later was the member of the programation board of this festival. Since the establishing of Radio B92 he has been frequent collaborator and today he has radio show Disco 3000 dedicated to world music on Radio Belgrade 3. He is the member of WMCE – World Music Charts Europe, panel of 40 most influential European radio world music DJs. During the 80s he started to write for youth and music magazines and newspapers in Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Italy and Great Britain. Now, he is the member of editorial board of world music magazine Etnoumlje. For the label B92, in the Ring Ring edition he compiled album Srbija: Sounds Global – vol 1/2/3 as well as Rromano suno – vol 1/2.
MARIJA VITAS (Serbia)
Marija Vitas is an ethnomusicologist, music critic, journalist, researcher, in love with music, cultural heritage, field work, writing. She completed her studies in ethnomusicology in 2006, at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. For many years she was also an active musician – pianist or keyboardist. In 2008 she began collaborating with Radio Belgrade 2 and the magazine Etnoumlje. Since then, she has been intensively developing her critic and journalistic activities, mostly in the field of music, doing reviews, reports, interviews, radio shows. She became the head of the magazine Etnoumlje at the end of 2012 and has also written for other print and digital media. She has collaborated with foreign radio channels – BBC3 and CBC, as well as with the local RadioAparat. She is a frequent jury member on the various competitions, contests and festivals dedicated to traditional or world music, in Serbia and abroad. As a member of the board of the World Music Association of Serbia she is constantly engaged in projects in culture, field research, realization of various releases, promotion of the Serbian music scene abroad. Since 2018, she is the editor of the World Music Association of Serbia portal. Beside that, she is also a member of the international panels of music experts Transglobal World Music Chart and Balkan world music Chart, as well as the part of the selection team of the World music festival Todo Mundo in Belgrade. The magazine Muzika Klasika chose her as the best music critic in Serbia in 2019.