SEPTEMBER, 7th
USUPOVSKY PARK
Saint-Petersburg
GLOBAL
Music
Fest

Artists

Aquarium International
Aquarium International

BG. B for Boris. G for Grebenshikov. Boris Grebenshikov is extremely popular. His band, Aquarium, performs to packed houses. The band that accompanies Grebenshikov in concert has become cross-border

BG

BG. B for Boris. G for Grebenshikov. In Russia and Ukraine, in Belarus and Latvia, as well as in many other former Soviet Union countries, these initials immediately identify the man who, at 60, has often been considered as the greatest living Russian poet and singer and is a real cult hero there. Bilingual mathematician Boris Grebenshikov has also been known in the West since 1986 and the U.S. release of “Red Wave”, the first compilation of rock music from St Petersburg. Three years later, MTV audiences could see him on video clips, singing in English, and he was likened to a “Russian Bob Dylan, David Bowie or Marc Bolan” depending on the critics. Every Western journalist was trying to find an equivalent to the multiform talent of Boris, who had signed with CBS/Columbia. 

Boris Grebenshikov was not the first Soviet citizen seduced by rock and roll even though this music style, which communist ideologists considered as a sort of bourgeois perversion, was not to be found in record shops. He was not the first one singing rock in Russian or wearing long hair and faded jeans. But he was the first to fully pass on the whole Western spirit of his time. BG really is The Godfather of Russian rock. But he is also The Godfather of Russian reggae. And…he invented Russian Celtic music as well! He assimilated the cultures of the wide world and adapted them for present-day Russian-speakers. 

If he was discovering the outside world during the Soviet Eighties, when it was impossible to actually set foot across the Iron Curtain, the Capitalist Nineties were the years when he “discovered his own country” as he now says, visiting just about every Russian city and small town that had a concert venue. The “endless tour” that he undertook right after Russia became independent from the Soviet Union and that he still pursues today– have proved another inexhaustible source of inspiration for his songs.

Boris Grebenshikov is extremely popular. His band, Aquarium, performs to packed houses. People are ready to pay a hundred dollars to see BG. But don’t look for his villa on the French Riviera. All his earnings go to the next albums, so that he can record his songs exactly as he hears them. One song calls for a full orchestra? He rents a great royal orchestra with a great conductor – and to record it he has to have the famous Beatles studio, Abbey Road… 

For Grebenshikov, recent years have indeed been marked by the exploration of a new world of borderless possibilities. The “Russian Bob Dylan” thus recorded in the U.S.A in 1997, accompanied by his American counterpart’s musicians: The Band. In 1999, he revamped his blues in the electronic mirrors of Great Britain.

Grebenshikov can now allow himself the luxury of inviting great masters of traditional instruments on some of his songs: the Armenian duduk player Djivan Gasparyan, the Indian flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia or the American guitarist Henry Kaiser. In 2015 he made a record with Robert Wyatt.

The band that accompanies Grebenshikov in concert has also become cross-border. "Elements of Light" will be the place to come and taste this band!

Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span

Steeleye Span are an English folk rock band formed in 1969. Still active today, along with Fairport Convention, they are amongst the best known acts of the British folk revival, and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles "Gaudete" and "All Around My Hat". They had four Top 40 albums and achieved a certified gold record with sales of "All Around My Hat".

Throughout their history, Steeleye Span have seen many personnel changes. Their typical album is a collection of mostly traditional songs with one or two instrumental tracks of jigs and/or reels added; the traditional songs often include some of the Child Ballads. In their later albums there has been an increased tendency to include music written by the band members, but they have never moved completely away from traditional music, which draws upon pan-British traditions.

Värttinä
Värttinä

They are one of Finland's biggest musical exports but they could hardly be described as typically Finnish. They are, simply, Värttinä: musicians with a unique sound, with their feet firmly rooted in Finnish ground, in its language, culture and history, yet with the courage to develop over nearly four decades, something no-one else in the world has been able to copy.

 Finnish folk music band that started as a project by Sari and Mari Kaasinen in 1983 in the village of Rääkkylä, in Karelia, the southeastern region of Finland. Many transformations have taken place in the band since then. Värttinä shot into fame with the release of their 1991 album Oi Dai. As of 2009, the band consists of three lead female vocalists supported by three acoustic musicians. The vocalists sing in the Karelian dialect of the Finnish language.

In August 2005, Värttinä recorded their tenth studio album called Miero at Finnvox Studios, Helsinki. It was released on January 25, 2006 in Finland, and January 30, 2006 worldwide. In 2006, Värttinä also released the Värttinä Archive Live DVD, which included material from their 20th anniversary concert and other new and archive material. Värttinä collaborated with A. R. Rahman, a famous composer from India, in composing the music for the theatrical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, which played in Toronto in 2006 and in London in 2007.

Värttinä has been featured on popular children's show Arthur singing their hit song "Matalii ja Mustii" from the album Seleniko. The song was also featured on the show's first soundtrack, Arthur and Friends: The First Almost Real Not Live CD (Or Tape).

47Soul
47Soul

47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band formed in Amman Jordan in 2013. The members are rooted in Bilad Al-Sham, spanning the divides from Amman to the Galilee to Ramallah and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora.

47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band formed in Amman Jordan in 2013. The members are rooted in Bilad Al-Sham, spanning the divides from Amman to the Galilee to Ramallah and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora. This new sound of 47SOUL has rapidly amassed fans in the Arab World and Europe by blasting the electric Arabic Dabke sound through underground music scenes. On top of the beats that have been bumping in the Arab World for centuries, 47SOUL hypes it up with analog synthesizers, hypnotic guitar lines, and shattering verses from the four singers. Every show ends in relentless dance and trance from all parties involved. Their lyrics, mixing Arabic and English, call for celebration and freedom in the struggle for equality, inside Bilad Al Sham and throughout the world. The current lineup of 2016 includes: Z the People (vocals & synths) El Far3i (darouka, Mc/Vocals) Walaa Sbeit (percussion, Mc/vocals) El Jehaz (guitar & vocals)