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EFN April's newsletter, #2. Enjoy, discover, share

EFN Newsletter April 2022 #2

WELCOME AND SUMMARY Welcome to the second edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. This content is intended for the international community involved in folk arts. You are welcome to share it. In fact, please share it. And there are ways to contribute content even if you are not a member. Read to the end to find out how.

This is what you'll find below:

  • Some news from the network: date and location for the annual meeting, our presence in Jazzahead! and a welcome to two new members (Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius and Scene Off).

  • News from our members: 2nd edition of the Nordic Folk Alliance (by Tempi), dates for the next edition of Folkelarm (by FolkOrg), Traditional Tales for Tiny People (by Live Music Now Scotland) and two news about Gaelic culture (by Fèisean nan Gàidheal).

  • Our next featured member is Mr. Eric Van Monckhoven.

  • Our next featured artist is the Serbian Roma singer Šaban Bajramović.

  • And we share two special contents: the latest plans and a call from the European Music Council, of which the EFN is a member since 2021 and the Chronicles of the Cultural Front by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

At the end of the newsletter you will find indications on how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. By the way, we are always looking for new members. Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading.


News from the EFN


By EFN editors

The beautiful town of Manresa, Catalonia, will be the location for the next in-person EFN conference - on Saturday 8 October 2022. Generously hosted by EFN Member Fira Mediterranea, attendance at the conference will also give EFN members full access to the huge range of traditional music and dance performances in Fira’s festival from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 October. Much more news will come soon… make sure the date is firmly locked in your diary now!



By EFN editors

As well as being dedicated to folk/traditional arts, many members of EFN also work with jazz - a music that has so many ties and links with various traditions and roots, both historical and contemporary. So EFN was delighted when generously offered a last-minute chance to be represented at the most well-established European and international jazz expo - Jazzahead in Bremen, Germany. Taking place from 27 to 30 of April, Jazzahead attracts thousands of music professionals and is the perfect opportunity to be in contact with anyone whose music world embraces traditional and folk sounds as well as jazz. More news on this exciting expansion of EFN’s reach will come for members soon. Check out Jazzahead on the website.



By EFN editors


This month we are delighted to welcome a new EFN member from Spain - Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius, a Catalan centre for programming, promotion and dissemination of folk music. From 1998 they have organised Festival Internacional Tradicionàrius, which they believe is the most important festival of music with traditional roots throughout the countries of the Catalan language and maybe south of Europe. The festival includes concerts, dances and other activities through twelve weeks (from January to March).

Why have they joined EFN? They say “We would like to help to promote the network between other festivals and stable teams that work with traditional music in the European area, discover projects as examples of good practice and work in exchange ideas with them. We also would like to discover bands and musicians from abroad and create a network and exchange ideas between them and artists from our area.”

Learn more on their website.


Scene Off is a music management company settled in Brussels. They joined the EFN a few weeks ago. Learn more about their work on their website. For instance, they are working now on the tour for the Galician duo Caamaño&Ameixeiras, who will be on the road, from Santiago de Compostela to Lorient, from 8 to 14 August 2022 (concert in Lorient, 12/08/22) and available, between 13 and 23 October 2022 in Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria (concert in Vienna, 17/10/22). They are open to connect it with members who might be interested in this project to organice concerts or folk night events. Contact: (Marisol).


News from EFN members


By Laia Kverneland, from Tempi

April 20-22, 2022, Gothenburg, Sweden. The largest gathering of the folk music industry and community in the Nordic countries, creating a platform for rising stars in the genre to work across the Nordic market and even further afield.

The festival focuses on acts from the Nordics and welcomes delegates from all over the world. The Official Showcases are jury-selected featuring both emerging artists and established touring legends, including 3 WOMEX showcase artists Ebo Krdum and Northern Resonance from Sweden and Vassvik from Norway. There is also a conference part where topics like “Is There a Nordic Folk Music Identity?” will be explored as well as themes on Nordic touring, diversity in Nordic folk music and practical seminars on songwriting and sync.



By John Stenersen, from Folkelarm & FolkOrg

Folkelarm is a Nordic showcase festival focusing on folk music from the Nordic region in all kinds of forms, from pure trad. to mixes with other genres. It´s a great place to mingle and discover exciting new music! The dates for Folkelarm are 24th - 27th of November 2022, so save the dates if you want to come!

We all had a great time at Folkelarm in 2021 and we recorded all the concerts so you can check out our bands. Here´s the link to everyone who played at Folkelarm in 2021 and 2020. If you want to read more about the artists, you find more information here.



By Carol Main, from Live Music Now Scotland

Live Music Now Scotland is excited to announce Traditional Tales for Tiny People (TTTP) as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. TTTP will bring the traditional stories and music of the Orkney islands and Western Isles to life with live performances from some of Live Music Now Scotland’s talented emerging professional musicians, alongside insights into Gaelic language and culture. Aimed at keeping the tradition of Scottish music and storytelling alive, this initiative will unfold at community venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow and will provide early years children and families the opportunity to engage with each other as a group, many for the first time.



By Fèisean nan Gàidheal


Students are being offered the chance to secure a £500 award in a competition which aims to promote all aspects of Gaelic culture as well as education in and through the Gaelic language. The competition is open to any student in Scotland, in full-time or part-time study, at further or higher education level or working towards a doctorate. The award is administered by EFN Member Fèisean nan Gàidheal and the 2022 competition opened during Seachdain na Gàidhlig –World Gaelic Week – with a closing date for applications of May 15th. Info and applications at


EFN Member Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s runs the online traditional music lessons service Oide (Gaelic for tutor) and has now added 2 new courses in Gaelic and English language to support learners of the language and fluent Gaelic speakers. Added to existing lessons, there are now further accordion, fiddle and Gaelic song lessons as well as some in guitar, step-dance and tin whistle. The lessons, which are suitable for all ages and abilities, are led by some of the most experienced traditional music tutors in Scotland, including Angus MacKenzie, Deirdre Graham, Chloë Bryce, Grant MacFarlane, Ron Jappy, Rachel Hair, Calum McIlroy and Ainsley Hamill. Find info at


Featured Member: Eric Van Monckhoven

Eric is originally from Belgium and is based in Sicily, Italy. He became involved in cultural management in Paris in the 1980s, when he started with some friends a live music club for ethnic minorities living in the city. In 2005, while living in Finland, he started to work as a cultural producer, and in 2007, he set up Music4You to offer PR and booking services to various artists and bands of world, folk, and roots music.

With this brand he works with artists like Northern Resonance, Luca Bassanese, Tsuumi Sound System or WOR. And as this is not enough for his restless spirit, among other things, Eric leads World Music Lab Italy and is a member of the board of the EFN. He collaborates with various music agencies and artists collectives, including for instance Calabria Sona in Southern Italy for the promotion of music Made In Calabria.


Featured Artist: Šaban Bajramović By Araceli Tzigane

If you look up Šaban Bajramović on the Internet, you will immediately find that he is known as the “king of gypsy music”. I imagined it would be a title bestowed by popular acclaim, which is more than enough. But the fact is that he was honored with the title "World King of Gypsy Music" by Prime Minister Nehru and Indira Gandhi during a visit to India. Anyway, Bajramović does not need the recognition of any authority, because you only have to listen to his voice for a few moments to realize that he had an inimitable majesty. Bajramović was relatively long-lived, much longer than the standards for Gypsies in his region. He lived 72 years. When he died in 2008, "only one in 60 Roma in Serbia lives to see their 60th birthday, and not many live up to age 50, according to studies by several Roma rights groups" according to this work by Vesna Peric Zimonjic.

Bajramović performing “Rastanak je tezak bio” in 1996:

Bajramović was born in Niš, in what is now Serbia and at the time, 1936, was part of Yugoslavia. His father was a shoeshine man, his mother went around the villages reading fortunes and they barely managed to support the family. Two of his six siblings were interned in Nazi concentration camps during World War II for being Gypsies. He studied very little formally but learned a lot informally. He soon left school for the taverns, where he earned a few coins for singing.

At the age of 19, he deserted the army for love and this led to his imprisonment, with a sentence of 3 years, which was extended to 5 and a half years for his cockiness. You can understand this better, for example, here. There, he learned to read and write and joined the prison orchestra. By the way, the prison was a kind of gulag on the island of Goli Otok in the Adriatic sea.

"Kerta mange daje" is a song in which the protagonist asks his mother to make him sweet coffee and he farewells her, his wife and his daughter, as he has to leave to the army:

When he got out of prison he devoted himself to music. His first record dates from 1964. Many compositions are attributed to him, it is said he composed more than 700 songs, but as with popular music in general, it is difficult to distinguish how much comes from popular heritage and how much from personal composition. Šaban did not bother to register his pieces, or perhaps he had the decency not to register as his own what was mainly the heritage of his people. In any case, he popularized pieces like Djelem Djelem or Opa Cupa and his expressive and natural way of singing is a gift that we can continue to enjoy.

In 2008, ill, he lived in poverty in his native Niš before dying of a heart attack. His wife and daughters had left the country years ago. The Serbian President Boris Tadic attended his funeral, paying his last respects to 'The King of Gypsy Music'.

There is a monument dedicated to him in his birth city, Niš. It is this one in the picture.

Pictures: portrait from Discogs, the picture of the monument to Saban Bajramovic in Niš is of public domain.


Special Contents


EFN has been a member of Europe Music Council (EMC) since 2021.

  • The European Forum on Music in 2023, planned to take place in Moscow alongside the International Music Council (IMC) General Assembly, was cancelled because of the current situation of war by Russia against Ukraine. Read the EMC statement of solidarity. Consequently, the EMC does not have a host for the European Forum on Music in 2023 and is inviting organisers to consider hosting the event in 2023.

  • 7 April: EMC webinar on eco guidelines. This webinar will introduce new eco guidelines for European cultural networks. It will explain how they can be applied and how they can be further developed for your context. If you are an EMC member or affiliated (which you are through EFN) you can join the webinar - register here.

  • 10 & 11 June: EMC members meeting in Brussels.

    • 10 June - full-day: EMC Lab (membership day), in-person event - dive into the current activities of EMC & an opportunity for members to meet, discuss and exchange ideas.

    • 11 June - morning: EMC Annual Meeting of members, in-person event.



The Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is releasing a bulletin called Chronicles of the Cultural Front. We did not want to believe a month ago that the invasion of Ukraine would last until today. The fact is that it continues and that many cultural assets are being destroyed and many people are dying, including, of course, people involved in culture.

A few days ago we received their newsletter forwarded by Birgit Ellinghaus from alba Kultur, to whom we thank.


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEWSLETTER Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:

· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link.

· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from/developed/settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:

· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members. If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it, in

Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the board will be consulted and it will decide.


BECOMING A MEMBER? EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from


DO YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THE EFN MORE? The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.

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