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Legendary lineup and musical discovery - the 2024 edition of Budapest Ritmo

23 March 2024

April awaits with the next dose of global beats and local talent: Budapest Ritmo lineup boasts Salif Keita, Gérald Toto, Gaye Su Akyol, resident faves Duckshell and a rare live cinema treat by Vincent Moon. Organized by Hangvető as part of Bartók Spring International Arts Week, Ritmo promises a 3-day feat of big names, musical discovery and a rich programme of films, conference and networking events.

    Expanding the bubble of cozy and familiar to new and radical, Ritmo brings the best of global beats from Mali, South Africa, the Balkans or France to the heart of Budapest. Seasoned world music aficionados will appreciate the meeting with one of the genre’s grand masters, Salif Keita, curious listeners will enjoy the mix of psych rock and Anatolian folk by Gaye Su Akyol and Puuluup’s experimental nu folk, rebel revellers will be transformed by BCUC’s bantu punk seance. The festival offers a select lineup sanctioned by KEXP and WOMEX, leaving ample room for surprise and discovery: Afro-chansons by Gérald Toto, Welsh triple-harp by Cerys Hafana, Jelena Popržan’s artsy viola stand-up and a virtuosic ethno-jazz standoff between Béla Ágoston and Teodosii Spassov, homegrown folk, psychedelic rock and ska-punk represent the range.

    Ritmo is a multi-genre, multi-venue feat engaging all the senses, in Budapest’s lush locales: Akvárium Klub in the heart of the city hosts most gigs, but a free showcase event at legendary ruin pub Szimpla Kert kicks off festivities. An outdoor stage on Erzsébet tér will tempt passersby on Saturday, while the films will be screened at cult hub Toldi. Professionals will be pampered at the Hungarian House of Music, lending its beguiling interior to smooth networking sessions.

Music on film

    Female singers, Roma music and the boundless power of music are the themes of Ritmo’s film program this year. The figures and unforgettable voices of Věra Bílá, Ida Kelarova, Omara Portoundo, Mónika Lakatos and Elis Regina emerge against a background of rural Roma communities in Central Europe, the Afro-Cuban music scene or a studio in L.A. in the seventies. A unique live cinema session by Vincent Moon accompanies Dalinda’s folk a cappella concert, in Ritmo’s 2024 production. Ritmo films of past years: Again and Again by Ábel Regős and Veronika Szász, and Mordai by Gábor Reisz and Bálint Szimler will also be screened.

Connection, connection, connection

     As returning Ritmo guests know well, connecting minds, paths and genres is one of the festival’s fortes. In Budapest you can meet the movers and shakers of the scene such as representatives of dozens of festivals such as EXIT, Womex, Tallinn Music Week or of the best record labels and strike new collabs with likeminded professionals. We look at one of Hangvető’s major international projects MOST, successfully pulling the Balkans and the rest of Europe closer via a personal network united by the love of music. Delegates can present their projects at the pitching sessions, talk shop at speed meetings and connect at the world cafe - all hosted by the spacious, state-of-the-art Hungarian House of Music.

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