The PORTA World Music Festival is the longest running, widest ranging professional world music festival in Latvia, set to mark its 10th anniversary in the year 2009!
The Culture Department of the Riga City Council, the Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation and the embassies of the participating nations have already acknowledged the significance of the event and provided financial support.
To promote education and awareness in Latvia about the traditional cultures of other countries around the world, the festival will organize master classes in cooperation with the Latvian Music Academy, to be led by foreign musicians, involving both university students as well as broader circles of enthusiasts to experience the skills of traditional music-making and expand their knowledge about the traditional cultures of other lands.
To promote creativity among the Latvian music community. In the year 2005 the festival PORTA began its collaboration with composer Valts Puce with the experimental project “this land/the other land” („šaizeme/taizeme”), in which the composer’s arrangements of folk songs were performed by classically trained musicians together with established folk artists. In 2007 PORTA initiated a new joint project uniting Latvia’s klezmer group FORSHPIL with the rock band Dzelzs vilks. The program for 2009 will feature the vocal ensemble COSMOS, which is already working on a specially designed set list for the festival.
Joint projects between Latvian and foreign musicians. In 2006 woodwind star Deniss Paskevics created a collaboration with Norwegian, Finnish and Estonian musicians, resulting in a breathtaking Nordic-Baltic program of ethno-jazz.
In 2006 the accordian group MOTION TRIO from Poland was hailed by many as the year’s most original and brilliant act. So in 2007 the ensemble worked with the local orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga and jazz vocalist Intars Busulis on the symphonic project MOTION SYMPHONY, which was noted as one of the top artistic achievements ever promoted by the festival.
On their part, the stars of the 2008 festival – the Georgian ethno-jazz trio THE SHIN created a unique program mixing Georgian and Latvian folk music in collaboration with Owl’s Ethnographic Orchestra.
After nine consecutive world music festivals (1999 – 2008), it’s evident that the audience for world music in Latvia has been growing rapidly. Attendance has been very encouraging and mass media coverage quite substantive. A host of well-known artists from various countries have performed on the PORTA stage over the course of the last decade: “Wimme” (Finland), “Mynta” (Sweden), “Lindblom & Daun Ensemble” (Germany), “Rag Foundation” (United Kingdom), Sally Nyolo and group (France/Cameroon), “Moscow Art Trio” (Norway, Russia), “Motion trio” (Poland), “Trigon” (Moldova), “Troica” (Belarus), ”The Shin” (Georgia), “Gaiteiros De Lisboa” (Portugal), Celia Mara (Brazil/Austria), Evelina Petrova (Russia) and more. Many Latvian folk groups have also taken part in these memorable festival performances.
The producer and promoter of the The World Music Festival PORTA is the social organization Pasaules Mūzika (World Music). The society’s main activity is to promote the world music genre in Latvia.
The organization Pasaules Mūzika has produced:
•The annual international world music festival PORTA
•The Origo Folk festivals of 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
•Concerts by visiting foreign artists – Fronteras del Silencio (Argentīna), Musical dance theatre TJANJIN (China), ritual songs and dances by Tibetan monks from the Phiyang cloister
•Concerts by artists represented by the society (Pūces Etnogrāfiskais Orķestris, Rīsa Zvejnieki, Lidojošais paklājs, Forshpil.)
•The publishing of sound recording albums („Rīsa zvejnieki” 2003, „Mārtiņš Tauriņš. Viena plauksta” 2004, Valts Pūce „Šaizeme/taizeme” 2006, “Es arī” 2009, “BORSH” 2009)
•Each year the World Music Festival PORTA represents Latvia at the International World Music Expo WOMEX
For the latest events of the PORTA Festival, check our Calendar section