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One of the most anticipated events of the summer, Jazz Fest 7’s explosive first night did not let people down! Celebrating Hemingway’s birthday in style, the seventh edition of this well-established tradition, organized by Hemingway Fan club, officially began yesterday at the University of Tirana square in the main boulevard.
Opa Cuba gave the party a vibrant start! The crowd was feeling the artsy, jazzy atmosphere to the sounds of band leader Cesare Dell’ Anna’s trombone. The band from Salento has been a fixture in the music scene for more than two decades now, especially known for its wonderful mix of Balkan sounds and old school jazz. Opa Cuba took the crowd on a journey that started from the south of Italy and continued on to the Middle East. For an hour and a half, the public was entirely absorbed and transported by the band’s pulsating sound.
The second band to light up the night was Barcelona Gypsy balKan Orchestra, who has traveled the world for the last 7 years, spreading their music, positive messages, and great vibes. BGKO band members come from all over the world – Spain, France, Serbia, Italy, etc – and their music reflects this fusion of different backgrounds. United by the universal language of music, this band truly does justice to a writer like Hemingway, one who broke down walls, crossed borders, tested boundaries, and brought an entire world together through his life-confirming writing.
The public, donned in the famous Jazz Fest dress code, was well-prepared to respond to the multiethnic festival, their colorful accessories standing out against the dominating white outfits, reflecting the peace, emigration, and anti-racism leitmotifs of the entire event.
Lead singer Sandra Sangiao, wearing vibrant red, particularly captivated the crowd with her cover of the beloved Albanian folk song “Lule lule” (“Flower flower”). Sangiao confessed to IntoAlbania that the band sees its “music as a meeting point of east and west. We are a band comprised of seven distinct individuals from different nationalities, each with a desire to celebrate who he or she is. Regardless of our different cultures, we are ultimately one.”
The intermezzo musical numbers performed by Ghiaccioli e Branzini, along many memorable performances scattered harmoniously throughout the night, lit up the capital’s main boulevard until the early hours of the morning. For those who missed the first night, Jazz Fest has an equally great second night lineup, including very special guests Rumba de Bodas.
One of the most well-known contributors to culture and entertainment in the capital, Hemingway Bar is also quite simply one of the coziest and nostalgic places to spend your
evenings. Tucked in one of the most interesting areas of the capital, full of traditional villas with beautiful, photogenic gates, at a distance from other pubs and clubs, Hemingway has become a landmark spot of Tirana’s social scene. Although it gives the impression of being an exclusive spot, everyone is welcome! That is why they’re the perfect organizers for an event that wants to tribute Hemingway, jazz, culture and harmony.
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