Petržalka hosts bluegrass festival

FOR the third time, bluegrass music will fill the Zrkadlový Háj house of culture in Petržalka for the two-day Bluegrass Fest starting on October 10. For two nights, lovers of bluegrass music can see 23 bands performing this American style, rooted in the Scottish-Irish sounds of the Appalachian Mountains and featuring the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and double bass.

Meantime will perform at the festival. Meantime will perform at the festival. (Source: Bluegrass Fest)

FOR the third time, bluegrass music will fill the Zrkadlový Háj house of culture in Petržalka for the two-day Bluegrass Fest starting on October 10. For two nights, lovers of bluegrass music can see 23 bands performing this American style, rooted in the Scottish-Irish sounds of the Appalachian Mountains and featuring the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and double bass.

“This year it is difficult to point out outstanding bands as there are a lot of good and interesting bands,” Kamila Trávničková of Camille, the festival’s organiser, told The Slovak Spectator. “Slovaks will certainly recognise the name of Allan Mikušek, who will perform with the band Grasscountry. And the excellent Czech bands Monogram and Reliéf, which are among the top bluegrass bands in Europe will also perform.”

Trávničková also mentioned the Slovak group Meantime, as well as a number of musicians from abroad, including the Swedish band Lonesome Mountaineers.

“The band Garcia from the Czech Republic will be a kind of specialty,” said Trávničková. “This band, a project of singer Katka Garcia and banjo player Luboš Malina, plays slightly different music, as Katka sings Irish songs in the Irish style. Their music is a bit more rock-like as there are also drums; other bands at the festival are more acoustic. This will be, I think, the only band playing electronic instruments.”

For the first time there will be workshops dedicated to instruments typical for bluegrass.
“Such workshops are commonly held at bluegrass festivals,” Trávničková told the Spectator. “Musicians playing these instruments will give lectures and people will be able to get more information about them as well as ask for advice.”

The workshops will take place on Saturday between 10:00 and 14:00 and will be dedicated to violin, mandolin, guitar, dobro, banjo and vocals.

“Each workshop will be led by one of the bluegrass personalities playing at the festival,” said Trávničková. “But there will always be more musicians playing the same instrument onstage. The vocal workshop will be led by Reliéf, which is known for its four-part harmony.”

One-tenth of the cost of each ticket sold for the festival will go to the Peter Dula foundation, Keeping the Dream Alive.

“In this way we want to help this 27-year old country singer, whose cancer has returned after a five-year remission,” Trávničková told the Spectator. “Money raised this way should help the singer, who has just recorded a duet with U.S. country star Joe Diffie, to battle the disease.”

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