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©Nickolas Chryssos

“People of the Wind”: Bridging the sounds of the East and West

Artistic residency within the framework of EFFEA (European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists)

People of the Wind is a collective of three musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds united by their common interest in the musical traditions of the East and their urge to explore new ways of interpreting them by using western instruments. Inspired by the ecstatic traditions of the zurna-davul duo, they gave birth to an innovative sound with their saxophone performance.

During a residency at the Windcraft Music Fest (18-23 July 2023), the artists will be given the opportunity to create new repertoire and to develop their compatibility with the European music scene under the guidance of festival programmers. In a workshop, the band will also share their playing techniques and working progress with local musicians and creative professionals, resulting into a collective final performance.


The residency “People of the Wind: Bridging the sounds of the East and West” is supported by the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists – EFFEA, co-funded by the European Union.



Saxophonists Fausto Sierakowski (France), James Wylie (New Zealand) and percussionist, Alexandros Rizopoulos (Greece) began playing together in 2016 in Thessaloniki which led to formation of the trio People of the Wind.

People of the Wind is an explosive trio inspired largely by the ecstatic traditions of Sorna stretching from West Africa to the Far East. Of particular interest are the repertoires of Greek Macedonia where the trio is based, Eastern Turkey, Armenia and Iran. Guided also by a fascination for the role played by music in traditional societies in these places, the group directly addresses the question of the role of its own musical roots.

The nature of interpreting this music with a western instrument such as the saxophone also requires a great deal of technical and sonic innovation which results ina wholly new and exciting group sound with rhythm and dance at its core.

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This is an open call for Cypriot or Cyprus-based musicians to participate at the 3-day workshop “Bridging the sounds of the East and West” with People of the Wind, taking place on 21-23 July 2023 at Agios Theodoros and Katydata Soleas during Windcraft Music Fest 9.

People of the Wind invite a number of local wind and percussion players for a 3-day workshop (21-23 July 2023) focusing on the adaptation and interpretation of traditional music with western instruments. Based on their work on Northern Greek traditions, the band will explore the technical and artistic challenges of dealing with modal and microtonal repertoire whilst putting together a programme that will be performed as a group during Windcraft Music Fest.




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Balkan Trafik Festival (Brussels, Belgium) welcomes over 6000 visitors every year. The programme covers many artistic genres, including local traditions, contemporary brass bands, rock&jazz, film&theatre, workshops&debates, wine&gastronomy. Each year more than 100 artists gather from Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Slovenia but also France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

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Window onto the World Festival

Window onto the World Festival (Gdansk, Poland) is a space for artists of different cultures whose aim is to promote tolerance, mutual respect and interest in "otherness". “Dialogue” is a key term to the whole festival - all activities: concerts, workshops, meetings, presentations, film screenings and various interdisciplinary projects are aimed at stimulating interaction.

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Festivals are explorers of unknown or not-yet known talents, originality, innovation, and risk-taking artists to present to their audiences. These festivals serve and define themselves as the guardians and the intermediate springboard for artists in all arts disciplines. In this way, the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists (EFFEA), an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is a system built for festivals to support and offer emerging artists a platform to develop their careers on a European level and an invitation for co-operation between festivals. The EFFEA is the next step in a movement of festivals in Europe that recognise themselves and commit to working together at a European level. It builds on the preparatory action called EFFE: Europe for Festivals Festivals for Europe.

Main Objectives

  • To offer emerging artists more opportunities to present their work and develop their career on an international level

  • To offer cooperation opportunities for festivals to work cross border on the topic of emerging artists

  • To offer audiences new and surprising encounters with emerging artists in their towns and cities through the platforms of their festivals

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