For the participating musicians, the competition represents the culmination of a long journey. Selected from Local and National Festivals, the two best musicians from each country arrive at the IRF having been tested, trained and transformed into national representatives. These Local and National Festivals and Workshops make up the year round musical activities, events and trainings of Music Crossroads, a youth empowerment program carried out in five Southern African countries.
At the same time, the competition marks the beginning of new journeys. National winners will each have the opportunity to record a track for the Music Crossroads IRF 2008 CD, a chance for tomorrow’s stars to give the world a taste of their sound. Top bands will be awarded prizes including the opportunity to participate in the international folk music camp ‘Ethno’ in Sweden; a professional three-week tour performing at Jeunesses Musicales festivals across Sweden; live radio performances; studio time; and musical instruments. The grand prize for the winning group is the highly sought after European tour which entails travels across more than eight European countries, performances at some of Europe’s most popular festivals, and concerts as part of other JMI member events!
The IRF will kick-off with the Malawian National Festival Finals on the 7th and 8th, building up to the InterRegional Final on the 9th and cooling of with a fringe festival near Lake Malawi on the 10th.
This year’s festival will focus on empowering young female musicians, who are underrepresented throughout Southern African region. Manou Gallo, international bassist and performer, will be down to give workshops and inspiration, demonstrating that it is possible for African woman to succeed in a male dominated industry. In true festival style, all activities for musicians will be supplemented with Relationship Workshops on HIV/ Aids and Gender Issues as well as well as artistic skills building workshops. Other international participants include winner’s of JM Sweden’s Musik Direkt competition ‘Hollye Neverdays’ and Ireland’s ‘Maslow’, both groups will have performances during the IRF and promise to please!
Previous festival winners include artists such as Body Mind and Soul (MAL), Konga Vibes (MAL), Nyacha (MOZ), Liyana (ZIM), Afrikali (TZ); Nfithe (MOZ), Kapa Dech (MOZ), Bongo Love (ZIM) and the OYA Theatre Group (TZ); who have all gone on to tour internationally.
For more info on the IRF, winning artists and an array of the projects sights and sounds visit the all new Music Crossroads website: www.music-crossroads.net
We hope that you will all join us in Lilongwe to enjoy and celebrate African music at its best!
For more info or bookings for international guests please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org