Some of our programs:
MUSIKETAN, Small Format Tours, from 1993 to the present; ZENTSURA AT!, Festival against censorship, from 2006 to the present; NOITES DE FADO, fado festival, from 2012 to the present; ROCKAZOKA – Rock festival; ROCK AND POETRY – Festival; …
MUSIKETAN: quality music of international artists in small format
It’s been twenty-five years since we started our MUSIKETAN adventure. What at first was a humble programme from April to June, 1994, developed into a wider programme that very same year, both in terms of length – from October ‘94 to June ‘95 – and commitment to the quality of the artists.
We aimed to find a place where we could schedule a quality music programme in a regular and constant way. Thus, we filled the gap that was blatantly neglected because there was no venue in Bilbao which programmed quality music with international artists in such an easy-going atmosphere.
The concerts are now being held at the new Sala BBK, in Gran Vía Street, Bilbao.
This programme means fourteen concerts from October to May, both inclusive, every fifteen days, embracing a wide range of styles, such as folk, rock, jazz, blues, ethnic music,… It is therefore an open programme which which escapes categorization.
Thanks to the experience gained through the years, we can arguably say that MUSIKETAN, according to both critics and audiences alike, covers a relevant gap in Bilbao’s cultural events.
25 years. 364 concerts. 244 artists. An audience of 90.000 . I couldn’t even dream of such figures. Thanks to everyone who’s made it possible.
José Ángel Serrano, Musiketan Director
ZENTSURA AT!: Festival Against Censorship
Music and performing arts have always played a leading role in learning and in the cultural experience, having an impact on people’s habits and emotions. On many occasions, they are part of a country’s or a region’s tradition (reggae, tango, folklore, rap, polka, salsa, samba, etc). Under certain circumstances, they become the leading actor, and performers and authors do too.
Music and art make up a complex framework of senses; they occur in people’s cultural experiences as a socializing and distinguishing element at the same time.
The question we ask ourselves is: Why are music and performing arts in general so censored?; Why have certain types of art been, are and will be silenced? The answer may be as simple, as South African musician Johnny Clegg put it: “Censorship is based on fear”.
Music is a free expression of ideas, traditions and emotions of individuals and society. It may convey musicians’ hopes and ambitions, their joys and sorrows, their cultural identity. And these representations may come into conflict with the ones in power. Ideas themselves might not be that popular, or they might be out-of-the-mainstream thinking, or far from what a regime or a special interest group would long for. Because there are people all over the world who feel threatened just for their free exchange of ideas. The same way, there are people who would do anything to stop them. As George Orwell said: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
Censorship has been exercised in performing arts by states, regions, education systems, families, winners and pressure groups; most often, human rights international agreements are violated. Here, at our own home, there are a lot of artists who have been censored, whose concerts have been called off, prosecuted, judged… The list is endless and it is becoming bigger and bigger…
Therefore, we put this festival forward, in order to support all those artists who, whatever the reason, sometime, somehow, somewhere… have been censored.
- To report censorship in all its forms.
- To fight against censorship in music, lyrics, plastic arts or the cinema.
- To help the artists who somehow, sometime, somewhere have been censored.
- To support all the artists who have suffered censorship.
- To help the censored musicians and artists to gain the confidence they need to tackle real issues in their countries.
- To make freedom of expression be respected, as it is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- To raise public awareness about censorship in art.
Noites de Fado
Born from the fusion of the Portuguese sentiment and its colonies, one of the most beautiful roots arts in the Iberian Peninsula arrives in Bilbao. In 2018, we will host VII. Noites de Fado on its seventh edition, which started in 2012 and whose success along the years prompted us to carry on.
Five Wednesdays of fado, the customary melancholic songs of the Portuguese port villages, will make up this season entitled ‘NOITES DE FADO’, which will be held at Sala BBK in Gran Vía, Bilbao, between April and June.
The programme features the best of the present scene, with long career artists as well as burgeoning ones, but always truthful to a tradition that according to late singer Amália Rodrigues, «It is the people’s sigh».
Fado is the most popular expression of the Portuguese music. Fado expresses the harsh realities of everyday life through the songs. It is usually sung by just one person accompanied by the «viola» (Spanish guitar) and the Portuguese guitar. The singing and the lyrics are the unifying force behind the fado; dance, although not always present, is an element that may enhance the whole experience. The subject of fado covers themes such as melancholy, nostalgia or everyday stories in the humble neighbourhoods but above all, fado is about fatalism and frustration. It has been aptly compared to flamenco in its vehemence and to tango in the issues they sing about, dramatic love relationships and never-ending longing.
One of the best definitions of fado was made by Amália Rodrigues herself (1920-1999), considered the Artistic Ambassador of Portugal: «fado really is very mysterious, you have to feel it, you have to be born with that distressed side of the people, you have to feel as if you had no ambitions, no yearning, a person… as if you didn’t exist. That person is me and that’s why I was born to sing fado». Amália gave passion and voice in the form of fado to great Portuguese poets such as O`Neill, Manuel Alegre, Homem de Melo and Camoens. In one of her most famous songs ,«All of it is fado», she sings:
“Love, jealousy, ashes and fire, sorrow and sin. All of this exists; everything is sad, everything is fado.”