This year's festival, organized for the 7th consecutive year, already gathers interest among World Music fans, as it contains well known bands and internationally acclaimed musicians.
The Rialto Ethnic Festival is an action and result of a musical movement, which has been a great success in the music world as well as in the European musical scene. Based on the hundreds of Festivals organized every year, one can see the evolvement of this kind of music, which keeps its locality and manages to be global.
As a member of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (44 Festival members and over 2000 000 spectators annually), RIALTO ETHNIC Festival shares the vision that the world is a mosaic of local traditions and music, although different in expression and content, equal though in value.
The festival this year, and ahead of EU Presidency of Cyprus, focuses on the special nature of Cyprus as a crossroad and bridge of continents and cultures, using its key position from where it derives its inspiration, highlighting at the same time its musical tradition.
The Ethnic Festival hosts this year, musical traditions of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, highlighting the common origins of the region. It also presents modern virtuoso musicians, renowned in the world music scene investigating, adopting trends and influences, creating colorful images that go beyond boundaries and borders of any kind.
This year residency in Vasa and Kilaniou
Within the framework of the festival, and with a search to find a common musical tradition in the Mediterranean, Cypriot Michalis Kouloumis musicians - violin, percussion Giannis Lembos, Andreas Christodoulou - violin and oud, Lefkios Demosthenous - song and Stavroula Kostanti - ney, will coexist for some days with worldwide musicians, Keyvan Chemirani (Iran–France) percussions, Kyriakos Kalaitzidis( Greece) oud andAbdAlhalimAl- Khatib (Jordan) qanun.
This music co-habitation will take place at a tradition house in Vasa and will result to a concert at the Omodos’ Square on Thursday 5/7 and will be presented at Heroes’ Square on Friday 5/7.
The artistic director for the RIALTO theatre’s production / residency is Kyriakos Kalaitzidis. The performance in Omodos is a collaboration with the Community Council of Omodos.

1. Lo Squintetto *
Wednesday 4/7/2012
The band from southern Italy meets Mediterranean traditions and rhythms, with modern elements ranging from ethno-pop to jazz. The musicians Nicola Pisani, Vincenzo Naccarato,Carlo Cimino, Piero Agostino Gallina and  Francesco Pallone with traditional instruments like the Calabrian lira, mandola, accordion, Portugese guitar Tamani, Cajon and Kalimba combined with bass and saxophone produce authentic and traditional rhythms like the tarantela and pizzica through a complex colorful musical canvas. They frequently appear in International World Music Festivals and they have recorded 2 cds of their work.
Τuesday 3/7 Nicosia – Phaneromenis Square

2. Rialto World Music Ensemble
Friday 6/7/2012
Two world-renowned virtuosos, Keyvan Chemirani (Iran, France) –percussion, Kyriakos Kalaitzides (Greece) –oud and Abd Alhalim Al-Khatib (Jordan) – qanun, will cohabitate musically with some of the best contemporary musicians of Cyprus in an attempt to highlight similarities and parallels between the music of the Mediterranean. Participating from Cyprus Michalis Kouloumis – violin, Rodos Panayiotou – percussion, Andreas Christodoulou – violin and oud, Lefkios Demosthenous – vocals, Stavroulla Kostanti – ney.
A Rialto Theatre production (residency) under the artistic direction of Kyriakos Kalaitzides.
The performances will be given at Omodos on Thursday 5/7 with the collaboration of Omodos’ Community Council

3. Lo Cor de la Plana *
Wednesday 11/7/2012
The band from Marseille sings in an almost forgotten language, Occitan, in an inconceivable way. The exceptional voices of Manu Theron, Denis Sampieri, Sebastien Spessa, Benjamin Novarino-Giana and Rodin Kaufmann, the sounds from clapping and stomping of feet combined with tambourines, and drums take their music down paths that remind us of Africa and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Finland and Varttina, Arabic melodies and occasionally combine with hip hop and reggae. This impressive live musical team is often hosted by some of the world’s biggest music festivals.
Thursday 12/7 Nicosia – Agias Varvaras’ Square

4. Haig Yazdjian
Friday 13/7/2012
The excellent soloist musician, composer and interpreter Haig Yazdjian, comes from Syria, from where he derives part of his inspiration in the traditions of the country. He has collaborated with some of the greatest artists in Greece and abroad registering an extremely successful course in all stages of musical production, while his live performances always constitute a special event.
Playing oud and singing Haig Yazdjian along with the exceptional musicians Nikos Sidirokastritis – drums, Yianni Kyrimkyridi – keyboard , Petro Varthakouri – bass and Yianni Anastasaki - guitar present a program which contains some of his most known compositions, mixing disparate elements of traditional music of the Eastern Mediterranean.

5. Sergio Martinez Flamenco Collective
Wednesday 18/7/2012
An amazing musical and dance proposal that combines traditional and modern trends in Flamenco. One of the greatest ensembles of Spain by the composer and virtuoso Sergio Martinez, leader of the band (percussion), the internationally renowned musicians, Paco Cruz (guitar), Martin Leiton (bass), Perico Sambeat (saxophone), Juan Jose Amador Moreno (vocals) and the internationally acclaimed dancer Nino de los Reyes.
A unique musical encounter of two generations that move with the same passion between contemporary and classical flamenco.
6. Zohar Fresco
Wednesday 25/7/2012
With influences from Turkish and Arabic traditional music as well as the modern Western music scene, Zohar Fresco does not only constitute one of the most important musicians of Israel but is an internationally acclaimed composer and musician who participates in a variety of musical bands, constantly surprising his audience with his collaborations. His reputation as a musician and virtuoso on percussion (darbuka, bendir, riq, tar) has surpassed the boundaries of Israel ranking him today amongst the top names in the Music World. Along with Antonello Messina (Italy) – accordion, Stratis Psaradellis(Greece) - lira and lavta, Miriam Toukan – vocals, they present a program of their compositions as well as primordial Jewish traditional music orchestrated specifically for the band.
The concert will precede the vocal band Ae Phonai. The members of “Ae Phonai " are coming from different music backgrounds and inspired by modern, classical, jazz and traditional music, create new musical roads.
They will present a short program of traditional Cypriot songs
Perform a cappella: Alexis Kyriacou, Aliki Chrysohou,  Andri Antoniou, Arilena Constantinou, Elena Michaelidou, Elena Fotiou, Themis Christou,  Theodoulos Charalambous, Iris Pissaridi, Maria Gerosimou, Maria Ioannidou, Marina Kountouridou,Savvia Kozakou

7. Dorsaf Hamdani *
Sunday 29/7/2012
Raised in the musical traditions of Tunisia, she stood out at a young age for her talent and dedication to music. After studying in Tunisia and Paris she continues with the same dedication to build her personal musical identity, collaborating with some of the greatest composers and musicians of the Arabic world. The skill, with which she handles eastern but also western musical techniques, has ranked her among the leading representatives of contemporary Arabic music renaissance.
Participating virtuoso musicians Mohamed Lassoed-violin, Anis Fliss-cello, Mondher Ouafi - percussion and Slim Jaziri - qanun
Monday 30/7 Nicosia – Phaneromenis Square
Tuesday 10/7
My Sweet Canary (89’)
Director: Roy Sher
With English subtitles
Tuesday 17/7
Twice a stranger  (50’)
Directors: Andreas Apostolidis / Yuri Averof
With English subtitles
Heroes Square
Free Entrance
Performances start at 20:30
Information:77 77 77 45 -

*The performances will also be held in Nicosia within the framework of “Summer Nights” organized by the Municipality of Nicosia.