Kuntaw Mindanaw off to Uzbekistan for Asian music fest

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 August) — A Mindanawon performing group will be flying to Uzbekistan to represent the country in one of Central Asia’s biggest music festivals.

Kuntaw Mindanao, a group from Tagum City, Davao del Norte will be among the international performers in the X International Music Festival “Sharq Taronalari” (Melodies of the Orient).

The event will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on August 25-30 and will gather over 50 performing groups from around the world this year.

Kuntaw Mindanao is known to popularize indigenous music through their songs that meld indigenous sounds with various musical genres. The group has won numerous awards in many songwriting competitions in Mindanao.

Through their music, the group hopes to share their advocacy of promoting awareness and protection of the indigenous peoples’ rights and culture, as well as environmental protection.

According to their profile, their compositions and music have been used by private organizations and institutions as a music anthem.

Sharq Taronalari is one of the biggest festivals in Central Asia. It aims to widely popularize “the best achievements of national music art, to preserve and develop great traditions of people, to encourage talents in musical and vocal sphere, as well as to spread in further international creative ties, to strengthen cultural-spiritual cooperation, to praise peace, friendship and ideas of mutual sympathy.”

The festival also hopes to promote the education of the young generation in the spirit of continuing national traditions and to further expanding international creative communications.

The program of “Sharq taronalari” festival includes contest of traditional music performers from different countries, as well as scientific and practical conference with musicologists, composers and performers. (http://en.sharqtaronalari.uz/participant)

According to its website, the first International Music Festival “Sharq Taronalari” took place in 1997 where performing groups from 31 different countries participated. It is initiated by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and under the patronage of UNESCO.

The Philippines participated in the festival in 2005 and in 2009.

Samarkand, the site of the festival, is included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO and is called the “Pearl of the East”. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)