Sicily’s International Folk Music Festival

Now until March 10 is the annual Sagra del Mandorlo in Fiore (Almond Blossom Festival) in Agrigento. The festival is a 10-day extravaganza of events, the heart of which focus on folk music from around the world. I’ve yet to attend the festival that attracts everything from Mexican Mariachi bands to Japanese drummers. During this period, Agrigento comes alive with vibrant costumes, dancing in the streets, outdoor jam sessions, and processions through the Valley of the Temples. It’s a dream for me to attend. Giving me even more of a pang of longing is that one of my most favorite bands from southern Italy, Canzonieri Grecanico Salentino, opened the feast last Friday night!

(sigh)

Meanwhile, Sicilian folk groups, like the one pictured, perform alongside their international colleagues. This photo is of a local group I heard in the streets of Custonaci when I visited Sicily in January.

Oh, and how could I forget: the region’s famous almond trees are in bloom too!

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