Festival au Désert 2020

11th edition
Florence, PARC Performing Arts Research Centre, Teatro Puccini
September 5 – 10 


The Festival au Désert is a multicultural musical project that from 2010 has created a network for contemporary creation between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe, starting from the collaboration between the Festival au Désert in Essakane (Mali) and Fondazione Fabbrica Europa.

The festival hosts the great names of the world music, in particular from Mali, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, in open dialogue with the ambassadors of artistic “nomadism” from all over the world.

This year’s musical and cultural itinerary has hosted some concerts starting from the roots of Malian music, thanks to the presence of one of its great ambassadors, the balafon player Aly Keita. Born in Ivory Coast but coming from Mali, Keita is one of the most famous musicians in the world for his ability to bring out every harmonic and percussive nuance from his balafon. Together with the Afro-American drummer Hamid Drake he goes beyond traditional music to explore jazz and contemporary beats.
For the first time the vibraphonist Pasquale Mirra, already alongside Hamid Drake in wonderful live performances that have delighted national and international audiences in these years, joins the group (September 5, PARC).

Also as part of the Festival, the meeting Almar’à, the Arab and Mediterranean women’s orchestra. Concept, creation and perspectives of a project that moves reality, coordinated by Raffaele Palumbo, with Dania Alkabir Alhasani, Silvia La Rocca, Nadia Emam and Kavinya Monthe Ndumbu (Almar’à), the conductor Ziad Trabelsi (Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio) and Pino Pecorelli (Orchestra di) Piazza Vittorio / Isola di Legno) who alternated music pieces and stories of a Fabbrica Europa project that is getting considerable attention at national and international level (September 8, PARC).

The Festival also hosted Trilok Gurtu, an extraordinary percussionist who likes to define himself as a builder of musical bridges between different cultures. Blending Western and Indian techniques, he has developed an unmistakable style and sound that since the mid-90s have placed him among the greatest innovators of percussion art for intensity, imagination, virtuosity and communicative energy. Over the course of his long career he has attracted world-class artists such as John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, Jan Garbarek, Bill Evans, Pharoah Sanders, Dave Holland, Oregon, struck by his masterful sense of rhythm (September 10, Teatro Puccini).

Progetto realized with the support of Fondazione CR Firenze



Aly Keita / Hamid Drake / Pasquale Mirra




Trilok Gurtu

[potos: Monia Pavoni]


















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