UDINE – «The event has been fantastic, the musical level of the performances as incredible as always. I’m not going to give any artistic opinion on the winner, the jury has already expressed it.
On the other hand, I would like to emphasize how this year’s winner is the person who could forge the most beautiful and profound relationships and who better understood the true spirit of Suns Europe» said Leo Virgili, artistic director of the festival. ‘Tumasch è’ is the winner of the third edition of Suns Europe, the minority languages art festival that took place in Udine from the 30 th of November to the 2 nd of December.
Thomas Cathomen plays, sings and writes songs also in Romansh. ‘Tumasch è’ is the name of his newest project: a perfect balance of rock, pop, and singer-songwriter music, crossing the borders between Europe and the Americas, Grisons (the region where he comes from and which he represented at Suns Europe 2017) and Mexico.
Jury and runners-up
As explained by Onno Falkena, president of the technical jury – also composed of Enerit Furyak (Basque Country), Gruff Rhys (Wales), Carin Marzaro (Fruli), Stefano Degioanni (Occitania), Jachen Prevost (Grisons), Bert Kamping (Lower Saxony), Ruben Dominguez (Galicia), Mathieu Scialino (Brittany, Friuli) – Tumasch è’s gentle voice and music created a truly magical atmosphere. His gestures are apparently small and simple, but his music ‘hides’ something brilliant and ingenious. This is exactly what convinced the jury to award him the first place. As in the past edition of the festival, the winner was chosen with a cross-vote of the technical jury and of the ‘popular’ jury represented by the audience: ‘Tumasch è’ received a handful of votes less than Isa Zwart (Province of Drenthe, Netherlands), the public’s favourite.
Second place for La Basu (Basque Country), with her vivid sounds and an interesting combination of music styles. Particularly appreciated also the performance of Ebel Elektrik (Brittany), a very energetic band who brought on stage a wonderful guitar.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Suns Europe’s final event has once again met the expectations of the audience: a sparkling, colourful and thrilling soirée. The event was hosted by Natalie Norma Fella and Michele Polo, who delighted the public with great professionalism and funny comedy sketches. On stage, in front of an attentive audience, voices, sounds and rhythms of a Europe “united in its diversity”. Along with the winners, we listened to the music of Adwaith (Wales), Esposa (Galicia), Franco Giordani (Fruli) and many others, including two fantastic special guests: Namgar (from Buryatia, near Mongolia) and Gruff Rhys (Wales), who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Lorenzo Fabbro, President of Arlef.
But it’s not all. On stage also Joana Gomila Folk Souvenir, representing the Catalan Countries. Joana was greeted with a warm applause and a message which stood out on stage: “No Esteu Sols”, you are not alone. «We wanted to give this message to all Catalans. You are not alone – said Carlo Puppo, President of Informazione Friulana (published of Radio Onde Furlane) – this is an arts festival where music, cinema and literature are the star-ingredients, but we never forget about the linguistic and national rights of all European citizens. In this very special historic moment, we could not help but feel close to the Catalan people and send them our message». Once again, Suns Europe offered a three-day event full of artistic influences, talent, linguistic pluralism and creativity. Once again it showed us the beauty of diversity.
Suns Europe is a project of Cooperativa Informazione Friulana (publisher of Radio Onde Furlane) and Cooperativa Puntozero, with the sponsorship of Arlef (Agjenzie Regjonâl pe Lenghe Furlane – Regional Agency for Friulian language), Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia and Fondazione Friuli, in collaboration with the Municipality of Udine, Fondazione Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine, Babel Film Festival and under the auspices of the Council of Europe.