The Jaw Harp Festivals of 2023

DAN MOI Clemens Voigt & Sven Otto GbR
The Jaw Harp Festivals of 2023 - The Jaw Harp Festivals of 2023

January 27 – 29: Klangen før fela, Oslo, NO

June 30 - July 2: Marranzano World Fest, Catania, Sicily, IT

July 13 – 16: Barmupill Lager, EE

July 21 – 23: Le Reve de l’Aborigène, Airvault, FR

August 10 – 13: Ancient Trance Festival, Taucha, DE

August: North American Jaw Harp Festival, USA (tba)

September: Munnharpefestivalen, NO (tba)

November 30: International Mouth Harp Day, Jakutien, RU

Dezember 29: Global Vibes, Kecskemét, HU

Jaw Harp Festivals in January 2023

Usually there are several dates a year when the Norwegian Jaw Harp community meets, often with international guests as well. This year, the festival Klangen før fela from 27 to 29 January in Olso is already firmly scheduled. Bernhard Folkestad and Simen Roheim Iversen have been invited as Jaw Harp experts. It is also worth checking the website of the Norwegian Jaw Harp Forum for current dates. In recent years, a Music Week has been held regularly in Gjovik in the spring and the Norwegian Jew's Harp Festival in September. The "Munnharpefestivalen" has already been announced for September 2023.

The World Mouth Harp Festival hosted by Neptune Chapotin has left the festival calendar for the time being. After six amazing festivals, there will be an indefinite break. The World Mouth Harp Festival in Goa, India, was an important meeting place for jaw harp players from India and all over the world. Let's hope for a new edition in the future.

Jaw Harp Festivals in Summer 2023

This year we have to wait until summer for the next Jaw Harp festivals. This is because the Estonian Parmupillifestival, which in previous years took place in the winter months, is now to start in July for the first time. The first "Barmupill Lager" is planned by the Parmupilli Society (Parmupilli Selts). Up-to-date information should follow on the Parmupilli Selts Facebook page in the coming weeks and months.

Also already announced for the summer is Le Reve de l'Aborigène in the west of France (in the village of Soulièvres near the town of Airvault). The festival has always been a stage for jaw harpists and should also have exciting concerts and workshops in the programme for the 2023 edition. We'll keep an eye on it. For those who don't know the place yet, here is a recording of Raïdho Tribe at Le Reve de l'Aborigène 2022:

As expected, the Marranzano in Sicily should be celebrated again in 2023. In 2022, the Marranzano World Fest took place for the 13th time. Marranzano is the Sicilian name for the Jaw Harp. The world music festival is organised by the musician and ethnomusicologist Luca Recupero from Catania. Guests include exciting Italian musicians as well as jaw harpists from all over the world.

The North American Jaw Harp Festival is regularly held in the USA. It is scheduled for this August. More details are not known at the moment (in January 2023). The North American festival is organised by a group of Jaw Harp aficionados who live in various places in the US. The programme usually includes concerts, an open stage and workshops.                

Ticket sales for the Ancient Trance Festival (already legendary for some) start months before the date, because this gathering devoted to world music and Jaw Harps near Leipzig has its dedicated fan community. In 2023, the festival will take place for the 13th time. After that, it will take a breather in 2024. This is because the festival team works on a voluntary basis, consciously respecting the forces of nature and the people who organise the festival. That's why the ATF team regularly allows itself a year's break. Who will be playing on stage at the festival will be announced bit by bit on the website. Here is an impression of the band Varkocs from last year:

Jaw Harp Festivals in Winter 2023

Since 2011, Jaw Harp players in Yakutia and from all over the world celebrate the International Jaw Harp Day (Khomus Day) on 30 November every year. To mark the occasion, the People of the World Khomus Museum and Centre in Yakutsk organises a festival programme.

At the end of the year, on 29 December 2023, a visit to the city of Kecskemét in Hungary has been worthwhile for several years. There, jaw harp magician Aron Szilágyi has launched the Global Vibes Dorombfesztivál, a one-day meeting for a jaw harp session at the Leskowsky Musical Instrument Museum.

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