Elita 5 celebrates anniversary of band creation with one-of-a-kind concert

Elita 5 celebrates anniversary of band creation with one-of-a-kind concert

TIRANA, Sept. 6 – The renowned Tetovo rock band Elita 5 will be performing at Tirana’s new Amphitheatre , located at the capital’s artificial lake area for the 30-year-anniversary of the band’s creation. The bands’ members are considered pioneers of

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Albania celebrates St. Mother Teresa day

Albania celebrates St. Mother Teresa day

TIRANA, Sept. 5 – This date two years ago Mother Teresa became the first Roman Catholic of Albanian origin to be canonized by Pope Francis, making the date widely celebrated around the world and an official holiday in the country.

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Famous Albanian tenor Gaqo Cako passes away at 83

Famous Albanian tenor Gaqo Cako passes away at 83

TIRANA, Aug. 2 – Tenor, historic figure of Albanian opera music and Nation’s Honor Gaqo Cako passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Tirana, where he lived with his wife, the artist Luiza Cako. Çako was born

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Second biggest recreational park announced by Tirana Municipality

Second biggest recreational park announced by Tirana Municipality

TIRANA, Aug. 1 – A new recreational park for all ages will be added to Tirana’s Great Lake area. The Municipality of Tirana, with the financial support of TIKA and the Agency for Parks and Recreation, started work on a

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Albanian-American pianist supports efforts to uncover communism’s crimes

Albanian-American pianist supports efforts to uncover communism’s crimes

TIRANA, Aug. 2 – The well-known Albanian-American musician Elida Dakoli visited Tirana this week not only to give a piano concert, but also express her desire to help in the efforts to uncover the crimes of the Albanian Communist dictatorship.

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Experts quote degradation as reason behind National Library’s floods and fire

Experts quote degradation as reason behind National Library’s floods and fire

TIRANA, July 26 – The Construction Institute made the technical assessment of the National Library building, as it was flooded by heavy rainfall last month and burned, about a year ago. According to the report, last month’s floods happened due

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Steam locomotive installation in honor of Tirana’s future, first-ever electric train

Steam locomotive installation in honor of Tirana’s future, first-ever electric train

TIRANA, July 26 – A symbolic installation of a steam locomotive was placed this week where Tirana’s old train station is, soon to be replaced with the first electric train going from the capital to Durres. Mayor of Tirana Erion

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Soprano Ermonela Jaho to perform Thaϊs next to Placido Domingo in Spain

Soprano Ermonela Jaho to perform Thaϊs next to Placido Domingo in Spain

TIRANA, July 25 – Renowned Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho will appear next to internationally famous tenor Placido Domingo in Spain’s Madrid to perform the lyrical comedic opera ‘Thaϊs’. On Thursday, July 26, Jaho and Domingo will get on the Teatro

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International ‘Jazz in Albania’ festival returns to Tirana, Fier

International ‘Jazz in Albania’ festival returns to Tirana, Fier

TIRANA, July 25 – The seventh international Jazz in Albania festival returned this week in the capital and in Fier with jazz bands coming from Europe and the US. Lasting for one week, from July 24 to July 28, the

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Five Albanian artists showcased in Washington DC

Five Albanian artists showcased in Washington DC

TIRANA, July 25 – The World Bank inaugurated a modest exhibition consisting of 13 paintings made by Albanian artists at US capitol Washington DC. More specifically, it was World Bank Group Executive Director for Albania Patrizio Pagano who ideated and

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 6 - The renowned Tetovo rock band Elita 5 will be performing at Tirana’s new Amphitheatre , located at the capital’s artificial lake area for the 30-year-anniversary of the band’s creation.

The bands’ members are considered pioneers of Albanian rock and their songs have a very large fanbase in Albania.

‘Tornado,’ titled after the band’s latest album name, will kick off at eight pm on Friday, Sept. 7, and the band’s five members - who have remained unchanged over the last thirty years - will play on for hours.

The band’s solist Arif Zyberi told local media during their rehearsals that Tirana is the epicenter for all Albanian nationals who live outside the country’s borders, so the idea to perform in Tirana for the band’s anniversary wasn’t coincidental. 

The band was established in 1988 and seems to have had all its dreams and aspirations fulfilled through the years.

Zyberi said the band’s all-too-famous ballads were inspired from their own personal stories, however, the social, political and economic situation of Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania also affected the band’s creative streak.

He recalled the moment the band was privileged to watch a majestic Scorpions concert in Tirana, while war was ongoing in neighboring Macedonia. 

It was a very difficult moment for us, because while the concert kept playing, Macedonia was at war and I remember when the concert started, I sat in the public and called my friend and told her to listen to the band. And she said that’s all great, but that I should listen to what's happening here, in Tetovo. There was loud banging sounds everywhere. It was an important experience for us, which I will remember throughout my life,” Zyberi said.

Asked what has been the band’s magic ingredient to not breaking up through the years, Zyberi listed their original friendship in terms of creativity, and the dedication to their work and their fans professionally.

“We will sing songs from the Elita 5 repertoire, we made a very real selection based on the bands YouTube hits. We hope that the public will sing along, for me it would be a concert failure if we do not sing together with the public that night,” he concluded. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 5 - This date two years ago Mother Teresa became the first Roman Catholic of Albanian origin to be canonized by Pope Francis, making the date widely celebrated around the world and an official holiday in the country.

The country’s President Ilir Meta remembered the anniversary of the canonization by sharing a Facebook post celebrating Mother Teresa’s life of charity and calling on everyone to use the day to self-reflect.

“Not all of us can do great things, but each of us can do small things with great love,” Meta wrote among others in his message, recalling the expression of St. Mother Teresa and calling for more love. 

On his side, Tirana’s Mayor Erion Veliaj announced he would celebrate Mother Teresa by engaging in a community service marathon.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. - Mother Teresa. Tirana will celebrate Mother Teresa Day with community service marathon,” Veliaj wrote in his Twitter account.

The Tirana Municipality has opened a number of social canteens throughout the capital over the last three years and is located close to the citizens who need support. 

Meanwhile, Shkodra’s House of Mother Teresa missionaries mass was held to honor canonization day.

The widely-debated series of crimes that have struck Shkodra lately occupied a significant part of the mass, where missionaries appealed for an end to the shocking murders. 

Around the world, millions commemorated Mother Teresa for her canonization two-year-anniversary, which is also the date of the anniversary of her death. 

Mother Teresa was born in Skopje as Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910. She was born to parents who had moved to Skopje from Kosovo.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

She was banned from visiting family members in Albania by the country’s then brutal atheist communist regime, but she did visit as the regime fell and Albanians have commemorated her life and work ever since.

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”

The famous saying by Mother Teresa best portrays the nun of Albanian origin, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who dedicated her whole life to helping the poor, despite critics of her.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 2 - Tenor, historic figure of Albanian opera music and Nation’s Honor Gaqo Cako passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83 in Tirana, where he lived with his wife, the artist Luiza Cako.

Çako was born on January 24, 1935. He spent his childhood in Korça, the city of endless serenades. He then moved to Kuçova, where he noticed for his artistic activities in the house of culture and where he was also given the right to study at the Artistic Lyceum.

He spent his adolescence in Tirana, and then studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for another four years.

After returning to Albania in 1961 he was appointed tenor of the Tirana Opera and Ballet Theater, where he sang many of the first roles of the operatic repertoire, becoming the leading tenor for three decades.

Having received the Nation’s Honor title, Çako has made an extraordinary contribution to the history of the National Theater of Opera, Ballet and National Ensemble. 

‘Traviata’, ‘La Boheme”, ‘Rigoletto’, ‘Norma’, as well as the Albanian opera ‘Mrika’ of Prenk Jakova, Kristo Kolo's ‘Flower of Remembrance’, Tish Daia's ‘Spring’, Vangjo Nova's ‘Heroine’, ‘Skenderbeu’ by Prenk Jakova, ‘Commissar’ by Nikola Zorac, Tonin Harapi's ‘Awakening’, ‘Our Land’ by Pjetër Gaci, have remained in the classical repertoire due to the performance of vocal master Gaqo Çako. 

In addition to having performed around the world’s theaters, Cako also remains very well-known in Italy, as he graduated the Santa Cecilia conservatory. He has performed the best works of both world and Albanian composers, but has appeared in 28 editions of Albania’s Public Radio-Television Song Festival.

The country’s Prime Minister Edi Rama also reacted to Cako’s death, saying through a social media status that the world of art lost a rare figure.

“Gaqo Cako is not alive anymore, and with him we lose another life dedicated to art, leaving behind a name that is added to the history of Albanian singing,” Rama’s post read.

In addition to his long career in the field of music, Cako also leaves behind his musical heritage in the form of his son, famous singer and composer Pirro Cako. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 1 - A new recreational park for all ages will be added to Tirana’s Great Lake area. The Municipality of Tirana, with the financial support of TIKA and the Agency for Parks and

Recreation, started work on a new recreational space including both a playground for children and a resting environment for adults.

Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj stressed that an environment where children are treated with respect and love from the very beginning makes them better citizens tomorrow.

“One of the reasons why we have these small disagreements today is because we have people who were raised badly, who are not used to team work, were not raised to think positively, were not raised to look at the good side but to find space to divide people, to put them against each other, to say no to progress, to be afraid of new things. That is why we have these debate today,” Veliaj said. 

Referring to the widely-debated National Theatre bill, which Veliaj and the municipality support, 

he said the parliament will approve the bill again in September. Veliaj listed many of the capita investments that were encountered with resistance at first, but then gave good results.

“We will patiently wait during these 40 days for the parliament to gather again and pass the new National Theatre bill. But there’s always the question I ask myself: those who oppose everything, weren’t they the same people saying ‘don’t touch the lake,’ ‘don’t touch the park’? The park is more frequented today and it’s enough to see how the games corner has gone into order, as well as the bicycle track, the pedestrian track, the runway and the new Amphitheater,” Veliaj added.

According to him, Tirana will continue to change and despite slight delays for a matter of a few days public work will not be halted.

Veliaj guaranteed the capital will make up for all the lost time and promised the municipality will work to remain in the right direction, but did not address the unconstitutionality of the NT bill, as vetoed by Albania’s President Ilir Meta this week.

“By the end of the year we will return here and find another games corner transformed and we’ll say: ‘it’s so good that we didn’t lose time.’ We are really losing 40 days but we will make for the lost time. For a city that has lost many years, each day is valuable and for this we are sorry, but we will make up for it with courage,” he concluded.

Concerning the new corner, the mayor said it will be the second biggest park in the capital, after the one constructed nearby the new amphitheater area. 

Citizens living in the area around the Zoo, Botanic Garden and Dry Lake will have the opportunity to use this area. The new recreational park is being built at one the lake’s unused areas, in a surface of 5500 square meters. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 2 - The well-known Albanian-American musician Elida Dakoli visited Tirana this week not only to give a piano concert, but also express her desire to help in the efforts to uncover the crimes of the Albanian Communist dictatorship.

Dakoli came to Tirana to give a highly-anticipated concert in the hall of Albania’s Academy of Sciences. 

However, Dakoli’s recitals have also been a way of sharing how her family survived communism in Albania. Dakoli currently lives in Texas and gives piano concerts both in the US and Europe. 

Dakolli said the communist period is part of the Albanian people’s suffering and her relation to this suffering is big, as during communism she lost her grandfather, whose burial place has still not been identified.

After her concert at the Academy of Sciences, Dakoli visited the Institute for the Study of Crimes and Consequences of Communism. There, she said she’d try to secure a collaboration between the institute and the Communism’s Victims Commemoration Foundation in Washington DC and urged researchers to prepare a list of proposals for collaboration.

The institute’s hospitality towards Dakoli was accompanied by ample information on the publication of over 80 books that reflect the crimes of Albanian communism, a whole library, among which the preparation of a dictionary on victims of communist terror continues, so far having reached the 7th volume.

Dakoli’s visit and concert consisted of another surprise - for the first time, she played on a Bachendorff German piano, which was donated to the Academy of Sciences produced especially for her.

Dakoli gives concert in many European and US capitals, but she never forgets her heritage and in her travels she has become a self-proclaimed missionary of her homeland’s truths in regard to the sufferings caused by the communist, the crimes of which should be investigated in order for democracy in Albania to help democracy settle.

 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-26 10:21:39
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 26 - The Construction Institute made the technical assessment of the National Library building, as it was flooded by heavy rainfall last month and burned, about a year ago. According to the report, last month’s floods happened due to the building’s old age.

Similarly, the report highlighted the fire protection system needs deep reconstruction. Experts pointed out the ground’s basement and sidewalls lack hydrolysis.

This was not taken into consideration during the building’s construction, as there was no proper hydrologic study of the area at the time. 

The CI’s report quotes old age, frequent damages and lack of proper measures to protect the building as the main reasons behind the building’s basement floods.

Last month, the water came up at the building’s ground floor, for which the expertise blamed the lack of a hydrologic study.

According to the experts, the library’s foundation has suffered damages that have not been able to protect it from underwater waters.

However, experts excluded a blocked sewage system as a possible reason behind the floods.

In this context, the experts advised the urgent removal of important files from the ground floor, the conduction of the necessary hydrolysis and the eventual restoration of the damages.

It was also made known that a 2012 reconstruction did not meet the necessary requirements to protect the building, while the space available for the growing number of material has also been rendered inappropriate for over 20 years. 

Lastly, according to the expertise, the walls of the building, especially on the basement floors, are degraded due to humidity and, on some surfaces, they also appear cracked.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 26 - A symbolic installation of a steam locomotive was placed this week where Tirana’s old train station is, soon to be replaced with the first electric train going from the capital to Durres. 

Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj said that soon enough Tirana’s citizens will be able to travel to the Rinas airport and Durres by electric train during the installation ceremony of the steam locomotive at the entrance of the New Boulevard, as a cooperation between the Municipality of Tirana, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy and the Hemingway Fan Club Tirana.

“The new electric train will be passing on the other end, which is why we put the locomotive on this side. Under these opportunities, I believe that within the next mandate we will have the chance to experience the first trip on the electric train, without pollution, from Tirana to Rinas Airport, and then from Tirana to Durres. We will have the opportunity to see where we were, where we are and where we want to go in the future,” said Veliaj.

He added the steam locomotive installation doesn’t only serve as a reminder of the past.

|This locomotive was produced in 1951. This coincides with the year when the first consortium that preceded the EU, the steel and coal union, was created. The agreement of '51 gave birth to what today is called the European Union, the negotiations with which we will open next year. So this

memory is not only physical, but also political, and humanitarian, as well as a reminder of the fact that relations between people have developed aside science, transforming what started as trade into the multilateral relations we today call the European family,” Veliaj said.

Veliaj stressed that Tirana’s future is not that of a city where the work is done only by the municipality, but one in which its youth adopts a part of the city to beautify it.

“In most countries around the world, a park, a flower, an installation, a statue, are not actually productions of the municipality, but the boys and girls of that city, commune or neighborhood that come together to create a micro-environment, which they adopt,” he said.

The new locomotive located on the New Boulevard was produced in Poland in 1951 while its mission was completed in Albania, in 1986. 

It initially served passengers and then freight trains, and will now remind citizens of the railway stations that resemble the stations of life, the stories, the emotions, the love that kept families alive and the distances that this locomotive shortened. 

More than a relic of the Albanian railway launch, artists have thought of the steam locomotive as a symbol of the unstoppable journey of Tirana's development.

 
                    [post_title] => Steam locomotive installation in honor of Tirana’s future, first-ever electric train 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-25 13:03:44
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-25 11:03:44
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 25 - Renowned Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho will appear next to internationally famous tenor Placido Domingo in Spain’s Madrid to perform the lyrical comedic opera ‘Thaϊs’. 

On Thursday, July 26, Jaho and Domingo will get on the Teatro Real stage for a widely anticipated performance due to both artists’ artistic dimensions and previous stage experiences together.

The Madrid premier comes after the success both artists had performing a year ago in China, where they inaugurated the opera season of the Beijing National Arts Centre from February 2 to February 6.

Having previously excelled in their roles as Athanael and Thaϊs, the artists are expected to deliver an artistically heightened experience to the Spanish audience by transporting them to 4th century Alexandria, where pious monk Athanael is trying to convert courtesan Thaϊs into a Christian, while falling in love with her.

‘Thaϊs’ is an opera based on an event that helps the audience deeply reflect on society’s values, combining strong explosive emotions with the meditative qualities of its characters, making it different by the traditional Verdi or Puccini operas. 

In this context, Jaho and Domingo have created an artistic duo from which passion and musical energy stems.

Jaho has already made a reputation for herself when it comes to majestic parts, such as that of Thaϊs. She has so far performed in the world’s most prestigious stages, often receiving awards for her breathtaking performances. 

On his part, Domingo has a unique voice that has won over opera-lovers worldwide.

‘Thaϊs’ is a three-act opera composed by Jules Massenet and written by playwright Louis Gallet, based on the novel with the same title by Anatole France. France received the Nobel in Literature in 1921 for ‘Thaϊs.’

‘Thaϊs’ was first staged in Paris’ Garnier Opera, on March 16, 1894. 

 
                    [post_title] => Soprano Ermonela Jaho to perform Thaϊs next to Placido Domingo in Spain 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-25 12:58:55
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 25 - The seventh international Jazz in Albania festival returned this week in the capital and in Fier with jazz bands coming from Europe and the US.

Lasting for one week, from July 24 to July 28, the festival’s organizers upped their game this year inviting ten bands from Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Austria, Israel, Italy, Belgium and the US.

Jazz in Albania 2018 promises a variety of styles and artistic individuality at its latest edition, with qualitative music, workshops and a number of other surprises reserved for the audience.

Festival organizer Besim Petrela said the international and local bands will transmit a myriad of emotions to music lovers, while artistic Director Gent Rushi told local media this festival doesn’t just belong to the public, but also to the artists, whose music speaks of its importance on its own accord.

“It is a pleasure to work at a time when it’s difficult to make qualitative music. I am here to present the bands, but everything I could say is vague, so you have to come and see them by yourself. Words before music are lukewarm, what is special about the festival is the variety of styles and artistic individuality,” Rushi said.

In Fier, the jazz festival will be hosted at the UNESCO protected Apollonia site - the ruins of an ancient Greek city located on the right-bank of modern day Vjosa River, as one of Albania’s most magical ancient landmarks.

“Eight musicians from Nis, eight from Sarajevo and eight from Tirana will come together do organize workshops with local authorities, which will be finalized through a concert in Fier’s Apollonia and Tirana’s Rogner Hotel. All three countries’ chosen music work has been pre-selected and they will show for the public. It is a very special feature, because it aims to support the new generation of artists,” Petrela said.

A number of instrumentalists will participate in the workshops, offering both students and art-lovers to learn and play jazz music.

“I think it will work and I hope it will bring a serious jazz department to our faculty in the future. I am very hopeful, we will have fun coming together with the other groups. And it will result in a majestic music fest,” saxophonist Ermal Rodi said. 

The festival will take place every night at eight pm at the above-mentioned venues, combining the acts and workshop end results in a series of captivating art shows. More information on the band schedule can be found on the festival’s official webpage. 




                    [post_title] => International ‘Jazz in Albania’ festival returns to Tirana, Fier 
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                    [post_date] => 2018-07-25 10:15:20
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 25 - The World Bank inaugurated a modest exhibition consisting of 13 paintings made by Albanian artists at US capitol Washington DC. 

More specifically, it was World Bank Group Executive Director for Albania Patrizio Pagano who ideated and organized the exhibition. 

“This event’s purpose was to expose Albania not only in the economic aspect and in context of the benefits the country is gaining from a number of World Bank projects, but also in the artistic aspect, as a big part of the country’s development is culture, especially now that Albania is investing so much in tourism and in making the country attractive to foreigners,” Greta Minxhozi, World Bank consultant, said.  

Thirteen paintings belonging to five Albanian artists are exhibited in Washington - the chosen artists are Ardian Isufi, Ardian Kapo, Eros Dibra, Gazmend Leka and Ilir Koka. 

These artists’ work is by now known in a number of cultural capitals, such as Paris, New York, London and Berlin.

“It is a small number, but it personifies an very developed visual art in Albania,” Albanian Ambassador to the US Floreta Faber said.

The exhibition was brought to life by World Bank art curators, selected among the artwork placed at the Kalo Gallery walls - one of the main private art galleries in Tirana.

“I had the idea seeing the same was applied to other countries, so I realized the same was needed for Albania. The World Bank’s art sector selected a number of paintings and asked me to bring them for exhibition, but it took about two years for this to come to life,” Kalo Gallery founder Perparim Kalo told the Voice of America.

Artists themselves claimed that the artwork exhibited in Washington doesn’t represent a specific school or type of art.

“Each artists represents and expresses his own self. By expressing themselves, they create the Albanian artistic reality,” painter Ilir Pojani told VoA. 
                    [post_title] => Five Albanian artists showcased in Washington DC 
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            [post_date] => 2018-09-07 10:42:47
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            [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 6 - The renowned Tetovo rock band Elita 5 will be performing at Tirana’s new Amphitheatre , located at the capital’s artificial lake area for the 30-year-anniversary of the band’s creation.

The bands’ members are considered pioneers of Albanian rock and their songs have a very large fanbase in Albania.

‘Tornado,’ titled after the band’s latest album name, will kick off at eight pm on Friday, Sept. 7, and the band’s five members - who have remained unchanged over the last thirty years - will play on for hours.

The band’s solist Arif Zyberi told local media during their rehearsals that Tirana is the epicenter for all Albanian nationals who live outside the country’s borders, so the idea to perform in Tirana for the band’s anniversary wasn’t coincidental. 

The band was established in 1988 and seems to have had all its dreams and aspirations fulfilled through the years.

Zyberi said the band’s all-too-famous ballads were inspired from their own personal stories, however, the social, political and economic situation of Albanians in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania also affected the band’s creative streak.

He recalled the moment the band was privileged to watch a majestic Scorpions concert in Tirana, while war was ongoing in neighboring Macedonia. 

It was a very difficult moment for us, because while the concert kept playing, Macedonia was at war and I remember when the concert started, I sat in the public and called my friend and told her to listen to the band. And she said that’s all great, but that I should listen to what's happening here, in Tetovo. There was loud banging sounds everywhere. It was an important experience for us, which I will remember throughout my life,” Zyberi said.

Asked what has been the band’s magic ingredient to not breaking up through the years, Zyberi listed their original friendship in terms of creativity, and the dedication to their work and their fans professionally.

“We will sing songs from the Elita 5 repertoire, we made a very real selection based on the bands YouTube hits. We hope that the public will sing along, for me it would be a concert failure if we do not sing together with the public that night,” he concluded. 

 
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