Babel Med 2018 Cancelled

Posted on December 21st, 2017 in News, Recent posts by .


The annual world music and jazz expo in Marseille, Babel Med, has been forced to cancel its next and 14th edition, due to a 80% cut in funding from the Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur region.

The shock announcement was made following the withdrawal of support from its principal partner – just three months before the event was due to take place (March 15-17 2018). Over the last 13 years Babel Med has seen over 180,000 spectators and 26,000 music industry professionals who gather at the event every year to discover new bands, network and do business.

This is huge blow not just to the cultural sector of the region – 30% of the artists programmed at Babel Med are local – but to the wider world music community. Besides the immediate loss of jobs, the cancellation will also have a big economic and cultural impact on the city and the global world music industry.

Zone Franche, France’s world music professional network organisation has launched a petition, please sign and show your support:

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Win flights to Morocco and tickets to the Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival!

Posted on December 8th, 2017 in News, Recent posts by .



Courtesy of the Moroccan Tourist Board, we have a pair of return flights and full festival passes to the Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival in 2018 to give away!

The colourful world of the Gnawa is awash with rumours of spirits and mystery, and recent years have seen it grow out of the hidden courtyards and onto the world stage. In the January/February (#134) edition of Songlines, Andy Morgan travels to Morocco to meet the masters and tap into its brotherhood.

In June this year, Essaouira’s now world-famous Gnawa and World Music Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary. Tens of thousands of Moroccans crowded into Place Moulay Hassan to see some of the greatest Gnawa maalem (masters) fusing their art with the music of Carlinhos Brown, Ismaël Lô, Lucky Peterson and others.

We’re delighted to offer one lucky winner a pair of return flights and full festival passes to the 2018 edition of the festival.

Click here to enter the competition.

The Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival takes place June 21-24, 2018. For more information, visit

Terms & conditions: The tickets are for two people travelling together and must be used specifically for travel to the 2018 Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival (June 21-24). Flights are for London-Essaouira-London in economy class and always subject to availability. The tickets are non-transferable and have no cash value. Travel must originate in the UK. This prize is non-negotiable, non-refundable and does not include insurance, accommodation, transport to and from the airport and any sustenance during the stay. Reservations for the flights must be made at least 60 days before departure. See p19 for our standard competition rules and deadline.

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Culture Ireland: Music from Ireland 2018 – Bonus CD

Posted on December 7th, 2017 in Recent posts by .

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This bonus CD is exclusively available with the January/February (#134) edition of Songlines

This year Showcase Scotland, Celtic Connections’ industry event, has selected Ireland as the spotlight country. Given Irish artists’ long-standing participation at the Glasgow festival, it’s appropriate that a new generation of emerging Irish artists take centre stage as Celtic Connections celebrates its 25th anniversary. This compilation, specially compiled for Songlines, celebrates the diversity and artistry of young musicians working across the folk and traditional genres, stretching boundaries and producing the new, unmissable music of today.

The Showcase Scotland participation at Celtic Connections is part of Culture Ireland’s special GB18 programme: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain, a year-long programme of activity presenting Irish artists across Britain and celebrating our cultural links with Ireland’s nearest neighbour.

This 12-track CD features many of Ireland’s top emerging artists.



1. Daoirí Farrell - ‘Pat Rainey’,  True Born Irishman (2016)

2. Wallis Bird- ‘Change’, Home (2016)

3. Aoife Scott- ‘All Along the Wild Atlantic Way’, Carry the Day (2016)

4. The Young Folk - ‘Home’, First Sign of Morning (2016)

5. Lorcán Mac Mathúna - ‘A Grey Eye’, The Arrows that Murder Sleep (2015)

6. NOTIFY- ‘In Continuum’, InConcept (2015)

7. Aoife Scott - ‘Down by the Shelleybanks’, Carry the Day (2016)

8. NOTIFY - ‘The Aud’, Previously unreleased (2017)

9. Daoirí Farrell - ‘Van Diemen’s Land’, True Born Irishman (2016)

10. The Young Folk- ‘First Sign of Morning’, First Sign of Morning (2016)

11. Wallis Bird - ‘Seasons’, Home (2016)

12. Preab Meadar - ‘Séadnadh Mór (The Lion and Fox)’, Preab Meadar (2014)

These artists perform at Showcase Scotland (January 31- February 4 2018) during Celtic Connections (January 18- February 4) as part of Culture Ireland GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain

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Top of the World albums: Songlines #134 (January/February 2018)

Posted on December 6th, 2017 in Features, Recent posts by .

Here is our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the January/February 2018 issue of Songlines. Tracks from each of these albums are included on the free cover-CD with issue #134.

To buy the new issue or to find out more about subscribing to Songlines, please visit:



La Chiva Gantiva
An album of kick-ass cumbia, fiery combinations of rock and hip-hop, crowd-pleasing anthems and impassioned raps, as heard on this opening track. You’ll be dancing along in no time.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca & Tamer Abu Ghazaleh
Five stars for this innovative album with influences from all sides of Arabic music, from Sufi music to electro-chaabi.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Boubacar Traoré
Dounia Tabolo
Recorded in a studio deep in Louisiana, this album features some talented guests including Cedric Watson and Leyla McCalla, who help make Traoré’s blues more profound than ever.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Echo in the Valley
Washburn’s striking voice takes the lead here while the duo’s banjos provide atmospheric accompaniment.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Belem & the MeKanics
Belem & the MeKanics
A splendidly eccentric album from this duo and their unusual mechanical band of marvels. This track showcases the elegiac quality of the accordion, sonorous cello and Walter Hus’ musical machine.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
An album that sees the pizzica superstars set about combining homegrown sounds with multicultural influences.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



XL Recordings
This excellent second album from the French-Cuban sisters features captivating vocals (that particularly shine on ‘Valé’), sophisticated use of samples, giant Yoruba beats and theatrical presence.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Kapela Maliszów
Wiejski Dżez
Unzipped Fly Records
Talent runs in the family as this father and his children perform wild mazurkas, polkas, haunting dances and original tunes in an album of music rooted in vanishing Polish traditions.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Laissez Passer
The bouncy and catchy title-track has clear desert influences and is named after the temporary travel documents given to those living in Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, the Golan Heights.
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify



Maya Youssef
Syrian Dreams
Harmonia Mundi
The virtuosic ability of qanun player Maya Youssef is clear both on this track and on the entire dream-like album, which she describes as her ‘personal journey through the six years of war in Syria.’
Amazon | iTunes | Spotify

Pick up the January/February 2018 issue of Songlines to enjoy our Top of the World cover-CD, which contains tracks from each of the albums above. This issue also includes an additional bonus CD: ‘Culture Ireland: Music from Ireland 2018′. To find out more about subscribing to Songlines, visit:

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