The acclaimed Brazilian festival Back2Black – founded in Rio de Janeiro in 2009 – comes to London’s atmospheric Old Billingsgate market on the weekend of June 29-July 1 for three days of the cream of black musical and cultural talent in a celebration of African roots in music and culture.
Part of the London 2012 Festival, the event is held over three stages of live music and is hosted by and stars the legendary Brazilian musical and cultural figure Gilberto Gil. He presides over a veritable who’s who of African and African diaspora talent. There is Malian kora master Toumani Diabaté in his latest cross-cultural collaboration with Brazilian rock legends Arnaldo Artunes and Edgard Scandurra.
Other Malian delights include Amadou & Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré and the rising star Fatoumata Diawara. The African legends also include South African jazzman Hugh Masekela, Nigerian Afro-beat hair Femi Kuti and veteran Ethio-jazz master Mulatu Astatke in collaboration with Brazilian hip-hop-soul star Criolo.
Top names from the diaspora include US soul legend Macy Gray, UK dub-hip-hop star Roots Manuva, Brazilian MPB samba-rocker Jorge Ben Jor and the Jamaican dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson.
The Back2Black festival has been staged for three successful years at the stunning setting of the disused Leopoldina railway station in Rio, and will return there again on August 24-26 after this first foray outside of Brazil.
Don’t forget to check out our Back2Black sampler CD that comes free with our last issue June 2012 (#84). You can still order copies of the issue here.
For more information, please visit: www.back2blackfestival.com.br