Archive for September, 2012
On November 7, during World Travel Market week, the ‘father of Ethio-jazz,’ Mulatu Astatké, will discuss Ethiopia’s contribution to world music at the Royal Geographical Society.
Mulatu is known as the father of Ethio-jazz, a unique blend of pop, modern jazz, traditional Ethiopian music, Latin rhythms, Caribbean reggae, and Afro-funk.
Ranking among the most influential African musicians of all-time, Dr Astatké is a composer, arranger, performer, fellow of Harvard University and an advisor for African Scholarship at Berkeley College, Boston.
His music has been widely acclaimed for over 50 years and the Ethiopiques CD series has opened up a new audience for his ‘Ethio-jazz’ experiments. But it wasn’t until Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers film featured his music that momentum started to gather and a young generation of urban artists started sampling his music, the greatest example being Nas & Damian Marley’s sample of ‘Yegelle Tezeta’.
The RGS event will include an exhibition of Lisa Bentick’s Hipstamatic images from her recent travels in Ethiopia.
Ticket holders will also be able to explore the Society’s rich Ethiopian collections, a coffee ceremony, music and dancing, to be followed by a reception at the nearby Ethiopian Embassy.
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Mulatu Astatké will also be playing at London’s Koko Club in Camden on November 18, as part of the London Jazz Festival in association with BBC3. Tickets can be purchased here.
Between June and September 2012, the We Face Forward season celebrated West African art and music in Manchester and was a huge success. Subsequently, they have teamed up with the Manchester promoter and world famous Band on the Wall venue to produce a free app for the iPad that features a number of live video recordings and interviews taken at Band on the Wall, The Royal Northern College of Music, the Bridgewater Hall and many more.
The app is a perfect example of the ethos of Band on the Wall who make it their “charitable mission” to pass on the knowledge of other cultures and music. The app, which features Angélique Kidjo, AfroCubism, Kanda Bongo Man and many others are the first in what they hope to be a long line of musicians to feature on the app.
As well as preserving what was a successful We Face Forward season, the app also serves to entertain and educate those in the classroom and at home about West African music and art.
Designed to be user friendly, the app was also constructed to be able to play videos smoothly, regardless of whether the user is using a wifi or 3G connection. However, there is no compromise on quality with download speed and the app is supported by both AirPlay and Apple TV in order to give the opportunity for big-screen viewing.
With the intention of expanding the app to not only feature West African music and art but to feature other world cultures too, it is sure to become a valuable resource in the education of world music and art.
This weekend, Manu Chao will perform at the Electric as part of the Brixton Come Together Festival, a non-profit event that brings the Brixton community together, supports local charities and promotes global sustainability.
The festival will be held on the St Matthew’s Church grounds Sept 29-30. There will be charity stalls, presentations on green issues and activities including cinema, poetry readings, discussions and music.
Manu Chau, who has been very supportive of the Brixton community, will be performing at the closing concert at the iconic Brixton venue. Other artists to perform include La Troba Kung-Fú, Hollie Cook, Prince Fatty and more.
For more information, please visit the Brixton Come Together website.
Show of Hands frontman Steve Knightley has been named the ‘Songwriter of the Nineties’ by BBC 6Music broadcaster and songwriter Tom Robinson on Steve Lamacq’s Rock College show. Knightley’s nomination follows that of Dylan, Bowie and Prince for the 60, 70s and 80s in a search to find the best songwriters of the last few decades.
Robinson said that the pop world had splintered into countless new genres in the 90s and the evolution of the music industry meant that, “by the 90s no one songwriter would ever again influence the whole future direction of popular music – but this also meant that for artists at the lower end of the food chain, DIY was now a viable career option.”
For Robinson, Knightley personifies the DIY 90s having built “a vast array of fans, touring relentlessly, by-passing big cities and the entire music industry” before finally making a London debut in 1996 at the Royal Albert Hall. Robinson recalls his first encounter with Knightley and multi-instrumental wizard Phil Beer’s tight folk duo, Show of Hands. They were the supporting act on a UK tour with Robinson: “In the interval they set up a CD stall and relieved our audience of all their spare cash plus money they didn’t have, having thoughtfully brought a credit card machine with them!”
Show of Hands have just sold out the Royal Albert for the fourth time, following on from a double win at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.” (Best Duo and Original Song for ‘Arrogance Ignorance and Greed’). Their latest album Wake the Union, marking the 20th year of Knightley and Beer’s incredible partnership, is released October 15, featuring 11 new Knightley songs.
Hear the segment on Steve Lamacq’s Rock College show at 33 mins in here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mnzch