We’ve compiled a list of the top ten concerts happening this May to help make sure you don’t miss out on this month’s best shows.
Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita
The Songlines-award winning duo will tour this May. Their album Clychau Dibon won the Cross-Cultural Collaboration award for their blend of Welsh traditional harp and the Senegalese kora. Don’t miss them on their 12-date trip across the UK. They’ll also be playing WOMAD and Shambala this summer.
Where & When: Across the UK, May 2-17. More info.
A Hack and a Hacksaw
The American folk duo will perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of a programme that explores the folk music of Eastern Europe. The programme features works by Bartok and Ligeti, plus a brand new piece has been written especially for the collaboration, which will be premiered on the night. There is also a free pre-concert gig in the Front Room from Firefly Burning.
Where & When: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 7. More info.
Nigerien biram master Mamane Barka will visit these shores for a string of dates in May. It’s a great chance to see the sole remaining player of this wonderful harp-like instrument.
Where & When: Across the UK, May 8-23. More info.
Will Holland, aka Quantic, will play eight dates – including a full live show at London’s KOKO – to celebrate the release of his new album Magnetica, which comes out on Tru Thoughts this May. The co-founder of Ondatrópica has collaborated with Pongo Love on the lead single from the new release, which can be viewed here.
Where & When: Across the UK, May 8-29. More info.
The fantastic Franco-Swiss DJ/producer is curating an all-dayer at Dingwalls on May 11. Peterson is also performing at a launch party for the upcoming release of his latest collaboration with Brazilian artists, Sonzeira, which is out on May 19. He’ll be supported by DJ Nuts.
Where & When: Dingwalls, May 11 & Club Bam Bam Bam, May 15 (both London). More info.
Now in its fifth year, the Alchemy Festival at London’s Southbank Centre presents some of the best music, dance and art from South Asia and the UK. Our spotlight star – read more in issue #100 – Soumik Datta (pictured) will perform with his project Circle of Sound, a duet with percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger. Their album was a Top of the World in #84, and his new solo album was released on May 1. There is also a special performance from Susheela Raman, in anticipation of her first album release since 2011’s Vel.
Where & When: Southbank Centre, London, May 15-26. More info.
Rodrigo y Gabriela
The inimitable Mexican guitar duo will play two dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall this May. Their new album 9 Dead Alive was released on April 29, and these dates come as part of a huge worldwide tour in support of this release.
Where & When: Royal Albert Hall, May 20-21. More info.
9Bach are Real World Records’ first Welsh act, and the six-piece are about to release their second album, Tincian, on the label. The music of the album reflects their home environment of Gerlan in North Wales, and they will tour this May in support of the release. They shall also be playing at Green Man Festival and WOMAD this summer.
Where & When: Across the UK, May 15 – June 6. More info.
Rough Guide Live!
This event sees a coming together of three brilliant acts in celebration of both 20 years of the World Music Network, and 25 years of Riverboat Records. The Ethiopian band Kraar Collective will perform alongside Carnatic violin virtuoso Jyotsna Srikanth and Greek folk duo Krissi Stassinopolou & Stathis Kalyvioti. The anniversary celebrations will be hosted by BBC presenter Lopa Kothari.
Where & When: Rich Mix, London, May 17. More info.
The legendary Brazilian musician will play the Barbican for a special one-off gig in the UK as part of his European tour. One of the key figures of the tropicália movement, Veloso has since received nine Latin Grammy awards, including Best Album for his most recent release, Abraçaçao. He shall be primarily playing material from this album as part of this show.
Where & When: Barbican, London, May 27. More info.