As the festive season draws ever closer, there are still a great deal of fantastic gigs to be seen that aren’t pre-occupied with carols and figgy pudding.
Here’s a shortlist of the top ten gigs this December.
Rodrigo y Gabriela
The unfathomably talented Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela return to the UK for six dates this winter. They will showcase their new album 9 Dead Alive, and judging by their storming set on Glastonbury’s pyramid stage this summer it’s definitely not one to miss!
Where & When: Across the UK, Nov 30-Dec 6 More info
Cuban Classics: A Night In Havana
An evening of classical Cuban music will star young concert pianist Marcus Madrigal, who will be playing alongside tango songstress Ann Liebeck (pictured), and Omar Puente, a bright Cuban jazz violinist. The concert will include pieces by Manuel de Falla, Ernesto Lecuona, and Enrique Granados.
Where & When: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, Dec 2 More info
This month is the tenth anniversary of the wonderful British-Indian ensemble Tarang. The young group have had pieces commissioned for them by such esteemed composers as Gaurav Mazumdar and Tarun Bhattacharya (pictured), and this evening’s celebrations include some pieces composed specifically for the occasion.
Where & When: Purcell Room, London, Dec 5 More info
The intimate surroundings of Turner Sims in Southampton plays host to the exquisite Susheela Raman this December. She plays as part of a quartet that includes Aref Durvesh on tabla, Kartik Raghunathan (violin), and Sam Mills (guitar). Her album Queen Between was a highlight of the year, so be sure to catch her last UK concert in 2014.
Where & When: Turner Sims, Southampton, Dec 5 More info
The Great British Folk Festival
This year’s stellar line-up for the annual affair in Skegness includes Bellowhead, The Full English, and Capercaillie. There is also a performance from Jethro Tull’s guitarist Martin Barre and his band.
Where & When: Butlins Holiday Park, Skegness, Dec 5-8 More info
If you’re one for a quiet evening in then the modern Klezmer powerhouse Tantz may not be for you! However, if you’re up for blistering tempos, cascading string lines, and some good-old foot stomping then look no further! The Leeds based group play four dates across the UK this December.
Where & When: Across the UK, Dec 5-13 More info
Glaswegian DJ Auntie Flo launched his Highlife label back in 2010 and has gone from strength to strength since. These days he’s regularly accompanied at his high-energy shows by South African drummer Esa. Catch him at three dates across the UK, which includes a performance at London’s Plastic People alongside Axel Boman.
Where & When: Across the UK, Dec 12-19 More info
Following the last minute cancellation of the originally proposed performance earlier this year, Just Jam is set to go ahead at the Barbican. Headed up by the Syrian wedding singer Omar Souleyman (pictured), the eclectic line-up features grime artists JME and Big Narstie, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, and Libson-based DJ Maboku.
Where & When: Barbican Centre, London, Dec 13 More info
Canto, Ritmo y Baile de Latinoamerica: Celebrating a Continent’s Love for Dance
Further north on the very same evening, and entirely different affair is taking place. Mestisa are a yorkshire based Latin-American folk quartet and will be playing a variety of musics from the continent. This concert is part of the University of Leeds Concert Series, and is free for under 16s.
Where & When: Clothworkers Centenary Workers Hall, Leeds, Dec 13 More info
Who better to spend your New Year’s Eve with than the musical polymath Gilles Peterson? Having turned the Bedroom Bar into a Cuban haven at the launch of his latest Havana Cultura album last month, he’s sure to get the heart racing with the finest selections right through to the early hours. He will be supported by Simbad, a fellow DJ from Brownswood who helped co-produce the new Havana Cultura project.
Where & When: The Prince of Wales, Brixton, Dec 31 More info