Posts Tagged ‘kings place’

London International Arts Festival 2017

Posted on October 31st, 2017 in Recent posts by .


Photo of Kefaya by Miriam Abdulla

The sixth edition of the London International Arts Festival (LIAF) is back to celebrate the rich cultures of four landmark music venues in London

The London International Arts Festival, presented by Dhruv Arts, will run from November 1-7, with concerts taking place across Kings Place, Rich Mix, Redbridge Town Hall and Vortex. LIAF is curated by the South Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth, a Songlines Music Awards 2017 nominee for her collaboration with the Bollywood Brass Band. The festival aims to provide a platform for up and coming artists in the capital as well as host premier world music artists.

The line-up is set to include:

Trilok Gurtu + Raga Garage
York/Thornston/Khan + Kefaya Trio
Prince Rama Varma + Ashnaa Sasikaran + Padmashri Prof Dr Yella Venkateshwara Rao + Santhoshi Nair + Mangala Anand + Dhruv Choir
Quest Collective + Fran & Flora
Cleveland Watkiss presents Vocalsuite
Myriad presented by Bernhard Schimpelsberger and Chris Gall

To purchase tickets and for more information, click here.

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LIFEM 2014, October 29-November 1

Posted on September 18th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


The London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM) returns to Kings Place with performances from Carmen Souza, Amira Kheir amd Amadou Diagne

This year LIFEM will be directing its attention towards the music of Africa and South America. Last year’s Finnish celebration brought the sounds of Värttinä, Tsuumi Sound System and Jimi Tenor to the capital, but now the heat has been turned up for a musical journey further south.

For detailed ticket information, you can visit the Kings Place website here, and to keep up to date with all things LIFEM, you can follow them on Twitter, @LIFEM, or visit their website.

Wednesday, October 29 – Badi Assad (Brazil) + Gaio de Lima (Brazil)


On the opening night LIFEM welcomes Brazilian musicians Badi Assad and Gaio de Lima to Kings Place. Assad possesses a diverse musical repertoire, having worked with musicians such as Bobby McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma and Sarah McLaughlin. Ten-string mandolin and cavaquinho player de Lima is a current SOAS Masters student and director of A Oca, a project which explores the rhythms, melodies and dances from the Amazonian and northern Brazilian folk traditions. Buy tickets


Thursday, October 30 – Ami Koita (Mali) + Mosi Conde (Guinea)


LIFEM will introduce the sounds of West Africa in two rare UK performances. Ami Koita is the most famous female singer of Mali and combines the sounds of modern and traditional. Conde is a young griot, from one of Guinea’s leading families, and is known for his kora and djembé playing. Buy tickets


Friday, October 31 – Amira Kheir (Sudan) + Amadou Diagne (Senegal)


On Halloween, the Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir will perform her own unique style of ‘Sudani-jazz,’ which has seen her gain plenty of new fans in 2014. Amadou Diagne has spent years performing percussion in L’orchestre Nationale du Senegal and backing the likes of Youssou N’Dour on tour, yet his solo excursions have cemented his own musical prowess. Buy tickets


Saturday, November 1 – Carmen Souza (Cape Verde) + Maiuko (Mozambique)


Carmen Souza is perhaps Cape Verde’s answer to Esperanza Spalding, and the final night is the official UK launch of her new live album Live at Lagny Jazz Festival (reviewed in #103), showcasing original material composed with her long-time collaborator and virtuoso bassist, Theo Pas’cal. Mozambican-born singer-songwriter Maiuko began her career in the pop music, yet thanks to her powerful and versatile voice she has developed her own style, combining influences from jazz, blues and African rhythms. Buy tickets

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Live Review | Songlines Encounters Festival, Kings Place, June 5

Posted on June 6th, 2014 in Live, Recent posts, Reviews by .


Photography by Haydn Wheeler

A certain dancing fever took over London’s Kings Place, where Family Atlantica & Dobet Gnahoré opened this year’s Songlines Encounters Festival at London’s Kings Place.

“Now, let’s begin the ritual!” Luzmira Zerpa (pictured above), the Venezuelan lead singer of Family Atlantica proclaimed with a beaming smile. The group certainly kicked off the first concert of this, the fourth edition of Songlines Encounters in entrancing and invigorating style. Zerpa and the six musicians had already started their own little ritual backstage with some group chanting, psyching themselves up before making their entrance onto the stage in a blast of colour, hypnotic percussion and conch blowing.

Within minutes of the first song, they had people dancing in the aisles and that was pretty much the way it continued for the rest of the evening. It certainly quashed my fears about the seated venue suppressing any audience participation! Zerpa cut quite a dash in her feathered headdress, white-framed sunglasses and button and amulet-festooned outfit, and with several cheeky mentions about songs being from their ‘award-winning album,’ – they are Songlines Music Awards 2014 Newcomer winners – this musical family gave a performance that emphasised why they thoroughly deserve this accolade.


The energetic spirit of the evening continued in the second half with the Ivory Coast-born singer Dobet Gnahoré (pictured above) and her three musicians on guitar, bass and drums. Like Zerpa, Gnahoré has a striking stage presence – resplendent in black, hair tied up in a bright red headpiece, together with gold glitter boots. It isn’t just the look but the power and range of Gnahoré’s voice that is transfixing. And when she started to dance, it simply underlined why she has a reputation as being one of Africa’s most dynamic performers. Once the gold boots were discarded, you knew she meant business – the dancing became more like gymnastics and incited an impromptu stage invasion by some audience members and Family Atlantica’s percussionist in a sort of dance-off.

“Dancing is tax free – go for it!” Zerpa had announced during the first half – and it certainly seemed to define the night – maybe time to consider renaming the festival Dance Encounters? A cracking start anyway, with two performances that really set the mark in terms of entertainment  – can’t wait for the next instalment!

Look back at the first and second night of Encounters.

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Songlines Encounters Festival 2014 Line-up

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


In less than two weeks time Songlines Encounters Festival returns for its fourth year on June 5-7 at London’s Kings Place, in association with Ikon Arts Management. Female vocalists are a strong strand running through this year’s line-up. Come and see some spectacular international musicians and up-and-coming artists that we want to champion. 

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets or discounted festival passes.

Thursday June 5
Family Atlantica + Dobet Gnahoré


The Songlines Encounters Festival begins in Africa. Luzmira Zerpa is the larger-than-life vocalist of Family Atlantica (pictured above) whose music stretches from Venezuela across the Atlantic to London and West Africa. Dobet Gnahoré, from Ivory Coast, is one of the most dynamic young female performers of Africa. With striking costumes, Dobet’s shows have a visceral energy and power which you won’t forget.*

Find out more.

*Dobet Gnahoré is replacing Habib Koité, who is now unable to make the trip to the UK.


Friday June 6
Anna Phoebe + Oana Cătălina Chiţu


Anna Phoebe’s fiery violin mixes Eastern and Western influences with a touch of Gypsy and, in her UK concert hall debut, Romanian singer Oana Cătălina Chiţu (pictured above) brings her rich, smokey interpretations of Maria Tănase to London – kindly supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute London.

Find out more.


Saturday June 7
Kayhan Kalhor & Ali Bahrami Fard + Çiğdem Aslan


Saturday will feature major talents from Asia Minor and beyond. A sublime instrumental duo from Iran, featuring kamancheh (spike fiddle) and santur (hammer dulcimer), and the charismatic Çiğdem Aslan who performs Greek and Turkish repertoire with her virtuoso band. There’s a pre-concert talk with Kayhan Kalhor (pictured above) in the St Pancras Room (6:15pm).

Find out more.


See our festival line-up page for more details, visit the Kings Place website or tweet about it.

Hear Simon Broughton talking to Turkish Kurdish vocalist Çiğdem Aslan and fiery violinist Anna Phoebe about what they’ll be bringing to the Festival…

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