Posts Tagged ‘southbank centre’

Darbar Festival 2013 this weekend at Southbank Centre

Posted on September 20th, 2013 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Immerse yourself in a weekend of Indian classical music, culture and food at London’s Southbank Centre

Following a highly successful 2012, Darbar Festival returns this weekend to London’s Southbank. This year’s showcase features the next generation of India’s musical talent with a special focus on female performers, some of whom will be performing in London for the first time.

Some of the events include tabla maestro Yogesh Samsi (September 22, 2:30pm), sitar phenomenon Budhaditya Mukherjee (September 22, 10am), sought after young virtuoso of the Agra and Gwalior gharanasManjusha Kulkarni-Patil (September 21, 10am) and award winning veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh (September 20, 6pm), who we talk to in the latest issue (October 2013, #95). Kumaresh will also be discussing the challenges of performing the saraswati veena in the Karnatic tradition and her experiences of performing as a woman in a male-dominated classical music tradition on Saturday at 12:45pm.

To find out more about the festival and other performances visit

Debashish Bhattacharya 

Jayanthi Kumaresh

Yogesh Samsi

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Women of the World: Fatoumata Diawara & Angelique Kidjo

Posted on March 12th, 2013 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Royal Festival Hall, London, March 8

Words by Simon Broughton (photography by Roger Thomas)

I’ve been to many memorable concerts in the Royal Festival Hall, but few as special as this. Fatoumata Diawara, from Mali, having been a newcomer (and awarded in our Songlines Music Awards last year) has become a mature artist. She strode onto the stage with stature – elegantly dressed in red and yellow robes and turban. It was International Women’s Day and every mention of the fact drew applause. But Fatoumata has also become a musical ambassador.

As the South Bank’s artistic director Jude Kelly pointed out in her introduction, Fatoumata has recently pulled together many of the top Malian stars to record ‘Mali-ko’, a peace song for Mali and speaks for the women of Mali in many of her songs. ‘Moussou’ is a song paying tribute to the women of Mali – “women give birth to rich people, poor people, heads of state” – and she said she hoped to see a female president of Mali one day. Seeing the success of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia and Joyce Banda, President of Malawi – and given the current situation in Mali – one hopes it’s not too long.

Towards the end of her set, Fatou took off her turban and started dancing, flinging her head backwards and forwards, sending her beaded hair flying. One of her new songs, ‘Tounkan’, was a celebration of African women and African dance. Fatou neatly demonstrated the rhythmic and dance links between her native Wassoulou region and other styles in Ethiopia, Morocco, Congo, South Africa and more. “We are from the same African roots”, she said. The only disappointment was a muddy sound on the electric guitars, which would have been gorgeous if the musical lines had rung out clearly.

“We all come from Africa,” said Angelique Kidjo, in what made a natural progression from Fatou. Angelique, from Benin via New York, just exudes stage presence – she’s tough and pugnacious after Fatou’s stately elegance, punching above her weight. She entered singing solo, followed gradually by her band on piano, percussion, bass and guitar.  The topics of her songs include freedom, education and the horrendous custom of female genital mutilation. She paid tribute to her father who encouraged his daughters to do what they wanted to do and paid tribute to Miriam Makeba, a role model for Angelique, who used music to further a cause.

Kidjo took a circuit through the audience and then invited them on stage – much to the disquiet of the security guys – for some joyous final numbers, including her signature song ‘Agolo’ (which features on our Songlines Music Awards CD). Fatou returned in casual civvy clothes and many other girls from the crowd did spectacular dancing to Mamadou Sarr at the front of the stage on djembe. It really was a night to remember.


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Meklit Hadero to perform at the Southbank Centre, March 8

Posted on March 3rd, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Ethiopian-born singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero plays three special shows next week

Co-founder of The Nile Project and a prominent figure in the UN Women’s campaign for gender equality in Africa, Meklit Hadero was born in Ethiopia and raised in the US, where her musical talent has been nurtured for the last few years in San Francisco. As a deeply committed social and cultural activist, she has created a collective of young artists of the Ethiopian diaspora.

Meklit will be performing at for free at London’s Southbank Centre on Friday, March 8 at 5.30pm as part of the WOW (Women of the World) Festival. The evening will also see Fatoumata Diawara and Angeliqué Kidjo take to the Royal Festival Hall stage.

During the performance, Hadero will be drawing together the Amharic melodies of Ethiopia, her African hip-hop project CopperWire and her own original songs. Hadero is also appearing on Woman’s Hour this week (BBC Radio 4, Thursday March 7, 10am) and also recording a World on 3 session for future broadcast. 

In the next issue (April/May 2013, #91), we will be taking a trip down the Nile to find out more about The Nile Project and the musicians involved, including Meklit Hadero and Dina El Wedidi

Meklit Hadero’s London dates:

Thursday, March 7     The Vortex, Dalston
Friday, March 8          Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre
Sunday, March 10      Dahlak, Stockwell

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Birds Eye View Film Festival ticket offer for Bushra el-Turk’s cross-cultural new live film score, March 7

Posted on February 28th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Exclusive ticket offer for Southbank Centre show

We are excited to offer you the chance to buy £10 tickets to see Lotte Reiniger’s feature-length animation The Adventures of Prince Achmed with an accompanying live score composed by multi-award-winning British-Lebanese composer, Bushra el-Turk.

Part of the Birds Eye View film festival and WOW (Women of the World) festival at London’s Southbank Centre, this will be the world premiere performance of the el-Turk’s accompaniment for Lotte Reiniger’s ground-breaking film, which is widely considered to be the world’s first feature-length animation.

Performed by a chamber ensemble combining classical Western and traditional Middle Eastern instruments, this is a unique celebration of multicultural musical styles.

To buy tickets at a discounted price use offer code ‘BIRDS’ click here

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