Posts Tagged ‘family atlantica’

Songlines Music Awards 2014 Winners’ Concert Announced

Posted on June 28th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s Songlines Music Awards Winners’ Concert will be making its way north to the Sage Gateshead on Thursday, November 6, where all four winners will be coming together for one very special evening.

There will be two acts representing Mali – ngoni king Bassekou Kouyaté (Best Artist) and Touareg blues innovators Tamikrest (Best Group) – while Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita (Cross-Cultural Collaboration) from Wales and Senegal will be showcasing their sublime fusion, and London’s Family Atlantica (Newcomer), fronted by vocal powerhouse Luzmira Zerpa, will bring their vibrant pan-Atlantic sounds to Tyneside.

Book your tickets now by visiting the Sage Gateshead website. See you there.


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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 | Family Atlantica and Dobet Gnahoré, June 5

Posted on June 4th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Photograph by Antoine Tempé

Songlines Music Awards 2014 winners Family Atlantica and Ivorian Dobet Gnahoré open this year’s Songlines Encounters Festival at Kings Place

Featuring the larger-than-life singer Luzmira Zerpa, Family Atlantica are an extended family of musicians from Venezuela, Ghana and East London. With a backing of thrilling West African percussion, the band is a product of the cultural vibrancy of this city. Family Atlantica’s debut album was a Songlines favourite – one of our Best Albums of 2013 – and their music is a thrilling ida y vuelta (coming and going) between Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.

Dobet Gnahoré, from Ivory Coast, is one of Africa’s most dynamic young female performers. The daughter of a master percussionist, Dobet started performing aged 12 and was a member of Ivory Coast’s pan-African ensemble Ki-Yi M’Bock. As a result, she sings in a large number of African languages. With striking costumes, Dobet’s shows have a visceral energy and power which you won’t forget. Dobet’s performance is in collaboration with Enchanted Tunes.*

More information and tickets.

Family Atlantica perform ‘Arena’

Don’t miss the FREE foyer performance preceding this concert at 6.50pm

Leandra Varanda & Jonathan Preiss

London-based Brazilian singer Leandra Varanda has built a superb reputation in the UK, touring and recording with groups including choro/samba group Caratinga and Adriano Adewale’s Umpatacum, and performing at venues including the National Theatre, the Eden Project, the Barbican Centre, and festivals including the Welsh Proms, the City of London Festival and the Southbank Centre’s Festival Brasil. Leandra’s music encompasses many facets of contemporary and traditional Brazilian music and she will perform an intimate duo set with guitarist and songwriting partner Jonathan Preiss, showcasing original songs alongside a few classic Brazilian MPB tunes.

You can book your tickets by visiting the Kings Place website or by calling 020 7520 1490. We hope to see you there!

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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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