GALA Festival Set Times Announced
This weekend we descend on Peckham Rye Park for a sold out GALA Festival 2019. We have our own stage and are looking forward to an amazing lineup of selectors and live acts through the day and evening. Worldwide FM Stage: Hosted by Global Roots & Tash LC: 11.30 – 14.00 Winds…
This weekend we descend on Peckham Rye Park for a sold out GALA Festival 2019. We have our own stage and are looking forward to an amazing lineup of selectors and live acts through the day and evening.
Worldwide FM Stage: Hosted by Global Roots & Tash LC:
11.30 – 14.00 Winds & Skins
14.00 – 15.00 Emma – Jean Thackray Live
15.30 – 16.30 Skinny Pelembe live
17.00 – 18.00 Tenderlonious live
18.30 – 19.30 Auntie Flo live
19.30 – 22.00 Mr. Scruff & MC Kwasi
This weekend we will be broadcasting from Madrid from La Casa Encendida for Sonidos Binarios – a seminal Spanish music and radio event in the capital. Global Roots will present from 8pm CET (7pm BST). In the lead up to this throughout the week, we have programmes a special week of Spanish Joints, with shows…
This weekend we will be broadcasting from Madrid from La Casa Encendida for Sonidos Binarios – a seminal Spanish music and radio event in the capital. Global Roots will present from 8pm CET (7pm BST). In the lead up to this throughout the week, we have programmes a special week of Spanish Joints, with shows from the likes of talents of Kiko Navarro, beGun, Casbah 73, Borja Torres and more peppered throughout the schedule.
Morning Mari* Album of the Week 20-24 May
FRANCK BIYONG – AFRO GALACTIC SPACEWAY [AFROLECTRIC MUSIC PRODUCTIONS] Morning Mari*‘s album of the week is Franck Biyong’s “Afro Galactic Spaceway: An African Cosmic Jazz Tribute to SUN RA“, released on Afrolectric Music Productions on the 10th of May. In March 2016, during the first edition of the Re-Imagined Storytelling festival held in Nairobi, Positively…
FRANCK BIYONG – AFRO GALACTIC SPACEWAY [AFROLECTRIC MUSIC PRODUCTIONS]
In March 2016, during the first edition of the Re-Imagined Storytelling festival held in Nairobi, Positively African (PA) launched an online contest inviting African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora to write an African folktale for the 21st Century. Out of nearly 100 entries, twelve were selected and scheduled for publishing by Pavaipo (East and Southern Africa) and Ouida Books (West Africa) in an anthology called Story, Story! Story Come! in December 2018. Alongside the anthology, Positively African also planned to release audio book versions of the stories, with original music. However, the
age-old tradition of oral storytelling is on the decline. Rapid urbanization, the breakdown of the extended family, technology and so on has altered our social fabric. Whilst our daily lives are still peppered with snippets of remembered words of wisdom and proverbs, the reality is that a new generation of Africans has never had the pleasure of listening to a story being told by a storyteller.
Story, Story! Story Come! was a contribution to larger efforts to revive storytelling in Africa and beyond. The challenge was to develop new narratives that speak to issues that are fundamental to Africa’s development in a way that is unconventional but true to our past traditions of folktale and oral storytelling.
There was also a growing consciousness to want to know more beyond the fantastical, aesthetically appealing representation of Africa in fabric and art, beyond the stereotypical entertaining display of African culture through music, drum circles and dance displays. This is where the art of authentic oral theatrical African storytelling comes in, where moods are illustrated sonically and dramatically to drive home the message. With this idea in mind, Positively African decided to get in touch with musician Franck Biyong, one of this generation’s true innovator in musical interpretation (who credits Cameroonian virtuoso guitarist and master composer Francis Bebey as the main inspiration that set him down his musical path as a pre-teen, and also cites Fela Sowande, King Crimson, Pierre Akendengue, Frank Zappa and the Art Ensemble of Chicago as major influences on his artistry) to write original music for each story of the planned audio books.
Receiving musical instruction and training at the National Institute of Arts in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Biyong scorched a brilliant path with his works and became a reporter of a modern day African identity’s aspirations and ambitions. Franck translated these experiences into 15 diverse and challenging albums ranging from orchestral afro sound to black jazz pastoral pieces, afropop, electronica, rock, Afro house and psychedelics and went even further into musical experimentation while completing this very unusual project: “ For once, it wasn’t just about writing music to fit with words, melodies or the other way around…the stories were recorded first and I then had to work more like a sound designer or painter trying to illustrate each particular nuance or evolution within the stories…and it wound up being way more challenging and mind boggling than I thought it would be..”
Ultimately, while working on the project, Biyong gradually tapped into his own musical influences and piece by piece began designing the music pieces as a tribute to legendary Space Jazz innovative composer and band leader SUN RA, now widely acknowledged as the pioneer of Afro Futurism and creating a new synthesis that used space-themed philosophy to reflect African-American people’s linkage of ancient African culture, specifically Egypt, and the cutting edge of the Space Age.
“I think there is something quite specific about “African Music” in general: There are as many different forms of music in Africa as there are many different countries, people or “tribes” who speak different languages, have different cultural values and different history and lineage even though they also may have a lot in common. Each of these groups has different ways of rejoicing, celebrating, praying or healing through the power of music, dance or chants. Therefore you can literally say that “African music” doesn’t exist as such but that we should rather speaks of the “numerous and various musical expressions coming from the multiple ethnic groups of the African continent” which sounds a bit long and complex but which is much more appropriate if one has to consider these issues seriously”. Biyong also reflected on the role of the griot in traditional West African African society for inspiration: “We seek to describe the nature of our local, social, private identities from our own environment and native cultures, to the ancestral traditions that leave many of us amazed today.
Africa, which is believed to be home to the early man, has a rich tradition which dates millions of years back and is in most cases passed orally from one generation to the other”. The Griot is a member of an aristocratic family among the peoples of Africa whose function is to keep alive the oral history of a tribe, a village, a lineage or ethnic group; a masterful travelling storyteller who educates and entertains with tales, historical narratives, dances and recitals.
On this conceptual recording, Biyong and his musicians really intended to tell the story of culture through music; He explored the dimension that lies beyond rhythms or chants through the eyes, ears and wisdom of a futuristic Griot portraying fictional characters and modern African heroes leading the pace and narration through modernized tales. These sonics from the ancient continental past aim at addressing the complexities of African oral tradition, repositioning African folkloric music as a futuristic artistic medium and inspiring epic stories of self assertion, quest of knowledge and cultural preservation.
1. Water Strings
2. Ivory Dreams
3. Antique Electronics
4. Voodoo Pulses
GRANDMASTER MASESE: Bass, Tenor & Alto Obokano, Percussion, Mbira, Kayamba
EDWARD ODHIAMBO OKUTO a.k.a “ODADA”: Orutu, Percussion, Shakers, Vocals
WILLIAM RAMA: Congas, Djembe, Tumbas, Woodblocks, Cowbells
AJOSE ADEWALE BABATUNDE: Rhythm Talking Drum, Congas, Cowbells, Shakers
OLASUNKANMI OYENIYI: Lead Talking Drum, Congas, Woodblocks
MOSES NJOROGE: Multiple Keyboards, Synthesizers, Piano, Organ, Accordion, Litungu
DEBE DEBE (Obuya Owino & Daniel Muhini) : Ngoma Drums, Congas, Djembe, Kayamba RILDHA ESSO: Nkul (Tambour d’Appel), Bongos, Congas
ASAPH UZELE: Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
ZACHARIE ABRAHAM: Double Bass
NICOLAS BAUDINO: Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
MARC-BORLET-HOTTE: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
JON DACUNA: Baritone Saxophone
EMMANUEL YAKOBO OBEDO: Drums, Percussion
FELISTER NGUNJIRI: Vocals, Handclaps
LYDIA OGOTI; Vocals, Handclaps
CHRISTINE KAMAU: Trumpet
NOAH SAHA: Alto & Tenor Sax
TIM RIUNGU: Soprano Sax & Flute
FRANCK BIYONG: Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesizers, Bass, Percussion, Field recordings, Loops, Samples, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Drum Programming, Piano, Melodica, Balafon, Vibes, Tape Effects
Produced, Arranged Conceived by FB
Executive Producer: Maimouna Jallow for Positively African (http://www.reimaginedstories.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/PositivelyAfrican/) Recorded by: David Sanna, Maxwell Ochieng, FB
Recorded @ Ndokoti Studios (Douala, Cameroon),
Afrolectric Mobile (Yaounde, Cameroon), HBS Studios
(Paris, France), Dynamix Studios (Nairobi, Kenya)
Mixed & Mastered by Wanyoike Kimani & FB
@ Square Down Studios (Nairobi, Kenya)
Morning Mari* Album of the Week 13-17 May
MINYO CRUSADERS – ECHOES OF JAPAN [MAIS UM] Morning Mari*‘s album of the week for this week is Minyo Crusaders’ rework of historic Japanese folk songs (min’yō) with Latin, African, Caribbean and Asian rhythms on their debut album “Echoes of Japan”, released 26th April on Mais Um. Recent releases from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono and…
MINYO CRUSADERS – ECHOES OF JAPAN [MAIS UM]
Morning Mari*‘s album of the week for this week is Minyo Crusaders’ rework of historic Japanese folk songs (min’yō) with Latin, African, Caribbean and Asian rhythms on their debut album “Echoes of Japan”, released 26th April on Mais Um.
Recent releases from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono and Midori Takada have re-ignited global interest in Japanese music and with Ry Cooder, Mario Galeano (Ondatrópica/Frente Cumbeiro) and Clap! Clap! already fans of the ten-piece, “Echoes of Japan” marks the arrival of a big band like no other, where distinctive min’yō vocals glide over grooves that join the dots between cumbia, Ethiopian jazz, Thai pop, Afro funk and reggae.
“For Japanese people, min’yō is both the closest, and most distant, folk music” explains band-leader Katsumi Tanaka: “We may not feel it in our daily, urban lives, yet the melodies, the style of singing and the rhythm of the taiko drums are engrained in our DNA”.
Initially indifferent to min’yō, a tragic event in recent Japanese history set Tanaka on his current path: “Following the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, I reflected on my life, work and identity. A fan of world music, I began searching for Japanese roots music I could identify with. Discovering mid-late 20th century acts Hibari Misora, Chiemi Eri and the Tokyo Cuban Boys, I was captivated by their eccentric arrangements and how they mixed min’yō with Latin and jazz.” Freddie fell for min’yō after hearing a song from his hometown on a TV competition whilst in a restaurant. It was a revelation – until then he had been an aspiring jazz singer yet was uncomfortable singing in English. The restaurateur told him a min’yō teacher was his neighbour and the rest is history.
“It wasn’t your looks that charmed me, I liked the silver accessory on your tobacco case” Lyric from Otemoyan
Originally sung by fishermen (Kushimoto Bushi; Mamurogawa Ondo), coal miners (Tanko Bushi) and sumo wrestlers (Sumo Jinku), these songs deal with topics such as the returning spirits of ancestors (Hohai Bushi), Japan’s smallest bird (Toichin Bushi) and a bride’s undying love for her husband’s pockmarked face (Otemoyan), evoking nostalgia for a forgotten Japan. “As a traditional performing art, min’yō is considered highbrow, yet these are mainly songs for working, dancing or drinking – we want to return them to their literal meaning as ‘songs of the people’ ”.
In the late 90s Tanaka moved to Fussa, a city in western Tokyo steeped in counter-culture folklore as the home of Eiichi Ohtaki of Japanese rock band Happy End. Tanaka met Tsukamoto playing in a session band where the latter was singing soul. Aware that Freddie’s true passion was min’yō, Tanaka asked him to form a band to revive this style. They invited other musicians such as local drumming legend Sono and for the first few years played low-key shows yet a turning point came when bassist DADDY U, a veteran of the Tokyo roots music scene and the respected Ska Flames, joined. Through him they met keyboard player Moe, the leader of spiritual Caribbean jazz band Kidlat; sax player Koichiro Osawa, a member of Japanese-reggae/ska groups Matt Sounds and J.J. Session and regular pick-up for reggae musicians visiting Japan; trumpeter Yamauchi Stephan, also a member of J.J. Session; percussionist Mutsumi Kobayashi of Tokyo’s cumbia Banda de la Mumbia; Irochi, conga player with Afro Cuban band Cubatumb and vocalist Meg, a member of respected tropical DJ collective Tokyo Sabroso. Since then they have become a fixture on the Tokyo music scene and went national in 2018 through festivals such as Fuji Rock.
With songs encouraging dancing and drinking, the Crusaders are on a mission to bring “highbrow” min’yō back to it’s “lowlife” roots -whilst also bringing traditional Japanese music onto the global music stage: “The point is to avoid making it too complicated” adds Tanaka, “since min’yō is for everyday people.”
1. Kushimoto Bushi (Cumbia)
2. Hohai Bushi (Afro)
3. Otemoyan (Reggae)
4. Mamurogawa Ondo (Beguine)
5. Yasugi Bushi (Bolero)
6. Akita Nikata Bushi (Ethiopian Groove)
7. Toichin Bushi (Afro·funk)
8. Tanko Bushi (Boogaloo)
9. Aizu Bandaisan (Latin)
10. Sumo Jinku (A capella)
Credits: Minyo Crusaders (descriptions by Katsumi Tanaka)
Freddie Tsukamoto (vocals): “Stubborn, like an old Japanese man”
Meg (vocals, melodica): “Spiritual jazz lover. Never talks on stage”
Katsumi Tanaka (guitar): “Collector of bizarre Japanese guitars”
DADDY U (bass): “Caribbean music freak”
Moe (keyboards): “Comic collector, synth-head, easy-going”
Sono (timbales): “Dog lover”
Mutsumi Kobayashi (bongos): “Beat master & happy mood maker”
Yamauchi Stephan (trumpet): “Most organised and reliable”
Koichiro Osawa (sax) “The party man and our craziest performer”
Irochi (congas): “Our mascot. Something always happens on tour”
Morning Mari* Album of the week 7-10 May
EZRA COLLECTIVE – YOU CAN’T STEAL MY JOY [ENTER THE JUNGLE] Morning Mari*‘s album of the week for this week is Ezra Collective‘s ‘You Can’t Steal My Joy‘ out on Enter The Jungle on the 26th of April, 2019. You Can’t Steal My Joy is an exuberant, defiant debut album that’s destined to cement Ezra…
EZRA COLLECTIVE – YOU CAN’T STEAL MY JOY [ENTER THE JUNGLE]
You Can’t Steal My Joy is an exuberant, defiant debut album that’s destined to cement Ezra Collective’s status as one of the UK’s most exciting groups.
The record features friends and fans, Loyle Carner, KOKOROKO and Jorja Smith, and is preceded by lead single and full-blown banger, Quest For Coin.
Ezra Collective are five young Londoners; bandleader Femi Koleoso (drums), his brother TJ Koleoso (bass), Joe Armon-Jones (keys), Dylan Jones (trumpet), and James Mollison (saxophone). The band’s incredible musicianship and spirited, inclusive approach to music – which draws on afrobeat, Latin, hip-hop, grime and more – has seen them break out beyond the thriving UK jazz scene.
Ezra Collective’s 2017 EP, Juan Pablo: The Philosopher, won ‘Best Jazz Album’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards and the band picked up ‘Best UK Jazz Act’ and ‘Live Experience Of The Year’ at the 2018 Jazz FM Awards. They played Quincy Jones’ birthday party and recently completed a mosh-pit-filled and completely sold out UK tour before headlining Winter JazzFest in New York. Ezra Collective’s forthcoming gigs include more US dates, SXSW, plus All Point East, Lamar Tree and Green Man festivals.
“Growing up as young people in London has challenges but, rather than focus on all the negativity surrounding us, we’ve decided to focus on the positives”, explains Femi. “You can steal a lot of things from us – our ability to travel freely, our access to education, our right to a level playing field, even our ability to live life at its full potential – but as long as we don’t forget our core truth, You Can’t Steal Our Joy.”
1. Space is the Place (Reprise)
2. Why You Mad?
3. Red Whine
4. Quest For Coin
5. Reason in Disguise feat. Jorja Smith
6. What Am I to Do? feat. Loyle Carner
7. Chris and Jane
8. People Saved
9. Philosopher II
10. São Paulo
11. King of the Jungle
12. You Can’t Steal My Joy
13. Shakara feat. KOKOROKO
Morning Mari* Album of the week 29 April – 3 May
VARIOUS ARTISTS – SOOTHING SONGS FOR BABIES (BERCEUSES DU MONDE) [MENTAL GROOVE RECORDS / MUSÉE D’ETHNOGRAPHIE DE GENÈVE] Morning Mari*‘s album of the week for this week is “Soothing Songs For Babies (Berceuses du Monde)” by Various Artists, out on Mental Groove Records / Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève, on the 26th of April. Here is something…
VARIOUS ARTISTS – SOOTHING SONGS FOR BABIES (BERCEUSES DU MONDE) [MENTAL GROOVE RECORDS / MUSÉE D’ETHNOGRAPHIE DE GENÈVE]
Morning Mari*‘s album of the week for this week is “Soothing Songs For Babies (Berceuses du Monde)” by Various Artists, out on Mental Groove Records / Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève, on the 26th of April.
Here is something that will please both young parents and their children, as well as (world) music enthusiastic looking for a peaceful, captivating and inspiring collection of carefully chosen lullabies from all over the world:
Third collaboration between Mental Groove Records x Musée d’ethnographie de Genève curated by Madeleine Leclair, head of the MEG’s department of Ethnomusicology and Olivier Ducret, head of Mental Groove and also both WRWTFWW and WE RELEASE JAZZ labels.
Lullabies exist in almost every culture in the world. While they relate to the world of childhood, they also evoke the privileged relationship established through music between an adult and an infant. The lullabies presented here were recorded at different times and come from eighteen countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and America. They share certain musical characteristics that can be identified from one piece to another: simple melodies, a sequence of short patterns repeated several times in succession, an overall melodic contour following a descending line.
All the lullabies presented here come from records published with a copy kept in the Archives internationales de musique populaire (AIMP) of the MEG.
This is ideal for fans of labels like Ocora, Smithsonian Folkways Records, Buda Music, Nonesuch and traditional forms of music, ambient, ethnomusicology, and of course children, and their parents! And without a doubt a relaxing listening!
1. Ukraine Lullaby 01:51
2. Taiwan Lullaby 00:44
3. Armenia Lullaby 03:03
4. Lithuania a-a a-a mažulyte (“ah, ah! My little girl”) 01:05
5. Ireland An Irish Lullaby 00:57
6. Spain Songs For Cradle 02:43
7. Solomon Islands Lullaby 01:42
8. Algeria Lullaby 03:19
9. Haiti Lullaby 03:26
10. Canada loving song composed for a child 00:44
11. Greece Come Now And Sleep My Child 06:05
12. Canada Ho Ho Ho Watanay 00:31
13. Rwanda Kamananga 03:03
14. United States Go To Sleep 00:42
15. France nelli monti di Cuscione (“in the Cuscione Mountains”) 02:36
16. Georgia Lullaby 03:15
17. Balkans a la nana y a la buba (“to the grandfather and the grandmother”) 01:56
18. Romania Cradle Song 03:56