SOAS University of London

Bloomsbury Festival 2011

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Date: 22 October 2011Time: 11:00 AM

Finishes: 23 October 2011Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square

Type of Event: Festival

SOAS is proud to present the World Music Stage at Russell Square bringing together music from across the globe on one stage.  


12:00 - Rún

Rún is the Gaelic word for ‘secret, wish or love’. Led by Co:Down singer/harper, Brona McVittie, the group explores Celtic legend and lore through song. Their debut album, “Sé: Songs from the Six Celtic Nations” is a collection of close-harmony arrangements of songs in Irish, Scots Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton dialects. The London-based quartet perform regularly around town and have also performed at many festivals including Glastonbury and Celtic Connections.

13:15- Amira Kheir

Sudanese-Italian singer/songwriter Amira Kheir is creating a sound that is inspired by traditional Sudanese singing and instrumentation, blended with elements of Jazz, Soul, African as well as Middle Eastern music. The unique result gives a taste of Sudan’s rich cultural heritage in the context of our ever-merging world. Her music is evocative of Northern Sudan’s desert landscape and celebrative of its ancient culture and multitude realities, but rooted in a compelling call to come together to share our single human journey.

14:30- Ayarkhaan

Ayarkhaan, a female vocal trio from Sakha (Yakutia) in Siberia, have been at the forefront of the revival and innovation in Sakha music for many years. Sakha is a land of hunters and herders, and its music-making culture is a way to seek communion with the natural world, to interact with it and to reproduce its ambience. Their performances create a flow that takes the listener on a fascinating journey into the Siberian soundscape: the horses, the birds, the wind…the proto-musical world where natural and human-made sounds blend.

15:45 - Shavnabada

Georgian Polyphony is an ancient oral tradition with its own unique musical scales handed down through generations and learned by ear. Shavnabada's passions lie in resurrecting this Monastery and Folk music that had all but disappeared from Georgian culture during Soviet times. The members of the choir come from all over Georgia and have been singing together since the age of twelve. With appearances across Europe their reputation is second to none for quality and authenticity, with every concert a truly up-lifting and inspiring experience.

17:00- Laye Sow

Laye Sow is one of the most exciting musicians to come out of Senegal. He has a voice that soars as high as the desert sun and as low as the deep blue of the desert where he is from. Of Dogan and Fula heritage, the music takes you on a journey from his village on the edge of the Sahara to the happening night clubs of Dakar. Like his father’s before him Laye sings of everyday events and the people he has known, of loves and passions of life and death.

18:15 - Harare Music

You may be forgiven for thinking there’s not much to sing and dance about in today’s Zimbabwe. But listening to Harare, you get the feeling that there is hope for the future after all. At least this once-proud nation’s rich African musical heritage is still alive and kicking, albeit in exile. Frontman and marimba virtuoso Kudaushe Matimba was a member of the legendary Bhundu Boys back in the 80s; now based in London he is keeping up the faith, celebrating the musical alliances he has since made in the UK through the prism of Zimbabwe’s urban Chimurenga and Jit Jive music.


12:00- Diabel Cissokho

Senegalese musician Diabel Cissokho is part of the great line of Cissokho griots. Growing up in Dakar, surrounded by a rich heritage and a family of musicians, Diabel began playing a number of traditional instruments. Tours with his family’s band Bannaya led to a long stint as Baaba Maal’s kora player, as well as with acclaimed musicians such as Kandia Kouyate, Pee Wee Ellis and Nuru Kane. Now well established in the UK, Diabel’s “resonant voice and rocking kora style” (Songlines), have been welcomed everywhere from WOMAD and Glastonbury to London’s Barbican.

13:15- Merit Ariane

Young and talented, singer Merit Ariane Stephanos has teamed up with veterans of the London Arabic scene in a delightful programme of Arabic classical, popular and folk songs, mainly from Egypt and Lebanon repertoire. Together with Lebanese singer and oud player Abdul-Salam Kheir, accordionist Gamal El Kurdi Awad and percussionist Mustafa Al Arab, the programme features classics by such luminaries as Fairuz, Abdel Halim Hafiz and Oum Kalthoum brought to new life with flair and feeling.

14:45- Guillermo Rozenthuler

Guillermo Rozenthuler, originally from Argentina, is now well known in London as one of the finest singer-songwriters and tango vocalists on the Latin scene. In his new programme “Brazil, Meu Amor” he finally admits to his love-affair with the music from Brazil. For 20 years now he has been cultivating a repertoire that brings together the best of Bossa Nova, Samba and MPB styles. Guillermo’s warmly expressive vocals and accomplished guitar playing capture all the passion and rhythmic wealth of Brazilian songs, joined by some of the finest Latin musicians in London.

16:00- Voice

Voice is a London-based, female a cappella trio performing a varied repertoire spanning both ages and continents. Formed in 2006, Voice performs secular and non-secular music from the medieval chant of Hildegard von Bingen, to twenty-first-century commissions, and folk songs from around the world. Their distinctive sound is driven by individual voices that blend to create beautiful harmonies.

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