Our weekly festival, every Tuesday from June to September, with Moroccan guimbri sensation Gnawa Blues All Stars, Anglo-American guitar James Riley, and improvisation/loop wizard Michael Sebastian..
GNAWA BLUES ALL STARS
Simo Lagnawi is an Ambassador of Gnawa Culture in UK. This charismatic creator is the leader of Gnawa Blues All Stars and has featured on BBC World service, CNN World, BBC 3, Vox Africa, & many more radio shows and magazines around the world. He has performed at a host of festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Latitude and Boom Town.
Playing traditional Gnawa music from Morocco, this sacred trance music forms the core of his work with his bands Electric Jalaba, Gnawa Griot and Gnawa Blues Allstars. Simo continuously pushes new boundaries fusing Gnawa with music from countries such as Gambia, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, India, Japan, Venezuela and the Caribbean. Look out for special guest musicians playing with the band!
Born of a transatlantic relationship, James grew up in South East London listening to the folk and soul sound of 70s America and wrote his first melody at the age of four. His first guitar, acquired at the age of nine, became the tool for surviving the tumult of a nowhere place, and helped James find somewhere he felt he belonged. In his early twenties, he took off, alone once again, hitchhiking and busking through Europe from Amsterdam to Istanbul, writing songs along the way. Back in the UK, these songs became a band, but eventually James had to shed another skin, and disembarked in Nashville, Tennessee. Here he found his producer and they set about making the album which had travelled with him to his maternal homeland, where it could finally get free.
“Awesome… like the Allman Brothers meets the Seeger Sessions”
“Riley writes with a deftness often reserved for musicians twice his age”
"One of my highlights of 2014"
Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3
“It hooked us on first listen…from the harmonies to the guitar work there’s nothing to not like”
Folk Radio UK
“James Riley won’t be one of the best kept secrets on the London folk scene for much longer”
For Folk’s Sake
Winner of the Mayor of London: Gigs Competition 2012
Michael Sebastian is a musician and loop-artist who improvises to uplift the capital.
South African born, Edinburgh educated, and living in London; he creates music from a broad range of experience and styles. His affinity for groove and feel allows for conflicting styles to fluidly co-exist, feeling human and natural.
Whenever possible, Sebastian is on the streets of the capital, improvising with a loop-pedal, a mic and a bright pink guitar. He will attest that this has been the most important part of his musical education, and has taught him to speak to people through his instrument.
His most recent album, ‘Kayanda’ demonstrates him harnessing live, improvised looping onto record. After developing the recording software himself, Sebastian went into a shed in the country for two weeks to improvise an album, and came out with 14 tracks. The album is written with the sensibilities of modern dance and electronic music, and retains the freedom, rawness and depth of world music and Jazz, while still creating melodies that are hard to forget.
ABOUT THIS EVENT
Since our first season in 2013, our event at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden has always inspired audiences in a unique and thrilling way. This season of events captures the essence of a weekend rural festival in the centre of Dalston on a Tuesday evening.
The phenomenal surrounds of the garden combine with delicious pizzas from David Latto, and a supreme and ever-evolving roster of acts, to create a magical atmosphere which brings people together in a friendly and welcoming space.
It's a community of music-lovers, summer-lovers and life-lovers, joining to celebrate the warm months in a carefree and supportive atmosphere, with a compelling live soundtrack.
PLEASE NOTE that this is an outdoor concert which will go ahead regardless of the weather. Please bring appropriate clothing, including waterproofs if rain is forecast.