Our weekly festival, every Tuesday at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden through the summertime, with Sudani-Jazz pioneer Amira Kheir, world dance experience Noga Ritter, and black female and non-binary choir Nawi Collective.
2019 Songlines Award nominee for BEST ARTIST, consecrated as "The Diva of the Sudanese Desert" (BBC World News) Sudanese-Italian singer AmiraKheir, has been enchanting audiences around the world with her unique sound of Sudanese Desert Blues. Based in the UK, her music draws from traditional Sudanese music, entrenched in frenzied East African polyrhythms and pentatonic scales, and ancient mystical Nubian and Niloitic melodies, while traveling through soul, jazz, rock and electric desert blues. She is a unique artist who is incorporating sounds that are very different from each other and creating music that has a coherent identity of its own, expressing itself through improvisation, experimentation and magnetic communication between its stellar band members.
To date, she has released three albums to great critical acclaim 'View From Somewhere (2011), 'Alsahraa' (2014), and most recently her highly critically acclaimed third album 'Mystic Dance' (2018), all released by her independent label Contro Cultura Music and legendary African Music label Sterns Music. Her latest release 'Mystic Dance' garnered superb reviews including 4 stars on the Evening Standard and 5 stars on Songlines, described as "A tour de force that builds on the rich promise of her 2014 release Alsahraa", and garnering Kheir comparisons with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald as well as a nomination for the Songlines Awards 2019 in the category of Best Artist.
Based in London and singing in Arabic, English and Italian, Amira Kheir has performed at some of the world's biggest festivals and stages, including Womad Charlton Park (UK), Festival Au Desert (Mali), repeated editions of the London Jazz Festival including London Jazz Festival 2018, London African Music Festival, and the London International Festival for Exploratory Music (LIFEM), as well as touring the Netherlands as part of the 'World Sessions' Tour by World Connections. She was commissioned to to write and perform improvised live scores for Ernst Lubitsch's seminal 1920s silent film 'Sumurun' by the Bird's Eye View Film Festival twice, and has been featured on world reknowned magazines including Songlines and fRoots, as well as being a regular at Radio France Internationale, BBC World News, BBC World Service, BBC 3's "World on 3 with Lopa Kothari", BBC Arabic and BBC Persia. As a young singer, musician, composer and producer, she has been nominated as one of “6 Amazing Jazz Artists from the Middle East and North Africa not to be missed” by Mideast Tunes, and selected as one of “13 African Artists that will mark the next Decade” by Rede Angola.
Amira Kheir is an artist of global proportions. With a track record of creating provoking and engaging music that grabs the attention of any listener due to its urgency and also subtle sophistication, she is an artist able to write transversal, culture-crossing music which speaks to listeners across borders and perfectly accompanies her spell-binding vocal abilities, making waves not just in the jazz and African music circuits, but also internationally. A singer of the highest calibre, she is instantly recognisable by her distinctive contra-alto which ranges from crystal clear to husky silvery qualities and incorporates ondulating pentatonic styles from the rich Sudanese tradition to soulful vibrato all in one breath.
Amira is a new type of Diva. The BBC's consecration of her as "The Diva of the Sudanese Desert", carries with it a connotation of a new 21st century young African female artist- embodying the modern and the traditional effortlessly, whilst building bridges through music with the rest of the world. She is a true ambassador not only for the new generation of Africans, but for people across the world, whose identity is non-linear. Her new album 'Mystic Dance' is a reflection of exactly this: the marriage of the ancient and traditional with the modern and contemporary. It is a celebration of ancient mystical East African roots catapulted into an electric futuristic outer-space desert soundscape. This is an artist to watch!
Originally from Israel, Noga Ritter is a singer-songwriter and workshop leader. Singing in Hebrew and English, Noga Ritter‘s music melds Afro grooves and jazz together with her new full 9 piece band, bringing together a wealth of London’s finest musicians. Her sincere and forceful lyrics depict a vast range of subjects and themes from personal experiences to political messages.
”Noga Ritter’s 9-piece band showcases the craftwork of boundary pushing artists within London's fusion music scene. Through Afro driven grooves and jazz interpretations, the collective rework and fuse Noga's original material, defying music genres. With a big band and an undeniable vocal conviction, Noga’s ecstatic stage performance tempts audiences to give their bodies to a unifying diasporic journey in dance and rhythm.” - Rebecca Lea Mastrorocco, Rhythm Passport
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and LCCM, Noga has performed and collaborated with musicians from around the world, singing in various languages and genres. She released an album and toured with her former band VOCAL GLOBAL, and has also worked with Mike King Collective, The Grand Union Orchestra, Abdoulaye Samb and Minnjiaraby (Senegal), Jyotsna Srikanth (India), Sahad & The Natal Patchwork (Senegal), Sura Susso (Gambia) and Randolph Matthews.
Noga enjoys travelling the world with her music, learning from other cultures and creating exciting cultural collaborations. She was recently awarded funding from Help Musicians UK and the Arts Council England to travel to Senegal to collaborate with local musicians, perform at festivals and record.
Founded in September 2017, Nawi Collective is a London-based black women and non-binary femmes vocal ensemble, unapologetically singing for justice to reclaim their time in honour of their ancestors. NawiCollective's first year and a half in existence has been a busy one: from leading crowds in song at Black Pride UK 2018 and showing solidarity with those on hunger strike at Yarl's Wood detention centre, to performances at the Jazz Café (London) and Tate Britain's 'Late At Tate’.
The ensembles' latest project, Black Cultural Activism Map, was commissioned by the Stuart Hall Foundation and explored black resistance in Britain through original songs and vocal sound-beds they developed during several sessions of deep sharing and composition. Through song they honoured their ancestors and documented people of the African and Caribbean diaspora who have dedicated their lives to fighting for social justice in communities across the UK.
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 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.