King Masco was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, situated on the West Coast of Africa, and has released several albums, and is known as the “King of African Music”.
King Masco has been awarded many honours, including Best African artist (Black Music Award).
King Masco and his group have appeared in many prestigious festivals and concerts throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, Ghana and Nigeria.
Since their formation in 1973 the top Gambian group Ifang Bondi have added an entirely new dimension to the music of Western Africa. Once part of the great Manding Empire, The Gambia is the historical home of an impressive number of cultures: Mandingo, Wolof, Fula, Jola, Serer and many others all cherishing their own musical traditions. Digging deeply into this amazing rich musical heritage Ifang Bondi recreates, on modern instruments, the virtuosity and intricate sounds of the Kora, The Gambia’s famous 21-string harplute; it storms along on staccato tones taken from the halam, the balafon and traditional percussion, beautifully balances by the melancholy bluesy pitch of the vocals. Ifang Bondi is pure African spirit, heavy, powerful and very catching.
Generate an insatiable appetite for their excellent close harmony a cappella songs and amazing athletic display of Southern African dance.
This high octane a cappella and dance group from Zimbabwe have played at festivals across North America, Australia, Canada and Europe. From mainstream jazz venues and concert halls, to art festivals, everyone awaits their return performances.
With exuberance, humour and agility, the group performs a powerful mix of a cappella songs, with a dynamic display of traditional dances from Southern Africa. The music is based firmly in the Zulu townships’ tradition of close rich, deep vocal harmonies and is about love and life, praise, peace and celebration.
Albert Nyathi & Imbongi
Imbongi (like Mali or Senegal's Griots, or the Yoruba Gelede cult's Oro Efe) are the custodians of oral tradition and while sometimes called 'praise poets' because of their tendency to exaggerate the qualities of leaders at important public events, they also use their popularity as well as their status as the 'voice of the ancestors' as a 'mandate' for social criticism.
And criticism (and its associate, controversy) is something Nyathi is no stranger to.
This is the Zimbabwean who took his National Arts Council and government to task for exploiting him and his band. With Thomas Mapfumo having relocated to the US after decades of criticising the abuse of power by both Smith's Rhodesia and Mugabe's Zimbabwe, the mantle of artist as social critic is now ably worn by Nyathi.
Boys Choir of Harlem
The Boys Choir of Harlem Inc (BCH). is a world renowned performing arts and educational institution serving over 500 boys and girls. With the dual musical heritage of the European boys choir and the African-American church choir. BCH has an artistic repertoire ranging from classical music to jazz, contemporary songs, gospels, spirituals and specially commissioned works by leading African-American composers.
Their program evolves directly from their mission and a vision of consistent, compassionate, communal strength in raising children. It builds on the African philosophy of "it takes a whole village to raise a child" combined with a commitment to "classical or character education" which instils basic values, stresses discipline, hard work, co-operation and goal oriented behaviour and affects all aspects of children's lives.
With music as the motivator and catalyst, BCH engages students in the educational process, opening them up to learning, and providing the vehicle through which they are able to transfer the skills they learn through the arts -- higher order thinking, problem solving ability, perception, imagination and creativity -- to the mastery of other academic subjects and in the process they learn positive behaviours and attitudes, develop social abilities and strengthen verbal and communication skills.
The legendary heart and soul of the Caribbean
Having shared her enormous talent with audiences all over the world, Calypso Rose is the premier ambassador of Caribbean music. Rose began her illustrious career at the age of 15 in the village of Bethel on the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago. As a woman in a male arena, she challenged the world with her music.
In 1966, Rose wrote the immortal Fire In Me Wire, a song which has become a Calypso anthem. It has been recorded in eight languages and is still the first Calypso to be sung for two consecutive years at the annual carnival competition in Trinidad and Tobago.
For five years Rose outclassed the competition to win the national "Calypso Queen" title in Trinidad and Tobago. During this time she kept knocking on the doors of the male dominated "Calypso King" competition. In 1978, those doors finally opened! With the powerful lyrics of I Thank Thee and Her Majesty, Rose was awarded the newly renamed "Calypso Monarch" title from a star studded field of the best competitors of the day. That year she also won the "Road March" title the previous year with Gimme More Tempo. To date, Calypso Rose still holds the distinction of being the only woman to win either title, placing her in a class by herself.
Gaurav was born into a family of musicians in the city of Allahabad. He studied vocal music under the tutelage of his uncle Shri J.D. Mazumdar and cousin Mrs. Kamala Bose.
Violin was his first instrument. With the blessing of his gurus, themselves musicians of great eminence, Mrs. Jayashree Roy, his father, Shri Dulal Mazumdar and Pandit Nand Kishore Vishwakarma, Gaurav successful mastered the violin. He won accolades and was praised for his recitals.
In 1985, noticing his talent and testing his potential, the world renowned sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar accepted him as his disciple. This was in more ways than one, a turning point in Gaurav’s life. Sitar, the instrument of his Guru was to become the means to his own spiritual goal.
In 1993 Gaurav appeared before his audience for the first time. Since then, he has given numerous concerts in India, Europe and the USA. He is a regular performer for the All India Radio and is also empanelled with the I.C.C.R.
His concerts have been enjoyed and appreciated by large audiences and have received rave reviews from the press and critics. Besides performing, Gaurav also composes, teaches and conducts workshops in Indian Classical Music.
His first CD, titled ‘Echoes from India’ was released in May 1995, followed by his second , ‘In Search of Peace’ in 1997.
In 1996 and 1997, Gaurav was invited to teach at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, as part of the Bhavan’s yearly summer school.
In February 1999, ‘NEEMRANA’ – an Indo French venture, was conceived and presented in India for which Gaurav composed the music.
In the year 2000, Music Today, a leading recording company, released two of his albums – ‘In Search of Peace’ and ‘Neemrana’.
Recently, Gaurav was invited to the Vatican, where he performed for the Inter-Religious Congress. He dedicated his composition, ‘Akanksha’, to World Peace.
Imbizo are a 10 man a’capella performing arts group from Zimbabwe. The group have successfully performed at WOMAD, Glastonbury Festival and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. They have been described by the African music press as the most talented, charismatic and professional group to come out of Zimbabwe.
Kaago, a Guru word meaning “Let’s go” are the principal exponents of Ivorian dance culture in the United Kingdom. An association of performance artists from Ivory Coast, West Africa dedicated to fostering a heritage largely unknown in the English speaking world, Kaago can call upon a troupe of experienced dancers, performers and musicians to create an intense vehicle for African drumming and dancing. Performances are rich and varied.
They incorporate singing, mime theatre and a rare opportunity to see authentic village mask dances presented by the artists familiar with its steps and aware of their significance since childhood. Strength and grace characterise the work these artists do together, producing excitement and joy bordering on ecstasy.
Neville Jules was born on May 21st 1927 at #3 Richards Lane, East Dry River, Port of Spain. His parents were of humble means. His father was a mason and his mother a fruit vendor.
Neville attended Gloster Lodge Moravian, eastern Boys and Rosary Boys Schools, in pursuit of his education.
He was one of the pannist who lived through the transition from Tamboo Bamboo to the steeldrum.
Neville Jules first impression of the steelband was in Hell Yard; where he observed such players as Tackler, Brassy, Elmo and Billy Allen Neville, together with Rudolph ‘Fish Eye’ Ollivierre, started tuning pans during the war years. He saw ‘Zigilee’ [Constantine] with a Tenor Kettle and made one.
A few years later there was a split between Jules and ‘Fish Eye’. All Stars was born; and Jules became captain, tuner and arranger of All Stars. Jules has been credited with the tuning of a caustic soda drum as the bass and being the first to tune and beat two caustic drums together as bass. He is also credited with being the first to tune the ‘Grundig’ as a back ground pan or cello.
All Stars, under the captaincy of Neville Jules, became noted for discipline and respect. During his tenures as captain there was friendly rivalry, particularly on J’Ouvert morning, between Invaders and All Stars.
But by far one of his most famous areas of achievement was the “Bomb”. This was the practice of playing a non calypso in calypso tempo on J’Ouvert morning. This made All Stars so famous that these tunes had to be practiced in the famous Garret in Charlotte Street in the dead of the night.
Caribbean Carnival Extravaganza
Brazil & Trinidad - Two Carnival nations, One great show.
The production features 36-42 of the best Artistes, singers, dancers and musicians from the Caribbean diaspora.
- The Trinidad Steel Band;
- The Caribbean All Stars Orchestra;
- 12 Exotic Costumed Dancers (over 200 costumes);
- African Djembbe Drummers.
This new production is suitable for theatres and Festivals-Europe wide.
Direct contact: Sonny Blacks + 44-(0) 7956 52 32 96
Videos & CD sent upon request
Trinidad Steel Band
Outstanding professional Steel Pan players - playing together for many years - varied musical styles-Up tempo Calypso-Latin-Pop and other genres.
Suitable for any occasions: Corporate, Weddings, Birthdays, House Parties.
3-12 Players - available throughout the year. UK and Europe