Africa Oyé, the UK’s largest free festival dedicated to African and Caribbean music and culture, will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary during Saturday, June 17th and Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at Sefton Park in Liverpool.
This year the world music festival will present artists from Oye’s 25-year history. “We decided that it would be fitting to feature a retrospective line-up of acts for Oyé 25,” says Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney. “The festival and organization has come so far since the days of the city center and Concert Square and this is a chance to celebrate our birthday with friends from Liverpool and around the world“.
Africa Oye’s 2017 program will also include film screenings, gigs, parties and exhibitions.
Bukkene Bruse is an influential Norwegian contemporary folk music band. Bukkene Bruse were appointed as official Olympic Musicians for the 1994 Winter Games at Lillehammer, Norway. Following an international tour, they took part in the closing ceremonies thath were broadcast around the world.
The group plays a mix of traditional and modern instruments. Their repertoire draws from many areas of Norway, combining regional traditions with a number of original compositions.
As a group, Bukkene Bruse have existed since 1988, and through the years have given a great many concerts and performances both at home and abroad. Their repertory consists of a wide and exciting range of Norwegian traditional music, and also of their own compositions.
Bukkene (their name is taken from the folk tale of the three Billy Goats Gruff, who outsmarted and destroyed a big troll on their way to summer pastures) make their own arrangements, elaborating and emphasizing the special style of folk music.
The debut-CD came out in August 1993, and received very good reviews. The second CD, Åre (1995), further developed the musical ideas from the first, but also was heightened by the inspiration and experiences the musicians had gathered in the course of a number of tours.
The Stone Chair followed, breaking new ground. This time all four members contributed with new compositions, while at the same time they kept the traditional music foundation. This is a powerful, mature record, featuringtraditional and modern instruments. The American NorthSide edition includes seven tracks from the first two CDs, making a very special presentation of the group’s music.
In 1992, two years before the Olympic Games in Lillehammer, the Olympic Games Organizing Committee chose Bukkene Bruse as official Olympic musicians. This commission brought them to the USA, Japan, Spain and Germany. In the autumn of 1994 the band represented Norway in China at the celebrations of the 40 years of cooperation between Norway and China. Besides giving a big concert in the Haidian Theatre, they worked together with leading Chinese folk musicians, appearing before the leaders of Chinese government and the Norwegian Foreign Minister.
December 1998 brought Bukkene Bruse to a special holiday concert “Norwegian Visions” at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, appearing with new age performers Secret Garden. They also went to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa as ambassadors for the relief organization “Save the Children.” There they spent two weeks traveling, performing concerts and collaborating with local musicians.
The Avett Brothers is a folk-rock act based in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina. Brothers Scott and Seth Avett grew up in Concord, North Carolina. They had success with their 2009 major label release, “I and Love and You,” that reached No. 16 on the Billboard Top 200.
In 2012, the critically ac claimed “The Carpenter” was No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200. The group appeared on the American late night show Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! twice in a few months’ time. During their second performance, the Brooklyn Philharmonic joined to pay tribute to Brooklyn with “I and Love and You” at Mr. Kimmel’s request.
The Avett Brothers’ eighth studio album, “Magpie and the Dandelion,” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200. The band performed on various significant American TV shows, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and accompanied Chris Cornell for a Pearl Jam tribute on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band also supported The Rolling Stones concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, during 2015’s Zip Code Tour.
The album “True Sadness” was released in 2016. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart, No. 1 on the Top Rock Albums Chart, No. 1 on the Digital Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200. The Americana Music Association named it the No. 1 Most Played Album of 2016.
Members in 2017 include Seth Avett on lead and backing vocals, guitar, hi-hat, piano, drums, tambourine; Scott Avett on lead and backing vocals, banjo, kick drum, harmonica, guitar, piano, drums; Bob Crawford on backing and lead vocals, double bass, bass guitar, trumpet, violin; and Joe Kwon on cello, musical saw, backing vocals.
“As I turn my ear to the music I can only imagine my great-grandfathers, but their old songs are still here and the new are part of me.”
Bryan Akipa, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota (Sioux) Nation, is a self-taught flute maker, flute player and traditional woodcarver. As a young man he attended the Institute of American Indian Arts and studied fine arts with Oscar Howe at the University of South Dakota at Vermillion. After graduation Bryan became an elementary school teacher for seven years. Since 1991 he has committed himself to his chosen art and craft, the cedar flute.
In addition to being a premier Native American flute player, Bryan is internationally known for his craftsmanship of traditional flutes. While he says that his knowledge of the flute is primarily self-taught, he also acknowledges “the elders, relatives and friends” that took the time to teach him about the flute. He is also a champion traditional dancer that tours with the Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre. His performances and artwork informs others about his history and heritage.
When one hears the depth and the age in the sound of his instruments, the importance of this tradition becomes quite apparent. Bryan feels the experience of making his own flutes and learning the old songs has been nothing but a “good blessing.” His music, however, is made up of the old and the new, and he takes great pride in skillfully blending the traditional and contemporary.
According to Akipa, “The flute can be very relaxing and soothing. In old times it was the music for lovers. The essence of wind, the melody of a red cedar flute, where it comes from and where it goes is a mystery. So is everyone born of the spirit of love.”
Bruce Molsky is one of the most influential old time fiddlers in the United States. Molsky is also an outstanding guitarist, banjoist and singer. His music incorporates the mountain sounds of Appalachia, the energy of blues and the rhythms of traditional African music.
Bruce has performed and recorded with acclaimed musicians such as Martin Hayes, Darol Anger, Alasdair Fraser, the Waverly Consort and Mike Seeger.
His acclaimed solo recording Poor Man’s Troubles (Rounder) has become a standard for old time music enthusiasts everywhere.
Bruce has been featured on the popular A Prairie Home Companion public radio show and as a guest artist on recordings with Darol Anger and the early music ensemble Hesperus, among many others. He toured the U.K. with internationally renowned fiddler Kevin Burke and others on the Fiddles of Fire tour. Bruce is also an accompanist with the percussive dance ensemble Footworks.
Influential old time musicians Tommy Jarrell and Albert Hash were two of Bruce’s mentors in the Blue Ridge Mountains where he first learned to play. Thanks in part to time spent with these old masters, Bruce has earned numerous awards at fiddle and banjo contests around the southern United States.
Bruce is a highly in demand fiddle and banjo teacher, and teaches his own intensive fiddle workshop program throughout the United States. He is a regular instructor at Augusta Heritage Center, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason’s Ashokan Music Camp, Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp and others.
BraAgas is an all female quartet created in 2007 after the split-up of the band Psalteria. The first two albums were hard to define genre-wise. “The first album called No.1 was a mix of everything – medieval and folk songs as well,” says Katka Göttlich (Katerina Göttlichova).
The four members of BraAgas have been playing for a long time. In addition to the previously mentioned Psalteria, the musicians played in other bands. “Our experiences from other bands have merged here – for me and Karla it was the Psalteria band, for Beta it was Gothart. Michaela had been sometimes the guest in different groups (e.g. Krless) before BraAgas originated,” says Göttlich.
The fact that the band was formed by professional musicians helped them record albums immediately and also with touring. Live playing is one of those things BraAgas can do really well. Their third CD, Tapas, is the result of their live concert art. The band won the music competition Česká spořitelna Colours Talents at Indies Scope Festival organized by Indies Scope Records and the Colours of Ostrava Festival supported by Česká spořitelna.
The recording of an album was part of the Česká spořitelna Colours Talents prize. “The second one called No.2 – Media Aetas was purely medieval long single and the album Tapas has already nothing to do with ‘medieval times’. It’s an album containing songs which we have discovered and adapted and also those few ‘hits’ which we’ve taken the liberty to modify; those that the listeners of world music will definitely recognize.“
The four musicians play mostly ethnic instruments and historical replicas. Many guests helped them at the studio and there were also some electronic elements. Thanks to the electronics, a new modern sound was developed for Tapas, which was produced by David Göttlich and Petr Koláček.
Tapas includes songs from various parts of Europe, including Spanish, Balkan, Nordic and Italian sources, originally dating back to anywhere within a thousand years time span, interpreted in a very modern way.
Current members include: Katerina Göttlichova on lead vocal, cittern, guitar, bagpipes, shawms; Alzbeta Josefy on vocal, davul, darbuka, duf, riq; Karla Braunova on vocal, flutes, recorders, clarinet, shawms, chalumeaux, and bagpipes; and Michala Hrbkova on vocal, fiddle, cittern.
The revolutionary music of Boukman Eksperyans is a unique blend of roots, Vodou jazz, Zairian soukous and reggae, built on a foundation of traditional African rhythms and Caribbean melodies.
The band also promotes a spiritual message of freedom, unity, and faith, taking its name from a Haitian revolutionary named Boukman Dutty, a slave and Vodou priest who helped unify the Haitian slaves in a revolution against the French colonists in 1791.
Boukman’s first CD, Voudou Adjae, introduced traditional Vodou to a worldwide audiencetheir second, Kalfou Danjere (Dangerous Crossroads), was a direct response to the military overthrow of then Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The group’s third release, Liberte (Pran pou Pran’l!) was recorded while the group was in exile in Kingston, Jamaica.
On July 29th, 2002, lead singers Theodore “Lolo” Beaubrun, Jr. and his wife, Mimerose “Manze” Pierre Beaubrun of Boukman Eksperyans were named official United Nations Ambassadors for Peace and Goodwill by the World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF).
This distinguished title of United Nations Goodwill Ambassador was bestowed on Lolo and Manze in recognition of their tireless efforts to promote Love, Peace, Respect and Unity through their music, which has transcended all cultural barriers. They were also been asked to spearhead the creation of WAFUNIF’s Culture of Peace Learning Center in Haiti, which will be a school designed to introduce modern technology to poor countries around the world.
The school will provide poor, underprivileged children with computers, books, music and dance programs, and other digitally enhanced approaches to learning. The schools are created as part of a mandate for a Culture of Peace established in the UN General Assembly resolution 53/25 on the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World 2001-2010.
While the members of Boukman Eksperyans survived the devastating Earthquake to their homeland of Haiti, each has been personally affected as all Haitians have been.
The Bothy Band evoked universal praise from audiences and critics alike. Siblings Micheal O Domhnaill and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill, percussionist Donal Lunny, master piper Paddy Keenan, flute virtuoso Matt Molloy, and brilliant fiddler Kevin Burke stood at the very summit of Celtic music.
Eventually, the band members went their separate ways in 1979, joining celebrated groups like The Chieftains, Relativity, Nightnoise, Touchstone and Patrick Street.
Bobby Sanabria is a drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, and educator who has performed with many of the leading figures in the world of Jazz and Latin music. Sanabria has performed and recorded with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Barretto, Candido, Arturo Sandoval, Henry Threadgill, Larry Harlow, and the Godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz, Mario Bauzá, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensemble, Ascension.
Sanabria, the son of Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in New York City’s South Bronx. Inspired and encouraged by maestro Tito Puente, another fellow New York-born Puerto Rican, Bobby “got serious” and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 1975 to 1979, obtaining a bachelor of music degree. He received their prestigious Faculty Association Award for his work as an instrumentalist. Since his graduation, Bobby has become a leader in the Afro-Cuban and Jazz fields as both drummer and percussionist and is recognized as one of the most articulate scholars of ‘la tradicion’. His most critically praised work has been with the famed Mario Bauzá and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, with whom he has recorded three CDs, considered to be the definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big-band Jazz tradition.
Sanabria has been the recipient of many awards, including an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) grant as a jazz performer, various Meet the Composer awards, and the INTAR off-Broadway composer award.
Sanabria’s first big band recording, Live & in Clave!!! was nominated for a mainstream Grammy in 2001. In 2003 he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for, “50 Years of Mambo”, A Tribute to Damaso Perez Prado. Drum! Magazine named him Percussionist of the Year in 2005.
His 2008 recording is “El Espiritu Jibaro – The Jibaro Spirit” with trombonist Roswell Rudd and cuatro virtuoso Yomo Toro, which features Bobby with his nonet, Ascensión.
Sanabria is the associate producer of the TV documentaries “The Palladium: Where Mambo Was King” shown on Bravo which was winner of the IMAGINE award for best documentary of 2003 and “From Mambo to Hip Hop”, another award winning documentary (ALMA award, best documentary for TV) shown on PBS in 2007. He is the author of the acclaimed video series, Getting Started on Congas and he is a featured performer on the DVD, Modern Drummer Festival 2006, from Hudson Music. Bobby continues his important work in spreading the Gospel of Latin jazz by being a consultant and featured on screen interviewee for PBS’s landmark 4-hour documentary, LATIN MUSIC U.S.A. premiering nationwide on PBS October 12, 2009.
In August of 2012, Sanabria released Multiverse, inspired by the writings of Mexican author Octavio Paz and the current scientific theories of multiple universes.
¡NYC Aché!, with Ascensión (Flying Fish Records/Rounder, 1993)
In a small town in Central Serbia, called Guca, the “Festival of Brass Music” takes place annually since 40 years. It’s a competition to determine the best brass musicians on Earth. More than 300.000 people grab the chance to listen to over 30 bands. And Boban Marcovic Orkestar are among the winners every time, receiving the “best orchestra” award in 2000 as well as “best trumpet” for the maestro himself in 2001 – his 5th win. It was the first time ever that a musician got the highest mark from every jury member.
The reason for Markovic’s continuing success is evident: He is the best Serbian trumpeter, reinventing “traditional” brass music with injections and adaptations of sounds from around the globe. His music is strongly influenced by the old traditions of the Roma. Just listen to his version of the Jewish classic Hava Naguila and you’ll understand.
The band’s repertoire includes Gypsy grooves, chocheks and other dances, as well as tunes from movies of Emir Kusturica, but also new material, composed exclusively for the band. In a mix of archaic jazz and light and sweet Balkan-brass-sound Markovic became a king in the Balkans and now is one of the VIPs of the region. The band performs on weddings, on open-air-festivals, in music academies or on classical concerts with the same power like the best rock bands.
From the historical sight only the Gypsies kept the country’s tradition of brass music alive, from the times of the Ottoman Empire through Tito’s communist regime, right into Slobodan Milosevic’s infamous reign.
Since Emir Kusturica’s notorious Balkan film Underground (1995), Gypsy-Serbian brass music started to have powerful presence on the world music scene. The blasting of Gypsy brass made the film unforgettable, creating the frantic, surreal atmosphere which the film is famous for. None other than Boban Markovic and his orchestra supplied the most impressive tunes of the soundtrack. Boban Markovic Orkestar have played festivals and concerts throughout Europe.