Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Brief biogs of some of the acts appearing

A British formed band with a collaboration of African British Caribbean & Irish players, singers, songwriters and producers. The group has been performing together for 5 years on the Real World label, bandleader & Rita  player Juldeh Camara is the 2008 BBC Radio Award winner for ‘World Music Culture-Crossing’ category. A wonderfully talented group of musicians, a treat for the ears.
‘Calaita - flamenco son’ are a 5-piece flamenco group based in Manchester, UK. Calaita are Chico Pere – voice and guitar, Diana Castro – voice, Glenn Sharp – guitar, Leo Paredes – Cajón and Matt Nickson – flute and saxophone. They offer authentic flamenco and their live concerts include traditional styles such as bulerias, alegrias, seguiriyas as well as more comtemporary flamenco rumbas. Calaita display passion and flamenco spirit, energy and spontaneity.
Legendary high-energy dance fusion band Celtarabia are veterans of  Musicport having headlined the very first night back in 2000 and we are delighted to have them back this year for our return to Whitby. Be prepared for a mash-up of styles including ;  Arabic, Andalucian, Celtic, Medieval music and contemporary beats designed toyou’re your body moving. Some of this country’s finest world dance musicians play the wildest cross-over music being made in England today. Featuring Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammered Dulcimer, Vocals, Cittern, African and Arabic Percussion, Drum ki,t Didjeridu and Bass Guitar.
Changing Horses are British Indie-Folk duo Richard Birtill (vocals and guitar) and Francesca Cullen (vocals, violin, mandolin and melodeon). Stylistically taking influence from the psychedelic likes of The Incredible String Band, and the experimental art-punk of The Fall, theirs is a patchwork of off-kilter folk that has drawn in the plaudits from numerous sources.

'One of the biggest new music talents in Britain' (Vogue), Soumik Datta collides with Austrian drummer Bernhard Schimpelsberger. Taking you on a breath taking audio-visual journey through India and Europe, 'Circle of Sound' is the story of how two men leap cultural borders to find a unified language in music.
Darkening Green are Sam Dunkley (Vocals), Rebecca Gross(Vocals), Emily Crossland(Violin) and Ben Wall (Guitar). These four Yorkshire based musicians explore traditional song and contemporary folk. Powerful voices, rich harmony, organic instrumentals combine to create a compelling, vibrant sound.
This project is the vision of Dub Colossus –‘ Dubulah’ – aka Nick Page. Composer, guitarist, bass player and programmer Nick has worked with a long list of notable artists and eccentrics. In 1990 he formed Trans-Global Underground with Tim Whelan and Hammid Man-Tu, produced-wrote-played six albums before leaving in 1997 to form Temple of Sound with Neil Sparkes. Dub Colossus Dub Band are one of the most exciting fusion bands of recent years, thanks to their inventive blend of Ethiopian jazz and traditional styles, dub reggae and atmospheric instrumentals.
Hailed as one of the best folk/reggae bands on the planet, splicing dance tunes of old England with the sunny grooves of reggae and lovers’ rock, Edward II transcended superficial notions of “crossover” to forge a truly original synthesis from their far-flung musical roots.  By finding the shared dancing pulse in the diverse beats they bring together, EII deliver both a genuinely innovative fusion and a brilliant sound.
Country Joe and the Fish was a rock band most widely known for musical protests against the Vietnam War, from 1966 to 1971, and also regarded as a seminal influence on psychedelic rock. THE FORMER MEMBERS compriseof  core members of three bands - BRUCE BARTHOL and DAVID BENNET COHEN (Country Joe & The Fish), ROY BLUMENFELD (The Blues Project) and GREG DOUGLASS (Steve Miller Band). A true psychedelic blues super group!
"This ain’t just music - this is history!"
Hailing from a long  family lineage of musicians and sharing his life between Jaipur and Paris, Hameed Khan Kawa, a tabla maestro and artistic director of Musafir, has known the sound of the brass band since his birth. In its native place, Rajasthan, the brass band is a feature of life itself. Exposed to different musical styles – jazz, Western traditional music, Indian music – Hameed developed the idea of creating a brass band of his own to present the fantastic sound of the Indian Brass Band.  With elaborate rhythms and virtuoso improvisations this spectacular group of authentic Rajastanhi gypsies present a wild repertoire, from traditional Indian classics to popular Bollywood movies hits.
Julie Murphy has a beautiful and unique voice,  singing in Welsh and English, she performs in the Welsh band Fernhill, as well as performing and recording as a solo artist.She has also collaborated musically with John Cale (performing with him in the film ‘Beautiful Mistake’), and Afro Celt Sound System (in a duet with Robert Plant). Moving and plaintive, what a talent.
From many inspirations, times and traditions: Russian, Finnish, Mongolian overtone chanting, Greek, Bulgarian, Persian and Western European. Visiting, revisiting, and discovering new treasures. A unique acoustic music ensemble, LightGarden are David Moss: singing/overtone chanting, bouzouki, fiddle, Masha Kastner: harmonium, singing/overtone chanting, piano, Rob Colquhoun: guitar, singing, mandolin.
Maggie Boyle is a traditional singer. Through her ballads, old and new, she continues the tradition of music and storytelling passed on by her Irish family. Now living in Yorkshire, she was born in London where she sang and played from an early age.  Brought up in the musically vibrant London-Irish community of the 60s and 70s, she and her brothers got the music from their father. Accompanied today by Paul Downes on guitar.
Maia are a 4 piece alternative, acoustic band from Huddersfield playing all sorts of disco sci-fi folk pop (not really sure what that is!) on the Ukulele, Cajon, Trumpet, Banjo, Mandolin and whatever else is lying around! They have supported Anais Mitchell on tour and played numerous festivals since their invention in 2010, they released their first album in a wooden sleeve! Check them out…

Modeste is an award winning Malagasy singer songwriter and guitarist whose music is rooted in his hometown of Betroka in the Central Southern region of Madagascar. His music is a unique blend of traditional Malagasy sounds influenced by softer South African dance rhythms, creating beautiful melodies & rhythms with hypnotic guitar playing and vocals.
A match made in heaven: The younger daughter of the Tilston-Boyle music dynasty and the guitarist from Merseyside rock band The Coral. Molly Jones and Lee Southall produce thought-provoking, melodic and unbelievably catchy songs linking acoustic folk, blues and beyond. They met in Liverpool and set up home near Hebden Bridge and have been playing gigs together since 2012.
Frontrunners of the new British acoustic scene, their charismatic, idiosyncratic brand of modern folk music – which incorporates elements of prog-rock, indie, classical, jazz and blues has enthralled festival crowds. Members of the band have recently performed and/or recorded with Mumford & Sons, Seasick Steve, John Paul Jones, Paloma Faith, Bonobo and Paul Heaton of The Beautiful South. Ex-Moulette Ted Dwane, now of Mumford & Sons returned to the fold in summer 2011 to help record the band’s second album, The Bear’s Revenge, out now and garnering excellent reviews from the likes of The Guardian, FT and Q, Songlines and R2 magazines amongst others. Their  entrancing combination of strings and the celestial; wind and weirdness; rhythm and murder has lead to comparisons with The Unthanks, Tom Waits and Shostakovitch. But, they have a sound and presence all of their own.
Blessed with a sense of humour, sensibility and proclaimed as the best act at Cambridge Folk Festival 2012 by The Guardian (oh yes!) these two gentlewomen of Golcar (Huddersfield) are stealing the limelight after many years of hard work. Belinda has played with Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Jackie Oates, Nic Jones, Chumbawamba and  Lucy Ward. Expect cheeky northern banter, haunting melodies, dark folk tales, dapper waistcoats, observant lyrics and some Abba tunes (only joking!). Their debut album ‘Silent June’ was voted in the top 10 best Folk Albums of 2010 in Mojo magazine.  Their latest album ‘The Fragile’ was released in February this year to rave reviews.
Three continents, one groove that’s Rafiki. Sure, there might be huge geographical distances between their many places of origin, but this is a collective that's dispensed with both map and rulebook, in the process finding sizeable musical common ground and shared traditions. While region-specific instruments are to the fore - a ripple of kora here, a rumble of steelpan there - it all makes sense; the kind of unforced, effortlessly natural cultural collaboration to strike fear into the nearest BNP supporter. Rafiki Jazz are;  Rosie brown (UK): vocals, Catherine Carr (UK): steel pans, guitar, vocals, Kadialy Kouyate (Senegal): Kora, vocals, Surahata Susso (Gambia): kora, percussion, vocals, Guery Tibirica (Brazil): berimbau, percussions, capoeira, Tony Bowring (UK): bass guitar, arrangements, John Ball (UK): tabla, derbuka.

Born in Manchester (UK) and brought up in Kuwait, Palestinian singer, teacher and broadcaster Reem Kelani has worked with some of the best British Jazz musicians introducing them to and training them in Arabic music. She has a very impressive CV including work on many prestigious international music projects, commissions and nominations. She is a wonderful communicator and expressive singer. She is currently working on her next album, a tribute to the great Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish (1892 – 1923), which she hopes to release in 2012, it’s been eight years in the making and countless field trips to Egypt, Syria and Turkey as part of her research, it will be well worth the wait.
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso from a prestigious West African Griot family, coming from a long line of hereditary musicians. She is the granddaughter of the master Griot Amadu Bansang Jobarteh and cousin to the celebrated Kora maestro Toumani Diabaté. As a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and producer Sona works with many musicians from around the world. Beautiful to watch and such a wonderfully soothing sound. She is joined by an extremely talented band.
It may not be as well known as the sitar, but the Indian Sarod is one of the most versatile and exhilarating instruments in the world. British-based Bengali player Soumik Datta (Circle of Sound) shows how it can be used to create varied contemporary styles.
Sura (Surahata) Susso was born in a griot family in Bakoteh, Western Gambia. He started his lifelong study of the Kora (African harp) and a range of other percussion instruments at an early age. The family household (his brother is Seikou Keita) was constantly filled with music - his musical immersion in such a natural environment growing up as a child provided the solid foundations for his musical development - the invaluable knowledge learned organically, as well as the freedom to express himself musically.
Gary Hammond (Percussion) & Sam Pirt (Accordion) are firm Musicport favourites and are constantly gaining a reputation as one of the most entertaining acts to appear on the folk scene in a long while. In their surprisingly engaging and often hilarious show, they perform a truly unique high-octane blend of folk music from around the world - perfectly formed & embellished with a foot stomping accordion and mind-boggling array of exotic percussion (with some Quebecois foot percussion & dancing thrown in for good measure too!).  A hugely entertaining duo getting unbelievable feedback from audiences, festival organizers and music press alike.
Maria and Benny have a remarkable personal story, and a little-reported struggle out in the south-west Pacific. Benny is from West Papua, on the island of New Guinea, a territory that was annexed by Indonesia after a bitterly disputed referendum in 1969. He is the former leader of a tribal assembly of the Lani people, and was jailed for 25 years for supporting the independence movement. But he managed to escape across the jungle to neighbouring Papua New Guinea, where he was reunited with Maria; they were granted asylum in the UK, where they recorded their latest album. Benny has recently been in the news after Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest (now withdrawn). Benny plays the acoustic guitar while Maria plays ukulele. Their gentle, mournful harmony vocals are matched by melodies that echo western folk and gospel.
Two Man Ting was formed in 2004, when Jon Lewis and Jah-man Aggrey were working together in world/dance band Le Cod Afrique, performing at the likes of WOMAD, Montreux Jazz Festival and Glastonbury. Since then, the duo has been performing regularly throughout the UK, and particularly on the Festival circuit. Recent arts centre shows have included support slots for Mali desert-blues legends, Tinariwen  and one of our favourites  Muntu Valdo.


You know we mean business when we start recruiting volunteers for the festival - so it's time for me to concentrate and get some info out to people who have helped us over the years, and see who's up for coming again.
This is my public resolution - it will get done today!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Only 8 weeks to go until Musicport 2012 - slightly scaled back (but not much) and with some excellent acts and all back in its former home at Whitby Pavilion - we'll try and keep you posted re the acts and the programme over the next few weeks