Tag Archives: Live music

Something for everyone at London Mela: live music, dance, visual arts and food!

7 Aug


Event: London Mela 2013

Venue: Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London W3

Date:    Sunday 1 September 2013

Time:    1pm – 9.00pm


Nearest Tube: Acton Town

Information: www.londonmela.org / www.london.gov.uk

Media wishing to attend must register for accreditation in advance – email
Gerry Lyseight: gerry@glpr.co.uk

The London Mela – Europe’s largest outdoor south Asian festival – returns to Gunnersbury Park, Acton, on Sunday 1 September. Last year’s Mela was a creative triumph spectacularly celebrating the events tenth edition on the hottest day of a golden 2012 summer. This year the festival is set to be even bigger and better than ever, with nine zones including The Main Stage, The BBC Asian Network Mix Tent, The Classical Stage, The Magic Mela Family Area, spectacular Outdoor Arts performances, Tastes of South Asia Food market, Funfair, craft and exhibitors market, plus a new sports area featuring Skype Cricket Nets and Sporting Equals.

Free, family-friendly and universally loved, the London Mela is produced by Ealing and Hounslow Councils and supported by the Mayor of London, with BBC Asian Network a major partner for the 8th successive year. Featuring a huge variety of artists from around the world as well as a plethora of homegrown acts, the London Mela truly has something for everyone.

Main Stage:

Hosted by BBC Asian Network presenters Tommy Sandhu, Noreen Khan, Bobby Friction and Suzi Mann. Highlights of the bill include:

AS Kang.

Bally Sagoo 




Raasmasters feat Absolute Bollywood Dancers 


(please scroll down for biographies)

Classical Stage:

On the Classical Stage – supported by the British Heart Foundation and compered by Ashanti Omkar – there will be performances celebrating Asian communities’ heritage, This year’s Classical stage is honoured to host the Philharmonia Orchestra performing with Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan, and conducted by David Murphy, who recently conducted the World Premiere of the Symphony by Ravi Shankar at the Royal Festival Hall.


Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan

This is a new presentation of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s “Samaagam”* produced especially for the London Mela and performed by composer’s two sons Amaan and Ayaan. Amaan and Ayaan are masters of the lute-like Sarod and are the 5th generation in a family of musicians who claim their ancestor, Mohammad Hashmi Khan Bangash, invented the instrument. Amaan and Ayaan have also presented the Indian talent show Sa Re Ga Ma and recorded fusion and world albums. Like Vanessa Mae they have a celebrity profile to go with their virtuosity.

*Meaning confluence, or ‘coming together’, Samaagam is based on ragas for the different season of the year and explores the common roots of the music of India and the West.

BBC Asian Network New Music:

Hosted by Nihal, Yasser and Kan-D-Man and Limelight


Charlie Sloth

Pure Music Generals

Steel Banglez presents K&K, Cashtastic & Yungen

Lost Souljah


Specialist DJs: Yasser, Panjabi Hit Squad, Kan-D-Man & Limelight

Outdoor Arts:

Nukhut celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the award-winning arts company with 10 larger than life characters, celebrating each year of the company’s involvement with the Mela since its inception, animating the open spaces of the event with a specially choreographed dance piece.

Nutkhut’s latest show – Swyron – A Vedic meets Victoriana inspired, Steampunk super sleuth, will make its UK Mela Premier at this year’s event.

Spellbound (a.k.a Rama and Sita)

created by Walk the Plank

The Classical Stage plays host to a spectacular finale presented by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank

Spellbound is a thrilling tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and daring told through shadow theatre – a modern take on shadow play using real life, local performers in place of puppetry.  Inspired by the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, the story follows the destiny of soon-to-be King Rama and Queen Sita, and the twist of fate that sees their future placed in peril. A fusion of traditional dance, theatre, pyrotechnics and fiery special effects guarantees Spellbound will provide a spectacular conclusion to the London Mela’s 11th Edition.


Follow #Spellbound on Twitter

Magic Mela (by Emergency Exit Arts with Hounslow Youth Service) –

For children and the forever young there is Magic Mela – in association with Emergency Exit Arts – a delightful, interactive space where visitors can experience the magic of the Family Area, Tastes of South Asia Food market, Funfair, craft market, exhibitors, Skype Cricket Nets, Sporting Equals.

The London Mela Fashion Show – join us for an exclusive preview of the Neishaa Gharat For Oxfam collection.

Oxfam Tent, 1.30pm, 4pm and 6pm.

Global Local

Long time friends of the London Mela bring their typically diverse selection of live bands to the party.

Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra says:This year’s London Mela offers one of the most ambitious and authentic arts programmes across the UK Mela sector. As an artistically led festival, firmly rooted in the community, we are proud of the unique way in which audiences, artist and participants, alongside our funders and sponsors, all come together and celebrate.

Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council says: “Last year saw record numbers attend this fantastic event in Gunnersbury Park and Ealing Council is proud to be a co-host once again. The London Mela provides a great opportunity for all people in the community to come together to discover the best of south Asian arts and culture.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: “I am delighted to support this great London event, which in exuberant style showcases the huge variety of Asian arts and culture. We may be approaching the end of the summer, but the London Mela always delivers a sizzling day out for Londoners of all ages and from all backgrounds.”

Cllr Jagdish Sharma, Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow, says: “As home to one of the most culturally diverse communities in London, the London Borough of Hounslow is delighted to once again welcome the London Mela to Gunnersbury Park.  Last year’s 10th anniversary event proved that the London Mela is now a well- established event for the capital, highlighting everything that’s good about South Asian culture and the important role it now plays in the everyday lives of Londoners in general.“

Mark Strippel, Head of Music and Events, BBC Asian Network, says: “BBC Asian Network are bringing another fantastic music line-up to the London Mela Main Stage with sets from our DJ’s in our Mix Tent. We’ll be getting our London listeners involved in our live broadcast on the day and presenting highlights on BBC TV Red Button.”

Public information is available at www.londonmela.org



For media enquiries – including details about press accreditation on the day – please contact: Gerry Lyseight, gerry@glpr.co.uk / 020 7095 8146 (number not for publication).

For BBC Asian Network media enquiries, please contact Andrew Francis at andrew.francis@bbc.co.uk

For more details on the artists and hi-res photos, click here.


Main Stage:

Hosted by BBC Asian Network presenters Tommy Sandhu, Noreen Khan, Bobby Friction and Suzi Mann. Highlights of the bill include:

AS Kang is undoubtedly one of the biggest stars in the Punjabi music scene and the only Punjabi singer to have hit songs in 5 consecutive decades as well as being the first UK-based Punjabi artist to break into the Indian Market.

He has just released his first album for over 10 years ‘The Maestro’ produced by heavyweight Bhangra producer, Sukshinder Shinda

Bally Sagoo is regarded as one of the pioneers of the British Asian Music scene. His Bollywood remixes (Chura Liya, Mera Laung Gawacha) are refix classics and his collaboration with Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on the album ‘Magic Touch’ brought him international fame. He was the first Indian to be playlisted on National Radio, when “Chura Liya” was played on BBC Radio 1, and went on to tour India with Michael Jackson on the HIStory Tour.

Falak hails from Karachi, Pakistan and his debut single Rog was a massive hit. In 2012 he featured on the soundtrack for the film ‘7 Welcome to London’ receiving critical praise for his song ‘Tera Saath Ho’. He continued his success in 2013 by lending his voice to Bollywood films: I, Me Aur Main, Nautanki Saala and I love NY.

Nafees released his debut single ‘Mehmaan’ in 2011 which was massive. He followed this success by releasing ‘Bukhaar’ which went straight to Number 1 in the Official Asian Download Chart. His singles ‘Dua’ and  ‘Teri Yaadon Mein’ remain favourites. His new release “Sazaa” sees him teaming up with Mumzy Stranger.

Arjun Singer-songwriter and producer Arjun was born in Sri Lanka and moved to the UK when he was 4 years old. From an early age, he learned to play the piano, guitar, saxophone and drums. He won Best Urban Act at the UK Asian Music Awards and is most famous for his singles “Run Away” and “Vampire” which features Raxstar.

Raasmasters feat Absolute Bollywood Dancers Raas Masters is a collaboration between a team of UK producers and Indian singers and musicians led by UK Producer Jkeyz and India’s Harish Patel. They call their genre of Gujarati dance pop music – G POP or Gujji Pop

Their name is derived from “Raas” the traditional Indian folk dance performed with sticks.

San2 At the age of 22 years old, San2 came from nowhere. His debut track ‘Nayo Lagda’ went straight to number 1 in the ITUNES world chart with its soulful qawwali vibe.

The London Mela takes place in Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London W3 on Sunday 1 September from 1pm to 8.30pm.  Nearest underground is Acton Town. The park is in the Boroughs of Hounslow (although owned by both Ealing and Hounslow Boroughs), and is one of the largest green spaces in west London. The event is free and open to all.

The London Mela is produced by Ealing Council, and supported by the Mayor of London and London Borough of Hounslow.  Other partners include BBC Asian Network. The main sponsor this year is Skype with British Heart Foundation and Oxfam as charity partners.

BBC Asian Network is a national digital radio station providing speech and music appealing to anyone interested in British Asian lifestyles. The station broadcasts the best in Bollywood and Bhangra music, as well as R’n’B and Hip Hop and British Asian Underground. The Asian Network also broadcasts news, discussion programmes, documentaries and reflects British Asian arts and culture. You can listen to the Asian Network online (bbc.co.uk/asiannework), via DAB radio, on digital TV and via the BBC Radio Player.

Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to meet’, which is used to describe all sorts of community celebrations and festivals in the Asian subcontinent.

13.2% of London’s population is Asian [2001 census], making up more than one in eight Londoners. The London Borough of Ealing has one of the largest Asian communities in London (24% – 73,851). Hounslow has 24.7%, Brent has 27.8% and Harrow has 29.7% of its population as Asian – all neighbours of Ealing.

For more details on the artists and hi-res photos, click here.

Oscar D’Leon & his full Venezuelan big band – Roundhouse, 3rd November

26 Jun

Oscar D’Leon

+ his full Venezuelan big band


Plus DJs:

Javier La Rosa (Cuba)

Johnny G (Colombia)

Jose Luis (Venezuela)

Lubi (Gallo del Norte)

Dr Jim (Londres del Norte)

Rich (Londres del Sur)

“A hero of the Latin diaspora” Evening Standard ****

Saturday 3 November 8.30pm until 1am


Chalk Farm Road



Tickets: £25 in advance – 0844 482 8008 / roundhouse.org.uk

Also Ticketmaster, Ticketweb & SEE Tickets

The return of Oscar D’Leon ,“El Sonero Mayor”, to London promises to be the stand-out Salsa event of the autumn. Oscar brings his full Venezuelan band and is supported by a galactic line-up of salsa DJs for a special night on the Roundhouse’s huge dancefloor.

Oscar D’Leon is an enduring giant of Salsa and a legendary live on-stage party-starter. In his previous visit to the Roundhouse 4 years ago he roared through a two and a half hour set that encompassed much of his incomparable back catalogue – amassed throughout the years he worked with/fronted previous bands such as “La Dimensión Latina”, “La Salsa Mayor” and “La Crítica”; as well as from his own stellar solo career – and, if that weren’t enough, his epic live show encompasses Colombian cumbia and sundry Latin classics ensuring that his appeal is truly pan-Caribbean (“… a hero of the Latin diaspora… Evening Standard ****).

Accordingly, Oscar is also known as the ‛Sonero del Mundo’, and the most Cuban of all non-Cuban singers, while his readily acknowledged influences include Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Orquesta Aragón, Benny Moré, Willie Colón and, especially, Celia Cruz.

He was born Oscar Emilio León Somoza. He grew up in the Caracas neighbourhood of Etamin where he began to show an interest in percussion instruments and singing at social activities as a young child. His capacity to improvise, the texture of his voice and his intense love for the music, make Oscar D’Leon a born ‘sonero’ in the best Latin tradition.

Alongside the influences of the great masters of Cuban music added inspiration flowed from the New York sound of the 60′s, notably Eddie Palmieri and the Fania generation. Besides being a great sonero, Oscar D’Leon is an extraordinary showman, an entertainer who takes charge of the stage and who moves with the ease of a professional dancer.

Oscar D’Leon has recorded more than 50 albums, gained many gold discs, and received numerous award and honours. In November 2007 his album “Fuzionando”, on which he collaborated with young Reggaeton stars such as Tego Calderón; and “El Caballero de la Salsa” (The Gentleman of Salsa) Gilberto Santa Rosa, won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Tropical album. Oscar has toured over 100 countries on all continents and performed before sold-out audiences in the most famous venues in the world, including New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

for all media enquires please contact gerry lyseight: 020 7095 8146 / gerry@glpr.co.uk / http://www.gerrylyseight.co.uk

A Moment of Mishearing by Amit Chaudhuri

23 Nov

ART & ADVENTURE in collaboration with TARA present

 A Moment of Mishearing by Amit Chaudhuri

A live musical stage show featuring Amit Chaudhuri with The Amit Chaudhuri Band


‘We’re used to intellectual, arty Westerners like David Byrne, Paul Simon or Brian Eno doing fusion records; here’s a Calcutta-born equivalent, and as good as any of them.’ Songlines


An all-new, 90 minute eclectic, high-production-value stage show marrying the musical and literary ideas of the acclaimed Indian writer and musician Amit Chaudhuri.

Amit Chaudhuri has written and published five novels, three works of non-fiction, a volume of poetry and he is the editor of the Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature. His literary work has won major awards in Britain, the USA and India. He has released three albums of Hindustani classical music in India and two acclaimed albums on the Babel Label in the UK with The Amit Chaudhuri Band – ‘This is Not Fusion’ and ‘Found Music’, which he has toured in the UK, India, Germany, France, China, Denmark, Dubai and the USA


‘Upsettingly multi-talented.’ Martha Kearney, The Review Show BBC 2

‘A real 360 degree renaissance geezer.’ Bobby Friction BBC Asian Network

‘Captivating and deeply idiosyncratic… a quirky, one-of-a-kind, little piece of magic.’ allaboutjazz.com


A Moment of Mishearing is a fully staged production based on Amit Chaudhuri’s ‘A Moment of Mishearing’, a ‘Between The Ears’ for BBC Radio 3, broadcast in November 2010.


‘Inspirational’ The Sunday Times

‘Beautifully written’ The Financial Times

‘Strange, enticing confluences’. The Independent




University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui make London debut

23 Nov

“The musicianship was spare, tight and ruthlessly effective” … “In Gnawa ceremonies, the adepts are moved to dance their troubles away as they whirl to the rising power of the music. At WOMAD, the audience responded in similar though untutored fashion, transported, albeit for a few minutes, to another realm.” http://www.theartsdesk.com

University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui

Out Now
General Pattern

“There’s not only passion aplenty but a lifetime of curiosity and learning on this debut album. The erudite Sahmaoui has mixed together his own Gnawa culture, his passion for all things rootsy and west African, his love of jazz and a penchant for the gutsy pile-driving rhythms that were ONB’s (Orchestre National de Barbès) signature, into an intelligent coherent whole.” Songlines ****
Daily Telegraph
FT ****
“… a thrilling debut.”  The Observer
Album of the Week The Independent
“Warmly recommended”. fRoots
“The album is an intoxicating affair, visceral and groove-centric yet also nuanced and multilayered.” Allaboutjazz.com
Echoes ****

The debut album, University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui, was produced by Martin Meissonnier, a man of impeccable taste who has previously shared his talents with the likes of   Don Cherry, Khaled, Manu Dibango, King Sunny Ade, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Seun Kuti.

The main man, multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist, Aziz Sahmaoui, featured on the first two albums from Orchestre National de Barbès as well as alongside the undeniably great Joe Zawinul in his Zawinul Syndicate for 6 years (Zawinul’s previous includes a stint with Miles Davis recording In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew; and as a founder member of Weather Report). NB the University of Gnawa’s version of Weather Report’s “Black Market”.

Aziz grew up in Marrakesh at the centre of the cultural melting pot provided by the multifarious tribes of Morocco. There he absorbed the traditional music and emerging sounds from the new Moroccan scene: Nass el Ghiwane, amaziria music, chaabi and especially the music of the healing Gnawa masters.

With several African musicians in the band, Sahmaoui is taking Gnawa music back to its roots in Guinea or Ghana although most of the band are from Senegal most notably guitarist Hervé Samb, Alioune Wade – long-standing bass player for Ismaël Lo, and Cheikh Diallo on keyboards and kora.

University of Gnawa is a great CD as well as a stunning live experience.

University of Gnawa ft. Aziz Sahmaoui
December 6th
Kemia Bar
Momo Restaurant 25 Heddon Street,
London W1B 4BH
Doors at 9.00
on stage at 9.30
Free admission