Tag Archives: London

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

7 Aug

mela_logo_final

Event: London Mela 2013

Venue: Gunnersbury Park, Ealing, London W3

Date:    Sunday 1 September 2013

Time:    1pm – 9.00pm

Entry:   FREE – ALL WELCOME

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 

Falak 

Nafees

Arjun.

Raasmasters feat Absolute Bollywood Dancers 

San2

(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.

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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

Lippi

Charlie Sloth

Pure Music Generals

Steel Banglez presents K&K, Cashtastic & Yungen

Lost Souljah

Arjun

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.

http://www.walktheplank.co.uk/learn-it/projects/spellbound/

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

——-

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

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.

NOTES TO EDITORS

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.

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

Lucha Libre London’s Pre-Xmas Spectacular

24 Feb

London’s
Pre-Xmas Spectacular

Lucha Libre London
The Mythical, Dangerous, Acrobatic
and Heroic World of Mexico’s Masked Men.

Featuring 16 of Mexico’s finest Luchadores including
El Hijo Del Santo & Blue Demon Jr.

Roundhouse
December 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th
Doors @ 7pm with special Family Matinee at 2pm on Sunday December 7th

www.luchalibrelondon.com

Without further ado ladies and gentleman… ready your eyes for they will pop, loosen your jaws for they will drop, get down on your knees and pray for it never to stop… Ladies and gentleman… we present LUUUUCHAAAA LIIIIBREEEE LONNNDDDON!!!!!

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