This year’s 18th Musicport Festival held in the beautiful Yorkshire port of Whitby promises its usual high quality and eclectic line-up.
Confirmed to headline are two acts that have long been on the wish list of the festival organisers, the award winning collective Afro Celt Sound System & poet Benjamin Zephaniah with his dub reggae band The Revolutionary Minds.
Afro Celt Sound System.
Formed by Grammy-nominated musician and record producer Simon Emmerson, Afro Celt Sound System are a European and African based collective who’ve been a ground-breaking force in music ever since they started.
With sales now topping one and a half million albums and two Grammy nominations to date, Afro Celt Sound System celebrated their 20th Anniversary with a stunning new album, ‘The Source’ released in April 2016 on ECC Records described as a “colossus of an album” by fRoots.
‘The Source’ is undoubtedly their most ambitious album yet and one that takes their cross-cultural collaboration and acclaimed live performances to another level. Afro Celt Sound System is a live music spectacle featuring a host of outstanding musicians, every bit as energetic and captivating as the album. They have announced a huge tour for November 2017 with special guests label mates and friends The Dhol Foundation who will themselves release a brand new studio album ‘Basant’ later in the year.
Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah, born and raised in Handsworth Birmingham, was one of the pioneers of the performance poetry scene in Britain, part of the ‘school’ known as the ‘Dub Poets’; who worked alongside reggae music to bring awareness of issues to the wider community.
He has written poetry books for children, adults, and novels for teenagers.
He is also an actor and television presenter, but whatever he does, wherever he goes, his message is one of unity, peace, and expression through creativity.
Much travelled (Over a 22-day period in 1991 he performed on every continent on this planet) he is the only living poet to have performed in North Korea, and he holds 16 honorary doctorates. As well as being a passionate activist he is a visiting professor at De Montfort University, and Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Brunel University.
As well as writing plays for stage, radio, and television, he has managed to keep up a music career that has lasted three decades.
He will be performing at Musicport with his new dub reggae band The Revolutionary Minds.
Most of his own musical recordings fall into the Reggae or Dub Poetry category and he was the first person to record with the Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela. Free South Africa.
With so many political issues to the fore he is bound to have a lot of new material to present in October.
Musicport Festival, held in one indoor venue overlooking the North Sea with 6 stages (and a comedy bus), is widely regarded as a great way to end the festival season and coincides with the October half term for many. With indoor camping as an option, a festival bazaar in the main hall and international food vans it has the outdoor festival vibe but protected from the elements and with lots of activities to participate in as well as acts to see.
Other acts confirmed to perform at Musicport 2017 include :
Kefaya , Maia Barouh (Japan/France) Tcha Limberger’s Kalotaszeg Trio (Hungary) Hardeep Singh Kohli, Andy Kershaw, Hope & Social , Rory McLeod & Familiar Strangers, “Orchestra Of Samples” with Addictive TV, Omar Puente’s Cuban Sextet , Kathakali Theatre Co. (India) Maya Youssef Trio (Syria) , Amaraterra (Italy /UK), Himmerland (Denmark) . Fistful Of Spookies , Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales}, O’Hooley & Tidow, Ribbon Road, Bollywood Jazz Project (UK/India). Grace Petrie, Joanne Harris & the Storytime Band , The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Lightgarden with more still TBC.
In addition to the main festival the festival goes on tour to the surrounding villages on the Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday following the main event. This was a successful innovation in 2016 and makes staying around for a few days even more of an option for visitors as well as extending opportunities for local audiences and for the performers.
Full weekend tickets are currently discounted and priced at £100.
(Day/session tickets will not be available until August)
Tel: 01947 603475 to book or visit; www.musicportfestival.com