Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lizzie Ogle

We're featuring today our great Scottish violinist performing at Sahara Nights.

Lizzie Ogle is a violinist, singer and percussionist who first visited the Saharawi refugee camps in 2007. She plays celtic-influenced alt-folk music in a band called Blue Rose Code, who has just been on a UK tour and are about to release a debut album, and she plays (and learns) a style of roots music from the north-east of Brazil called maracatu. Collaborating with Saharawi musicians in the camps remains a seminal experience for her as a musician. She also currently works as a Peaceworker for Quaker Peace and Social Witness.

This is a video of Blue Rose Code with Lizzy as violinist

More info:
Blue Rose Code:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dan Tsu

Our incredible word master for Sahara Nights is our next feature:

Dan Tsu (aka ‘Killa Dan’ or ‘Tat Yin’) is an event producer, promoter, workshop leader, poet, MC and DJ – as well as Artistic Director and Founder of Lyrix Organix. Simultaneously defying pigeon-holes and common-sense, he has spent the last 16 years on microphones, turntables and stages trampling a dusty path on a voyage of musical misadventure.

A refreshing and versatile wordsmith that is carving his own niche on the Spoken Word circuit, Dan paints lyrical pictures with fire in his belly and ice on his tongue. Clever wordplay, wry humour and powerful stage presence combine to deliver an insight into the skewed mind of a twisted soul. Drawing influences from Hip Hop to Folk, he traverses political, natural and abstract landscapes in search of answers… but finds only more questions. (Info from Lyrix Organix website)

More on Dan Tsu and Lyrix Organix:
Twitter: @LyrixOrganix

Monday, 28 May 2012

Suilma Aali

Today we are featuring another great artist from Sahara Nights.

Hispano-Saharawi singer and guitarist Suilma Aali doesn't remember devoting herself to anything else but music. Since she was very young, she led different junior rock, soul and funk bands and throughout her career she has played with some of the most talented Spanish artists, such as Rosana and Nacho Campillo. She has just released her first solo album, Aali, a series of ten very intimate and personal pieces mixing reggae, nu soul, pop and jazz. The album has been completely self-produced under the advice of Jorge García and Nico Roca, the percussionist who will be accompanying Suilma at Sahara Nights. Even though not in a very obvious musical way, Suilma is committed to her Saharawi roots and has performed at numerous events in support of her people's culture and right to self-determination.

Further info:
Twitter: @SuilmaAali

Friday, 25 May 2012

Ruby and the Vines

We continue with our mini features on the artists participating @ Sahara Nights.

Ruby and the Vines, fronted by vocalist/bassist Binisa Bonner, fuse influences as diverse as rock, jazz, afro-beat and reggae. The line-up is completed by guitarist Greg Sanders and drummer Ben Assiter, who complement Binisa's soulful, frank vocal delivery and deftly melodic bass lines with a meticulous groove. Binisa comes from a mixed English/Congolese background and grew up in multicultural Brixton, London. As a singer - with vocal training in jazz, pop and South African singing - Binisa has a distinctive approach to songwriting with compositions originating from melodic use of the bass. Ben and Greg, both also Londoners, have backgrounds in many different styles of music from funk and ska through to hip-hop, jazz and beyond. They have one album on the market, Red Storm, and are working on their next one. (Info from MySpace).

More info about Ruby and the Vines:

Twitter: @rubyandthevines

Sahara Nights on Songlines!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Aziza Brahim

We're doing mini features of our wonderful artistic line-up @ Sahara NightsAnd we're starting with fantastic Saharawi singer and percussionist Aziza Brahim.

Aziza Brahim © Djogo Niemeyer

Aziza is regarded one of the most talented musical voices from Western Sahara. She was born in the Saharawi refugee camps, but spent many years studying in Cuba. This influenced her music, an innovative blend of traditional Saharawi hawl, West African rhythms and Latin Jazz. Singing in Hassania, the native language of her homeland, and Spanish, Aziza has been a great ambassador for the Saharawi cause, dedicating all her singing to her people. Many of her songs are influenced by the breath-taking poetry of her grandmother, Lkhadra Mabruk. Aziza’s new album, Mabruk, which will be released in June, is an homage to her and her great labour as commentator of the 16 years of Saharawi. This is a video of single "La tierra derrama lágrimas."

Further info about Aziza:

Monday, 21 May 2012

May 2012
PRESS RELEASE: for immediate release

Sahara Nights:
Ken Loach endorses small charity’s ambitious LONDON launch of Studio-Live, a project aiming to give forgotten Saharawi refugees a voice through music

Date: June 6, 2012, 7:00pm-10:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Venue: Studio-Theatre, Roundhouse, London  Tickets: £15-25

“Studio-Live is a great idea. The music of the Saharawi’s will inspire many to take up their cause and also enjoy their performances. Good luck to the project” Ken Loach (Sandblast Patron)

On June 6, 2012, the Roundhouse Studio-Theatre will be transported to the Sahara under a canopy of authentic tent material made by Saharawi refugee women, hosting a spectacular line-up of live music and spoken word acts, supporting music-making for freedom. Featuring special guest artist Aziza Brahim from Western Sahara, the event launches Sandblast’s ambitious music empowerment project  Studio-Live. The initiative aims to engage UK-based musicians, producers, technicians, and music industry specialists in building a Saharawi music industry from scratch in the refugee camps in the Algerian desert.