WOMAD takes to the National Theatre's River Stage this weekend
The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival is in its second year and offers audiences five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from some of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations. The 2017 River Stage Festival sees The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August.
Chris Smith, Global Festival Director of WOMAD, said “WOMAD celebrates diversity, togetherness and sharing cultures across borders so it is perfect for us to collaborate with the NT’s River Stage, showcasing some of the best global acts in the most varied, buzzing and colourful city on the planet. We are delighted to be bringing a splash of colour and the funky festival vibes from WOMAD to central London and to work with such a prestigious institution as the NT”.
Msafiri Zawose, Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator said: "When I'm at WOMAD I feel like I'm on a global journey amongst friends and family. I'm happy to be in a place sharing art with the world and I'm sure this weekend at NT River Stage will be exactly the same.”
Join WOMAD in London for free this weekend 11- 13 August 2017:
Friday 11 August
7.00pm – 8.00pm
Afro Cluster, a Cardiff based band that meld authentic sounds and rhythms of afro-funk and hip-hop with impassioned, politically conscious lyrics atop bold melodies, afro-beat aural acrobatics, rich harmonies and complex rhythms.
Mr Benn ft. Souls Liberation and Bongosan
8.30pm – 10.30pm
Reared on a tasty diet of Aswad, The Specials and King Tubby, 90s hip hop, plenty of jungle and hi-life rhythms, the musical influences behind DJ / producer Mr Benn’s sound are always rooted in a passion for the heavy bass that his home town of Bristol is renowned for.
Saturday 12 August
Jus Dance Workshop
1.00pm – 1.45pm
Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements. The workshops are based around fun and energetic steps leading into a routine at the end of the session.
Beatboxing vocal workshop
2pm – 2.45pm
UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage invites you to join an immersive beatboxing experience where you can learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!
3pm – 3.45pm
Tanzania’s charismatic Gogo innovator Msafiri Zawose and his five-member group draw on dozens of hand-wrought instruments to unfold complex compositions. They turn cyclical pieces into choruses, bridges, and intriguing moments of arresting, tight harmonies. Layers build, repeating elements overlap and turn to grooves.
NIMBA workshop & performance
4 – 5pm
This is an energetic, at times highly acrobatic display of West African dance. The accompanying musicians don’t disappoint either, whether delivering furious percussive work-outs or undulating melodies of the balafon and Fulani flute. Nimba’s focus is on recounting the mythologies and history of Guinea through choreography. It’ll be the most frenetic and physical history lesson you’ve ever sat in on.
5.30pm – 6.30pm
AKA GEORGE is a young, British multi-instrumentalist who writes, sings, produces and above all, performs. From headlining the Silver Hayes stage at Glastonbury to his own packed-out secret gigs around London, this August he brings his reckless, passionate and inspiring stage presence to the River Stage.
Bollywood Brass Band feat. Jyotsna Srikanth: Carnatic Connection
7 – 8pm
The Bollywood Brass Band is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style brass band. The band tours UK, Europe and beyond. Their previous CD (Chaiyya Chaiyya) was nominated for a Songlines Award, and was a Sunday Times top 10 world music album. ‘Joyous…. Electrifying horn riffs and percussion… irresistible’ Sunday Times, ‘Improbably funky’ Songlines.
8.30pm – 9.30pm
Gypsy Hill play an intoxicating mix of Balkan brass, Mediterranean surf rock, ska and swing. Featuring guitars, horns, tuba, a scratch DJ and a mix of live and electronic beats, Gypsy Hill effortlessly mix the traditional with a uniquely modern sound.
9.45pm – 10.45pm
Cal Jader is one of the musical activists, founders and original 'dancehall caballeros' behind Movimientos and Love Carnival. With his trademark blend of red hot 'classico' Latin beats, uptempo carnival rhythms, tropical bass and fresh global sounds, he is helping to soundtrack London's alternative club scene in the UK and Europe.
Sunday 13 August
Jus Dance Workshop
12pm – 12.45pm
Facilitated by Jamaican dancer and choreographer, Ripton Lindsay, these family workshops combine a mix of his traditional Jamaican dance moves as well as reggae, calypso and creative movements.
Beatboxing vocal workshop
1pm – 1.45pm
Join an immersive beatboxing experience with UK beatboxing champion Grace Savage. Learn the basic skills, jam with Grace and even have a go at beatboxing into a microphone and hearing your beats blasting out of an amplifier!
2.15pm – 3.15pm
Hailed as the ‘Diva of the Sudanese desert’ (BBC World News) Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir has been enchanting audiences around the world with an experimental sound inspired by traditional music from her homeland Sudan and anchored in experimental jazz and soul. The result is a unique style of Sudani-Jazz.
3.45pm – 4.45pm
A proven and unstoppable force on the UK music scene for over a decade, Soothsayers have added their mouth-watering afrobeat and dubalicious flavours to an impressive list of festivals, venues and theatres around the world.