Africa Oyé, the UK’s biggest free festival of music and culture from Africa and the Diaspora, has revealed three more acts that will grace the Sefton Park stage in Liverpool this summer.
Sona Jobarteh is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a West African Griot family. Breaking away from tradition, she is a modern day pioneer in an ancient, male-dominated hereditary tradition that has been exclusively handed down from father to son for the past seven centuries. She has modernised the presentation of Kora music bringing a rhythmic edge to her compositions that fits her remarkable voice.
Versatile singer / songwriter/ producer Randy Valentine hails from the countryside of Clarendon in Jamaica. His career has been growing from strength to strength since the release of his debut mixtape Bring Back The Love in 2012 and his R-V-LUTION SUMMER TOUR 2013 was one of the biggest ever tours for a debut reggae artist, seeing him perform over 20 shows in more than 10 different European countries. His second EP Still Pushing was released in 2015, and went straight to the top of the iTunes reggae charts – confirming that Randy is no passing sensation..
Originally from Tongobory in the southwest of Madagascar, Damily is considered as one of pioneers of ‘tsapiky’. This malagasy musical genre traces its origins to the late 1980s when the electric guitar arrived on the island country. Like many young people of the time, Damily was seduced by the instrument and used it to play African and Malagasy traditional tunes with a modern twist, thus creating what came to be known as tsapiky. For almost three decades, Damily and his eponymous band have gone from stage to stage, taking the public on a discovery of their rhythmic and charming music.
Now in its 24th year, Africa Oyé attracted record crowds of around 80,000in 2015 to the two-day, family friendly city event. Already announced for the festival are DR Congo’s genre-bending Mbongwana Star, Ghanian highlife legend Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band and up-and-coming Tanzanian street rumba group, Ifa Band.
The main stage acts will be complemented by the usual eclectic ‘Oyé Village’ featuring an array of foods from across the globe, traders, DJs, dance classes and workshops in the Active Zone, as well as kids entertainment to keep Sefton Park buzzing throughout the festival weekend.
Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said of the latest reveal “It’s great to bring someone of Sonah’s stature to the festival. Not only because of her talent but because of her importance to African music – being the first female professional kora player to come from a Griot family. With Randy Valentine heading up the reggae portion of the line-up and Damily bringing a unique sound, I couldn’t be happier with this announcement.”
Africa Oyé will take place on 18th and 19th June in Sefton Park, from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days. Entrance is free for all. For more information, visit africaoye.com