The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. I will be playing a benefit gig in Sweden on 29 November, with profits from the concert going to an existing project in West Africa to fight against Ebola Virus. Please spread the word!
We follow in the footsteps of some pretty legendary artists when we play Joe’s Pub, New York on 23rd Sept – Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Richard Thompson, Paloma Faith, Youssou N’Dour, Prince, Angelique Kidjo, Dolly Parton, and Norah Jones to name
The Astar family were out in full force this week as WOMAD sold all 40,000 tickets for the first time at Charlton Park.
Catrin & Seckou played a blinder in the early hours of Saturday morning. Don’t take our word for it… here is what the papers said.
“Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, a collaboration as delightful as it is unlikely. Finch, a Welsh harpist, was lined up a few years ago to play a tour with Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté, and warmed up by rehearsing with his Senegalese counterpart Keita. Diabaté eventually showed up mere hours before the first of those concerts, and though he was there for the tour, Finch felt a closer connection with Keita. They carried on working together and last year released an album of duets, Clychau Dibon, that proved a surprise hit.
Here, the blend of Manding and Welsh material finally stilled the buzz of chatter around the edge of the tent. They listened intently to each other, nodding and smiling as the songs took shape. They duelled playfully on “Future Strings”, Finch plucking ascending chords and running 47-string-long glissandi in a way that is hard for a kora to emulate, though Keita tried; when she knocked rhythms on the frame of her harp, his echo on the gourd of the kora was resonant and strong. The centrepiece of the set, as of the album, was “Robert Ap Huw Meets Nialing Sonko”: in the second half, when Finch took up the dancing Casamance pattern with her right hand, plucking the occasional bass string with her left, the whole tent held its breath.” Financial Times
“Following Thompson after midnight was the mellifluous award-winning sound of the kora and harp of Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch, as gorgeous as it is on record” Independent
Pour ce show aussi musical qu’interactif, Doug Manuel s’est entouré de musiciens de grande classe, dont le Sénégalais Seckou Keita, qui manie aussi bien les percussions que les sonorités cristallines de la kora.
This, I suspect, will be remembered as one of the classic concerts of the year. It was the first London appearance of the celebrated young classical harpist Catrin Finch, and Seckou Keita, the finest British-based exponent of the African harp, the kora
Robin Denselow The Guardian
Seckou has a track featured in the new dance craze app Dancetag… (Twitter for dancers!)
Anyone with a smartphone can play. Download the app, choose one of the 30 second pieces of music (including Seckou’s) and then tag interesting places by filming yourself dancing there, and then share your video. You can choose to play just for fun or you can challenge others and become dance champion of your favourite place.
For more info go to http://www.dancetagapp.com/
Catrin and Seckou’s album will be released in the US via Sterns/Forced Exposure on the 13th May http://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/AAR.025CD.html
We are delighted to have learned that we have won Songlines Magazine Best Cross-Cultural Collaboration Award 2014.
More than 8,000 Songlines readers from 65 different countries voted for the awards shortlist, with the editorial board deciding the final winners. The magazine celebrates its 100th edition with the issue announcing the awards.
Songlines Awards Youtube trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDXwG7M5oV0
From the review by Robin Denselow in the Guardian of Salif Keita at the Barbican (London) April 2014 with Seckou supporting.
“Seckou Keita, who opened the show, is a British-based kora player who recorded one of the finest albums of last year with the Welsh harpist Catrin Finch. Here playing solo, he sang well and provided the most delicate and hypnotic instrumental work of the night.”