Macka.B and The Roots Ragga Band
Macka.B is a British-born Jamaican reggae artist with a career spanning over 30 years. Inspired by artists such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Count Ossie, he has performed alongside Burning Spear, U-Roy, The Wailers, Kool and the Gang, and Lee Perry, and at prominent Jamaican festivals including Reggae Sunsplash and Sting & White River Reggae Bash. He also appeared in front of Nelson Mandela in the National Stadium Kingston, and his 1990 hit ‘Proud of Mandela’ went straight to number one in the Reggae singles chart. Macka.B has appeared on Channel 4 and BBC 2, as well as on French and German television, and his recent albums include Global Messenger (2000), Word, Sound and Power (2004), More Knowledge (2008), Change the World (2012), and Never Played a 45 (2015). More recently, he has become a viral Internet sensation with his ‘Medical Mondays’ and ‘Wha me Eat Wednesdays’ social media posts. He follows the Rastafari faith, which is a central part of his life.
Macka.B’s extensive touring record has previously taken him to Japan, the US, Africa, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, and Poland.
Moushumi Bhowmik, singer, writer and music researcher from Kolkata (Calcutta) sang for us and talked about her art of listening and making music. She was joined by her long-time colleague, British composer and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Weeks. Moushumi sings in Bengali but presents her work in English, with translations of her songs.
This performance drew on Moushumi Bhowmik’s long-standing research project, The Travelling Archive, which shares with readers and listeners selections from a growing collection of folk music of Bengal, recorded in the field by herself and Sukanta Majumdar from 2003.
This event was run in collaboration with the Oxford University Music Faculty as part of their Sounds of South Asia series.
The Chico Pérez Flamenco Band
Chico Pérez is a pianist and composer from Andalusia, Southern Spain. Born into a family of musicians, he quickly developed a passion for music that saw him performing in public from the age of 6. He has complemented his classical training at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Jaén through projects with renowned jazz and flamenco performers such as Jorge Pardo, David Peña Dorantes, and Israel Sandoval.
Since graduating in 2016, he has won various awards, including the 2019 AIEnRUTa-Flamencos prize, and first place in the 2018 COMPOSERS, Creative Music Contest. He is one of the main pianists in the Madrid production of The Lion King and has toured extensively as a solo performer and with several bands, including at the most prestigious flamenco festivals in Spain. In 2018, he was also selected to participate in the Música en Vena Project, bringing music to hospitals across Spain.
Chico Pérez appeared in Oxford playing tunes from his latest album, Gruserías, which sees him weave elements of jazz, blues, and classical music into his Spanish flamenco. Gruserías was recorded at the prestigious Madrid-based Musigrama studio, where flamenco stars such as El Cigala, Niña Pastori, and Paco de Lucía have recorded in the past. He appears alongside Belén Vega (‘cante’ or singing), David Romero (double bass), and Alberto Garrido (percussion), with whom he won the Best Band Award from the Spanish National Radio and Television (RTVE).
Ethnomusicologist and performer Hyelim Kim will perform a taegŭm(Korean flute) recital, accompanied by Cholong Sung on the kayagŭm (Korean zither).
The taegŭm is a Korean traditional bamboo flute, which has been played in Korean court and folk cultures as well as a wide range of contemporary setting. Kim will show the tradition and modernity of Korean music through the unique sounds of this ancient instrument.
As composer and taegŭm (Korean flute) soloist, Kim has been performing professionally since 2000 specialising in traditional repertoire and various cross-over genres. She has produced five recordings and performed numerous solo recitals around the world. She is a regular member of the Third Orchestra (Barbican Centre) and the London-based contemporary band Club Inégales. Based on her belief that Korean heritage can act as an artistic inspiration for the contemporary and cosmopolitan environment of the UK, Kim has set up and leads the music and dance group, the Shilla Ensemble.
Hyelim Kim is also currently a research fellow at the Bath Spa University. She obtained her PhD in ethnomusicology from SOAS in 2014, where her dissertation was on the practice-as-research of Korean traditional music.