The London Tango 4tet
Friday 11th May, 7pm, The Barn, St John’s College Oxford
The London Tango Quartet is the small lineup of the Orchestra which is the largest tango group in the UK, a real ‘orquestra tipica’ uniting leading UK tango musicians with players from Argentina. The orchestra was founded in 2009 by Caroline Pearsall and is first of its kind in the UK.
The quartet performs music from the rich repertoire of tango, old and new, sharing its love of tango music, and promoting Argentine culture in the UK through concerts, dances (milongas), workshops and cultural exchanges with tango musicians from Europe and Argentina. Their performances so far include the Purcell Room in the South Bank Centre, Reading and Cheltenham Tango Festivals, Flipside Festival, Helmsley Arts Centre, St James Church in Piccadilly, Ignite Concert Series at the Royal Albert Hall, the City of London Festival, Union Chapel, The Forge, Lets Tango UK and the Halle Tango Festival in Germany. They were part of a tango documentary filmed by the BBC in 2012 and several members recently appeared on the ITV series Mr Selfridge II. They will be playing in Rhosygilwen Music and Arts Venue in Pembrokeshire later this year.
The Oxford Gamelan Society
Sunday 3rd June, 2.30pm, The Auditorium, St John’s College Oxford
The Oxford Gamelan Society, one of the UK’s longest established community groups, join with Lilabhawa, an Indonesian dance company based in the UK, to bring a programme of dance and music from the palaces and villages of Java.
Gamelan is the name given to the famous bronze orchestras of the islands of Java and Bali in the Indonesian archipelago. The music has bewitched composers, musicologists and performers from the West for well over a century. It is music of fascinating discipline and spontaneous creativity, an interactive game for up to twenty-five players with no composer. The sound is enchanting, mellifluous and joyful. It is by turns serene and playful, refined and exciting. The music is complex yet easily accessible, with interlocking rhythms, layers of melodies, and rippling textures. In Java, gamelan music is a vital component of celebrations and rituals that punctuate life, and is most often experienced in conjunction with other performing arts including dance and shadow puppetry.
Tunde Jegede, ‘In the Stillness of Memory’
Monday 11th June, 7pm, The Auditorium, St John’s College Oxford
In times past, griots traditionally travelled from village to village to sit at the seat of learning, embracing the cradle of music and the wisdom of perception. In the same spirit, the 21st century griot travels from continent to continent in the pursuit of truth and the quest for knowledge. For, in the the 21st century the world has become a village.
World-renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora virtuoso Tunde Jegede brings a new vision to contemporary African and Western classical music. A renaissance man of the harp-lute with over twenty years experience, his work is a unique synthesis of classical, jazz and traditional music and embodies the legacy of the idiom, African Classical Music.
Tunde Jegede’s work has changed the face of classical and contemporary music in Europe and Africa. He studied both Western classical music and the Griot Tradition of West Africa from a very early age, attending the Purcell School of Music in London and learning from a Master of the Kora in the Gambia, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh. This unique cultural inheritance has since informed his work as a composer and multi-instrumentalist, creating links between European classical music and that of Africa. With his music he has created a set of mirrors between the old and new world, between compositions for solo cello and kora. Tunde Jegede is, in himself, a dialogue between contemporary classical music and a renewed vision of an oral tradition rooted in Malian culture – the Griot vision.
D Lime feat. Tobago Crusoe, ‘Windrush Anniversary Special’
Thursday 14th June, 7.30pm, The Auditorium, St John’s College Oxford
This event will also feature a panel discussion and will serve to launch the AHRC-TORCH podcast series on calypso music and culture in Britain following the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush in 1948.
Planned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Empire Windrush this interdisciplinary event will bring together high-profile musicians, academics and a diverse audience from across Oxford for a lively evening of music and discussion. With a specific focus on the Caribbean migrant experience of 1940s/50s Britain, we’ll be exploring how calypso music was utilised to narrate this experience and in what ways Caribbean spaces of sociability contributed to notions of a shared Black identity.