After leaving university, Glasgow-born Kenny Murray spent time traveling the whole of the African continent. Whilst there he fell in love with the incredible array of music that he heard and decided that he wanted to showcase it in the British Isles. After literally sticking a pin in a map of the UK and hitting Merseyside, he moved to Liverpool and started the first Africa Oyé in 1992 as a series of gigs in the city centre. Bringing a positive image of a continent at a time when the only messages infiltrating Britain were that of aids, famine, war and poverty, few would have imagined that Kenny would succeed in building an annual celebration of Africa that is now the biggestof its kind in the country and one that is attended by people from all walks of life.
Kenny retired as Artistic Director at the end of 2013 with no mega bucks pay off, no fancy leaving do, and no award – just a gentle goodbye and then off to the Scottish hills to enjoy a wee break and enjoy life with his life-long partner. I have known and worked with Kenny for the best part of 15 years and everyone at Oyé thanks him for giving Liverpool and the UK this wonderful festival. We dedicate Africa Oyé 2014 to a unique man whose ‘crazy dream’ became an amazing reality… so join me andlet’s say a big thank you to Kenny Murray, Founder of Africa Oyé. Please continue to support the festival and keep us FREE by visiting the brand new area ‘Trenchtown’ in the Oyé village and purchasing something from the Oyé merchandise stall, Oyé food stalls or Oyé Inn whilst dancing to some of the finest DJs in World Music in a comfortable environment.