The epic 25th Africa Oyé anniversary of 2017 will be hard to top, with soaring temperatures and permformances by some of the best artists to have previously featured over the years. Perhaps the reason why the organisers have specially selected some gems to showcase, to once again fill Sefton Park with the music and culture of Africa and the diaspora, along with DJs and dance on the main stage and surrounding workshops, food stalls and a range of traders in the Oyé Village.
Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney tells us about this year’s event:
“It was a special experience to be able to welcome back some familiar faces for our anniversary year but 2018 will allow us to do what we do best and that’s showcase the best undiscovered gems from across the continent and beyond. The applications have been flooding in from some incredible artists and the programme is going to be packed with international talent”.
To kick things off we have Binhanquinhe Quimor, better known as Binhan. The multi-talented performer stormed the scene, going from local talent shows at 14 to world tours with the renowned group Super Mama Djambo, as well as being voted the best modern act in his coastal home country of Guinée Bissau. Best known for his conscious melodies of protest and peace in Crioulo and other local dialects, he began his rise to stardom after a somewhat itinerant youth spent travelling the West African region with his uncle and honing his instrumental and vocal skills from an early age in church.
Sona Jobarteh has previously graced the Oyé stage and left a lasting impression. A pioneer of female Kora players, Sona comes from a long line of masters of the 21-stringed African harp belonging to the Manding people of West Africa. Born into one of the five principal Griot families who practise the historical art of interpretive story-telling, the spell-binding combination of intricate skills, elegance and melodic tones give her a noteable stage presence and the reason behind her being a headliner to major world festival.
The festival will take place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park this Summer and will host two whole free days of world class live music on the 16th & 17th June 2018
Words by Joy Dove