Nelson Mandela is one of the very few people whose name is truly recognised and respected world-wide, even by people with different political views; his reputation as a campaigner for peace and justice is unrivalled. A key member of the ANC in his youth, 27 years as a political prisoner, the first democratically elected State President of post-apartheid South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, his 90th birthday is being marked at official levels around the world and with big events such as the concert in Hyde Park.
Scottish-based African musicians Samba Sene (Senegal/Edinburgh) and Jerry Boweh (Liberia/Glasgow) decided they wanted to mark Mandela’s birthday in a more personal way, one that could involve ordinary people from all communities, and would be a symbolic present from the African communities to Mandela and Scotland. A celebration with music and dance was definitely called for! They realised that the date coincided with Samba’s monthly club night – Ndaje: African Connections – and a visit by Berlin-based multinational Senegalese Reggae band Louis-Jean & the Irie Rainbow…
The idea quickly evolved into a 3 date/3 band African party on tour (in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen), which will culminate in a concert at the Classic Grand in Glasgow on Sun 20th July, the finale of which will involve more than 50 musicians and dancers – including the Glasgow Gospel Choir and Ayawara Drummers – in a climactic ensemble performance at midnight. There will then be a DJ Highway Competition with 4 DJs vying with each other to keep the audience on its dancing feet with a variety of dancebeats and grooves till 3am. Now THAT’S a celebration! Jaame ak jaame.
Louis-Jean and the Irie Rainbow is a Senegalese Reggae band from Berlin. Their first CD (Dakar-Johannesburg-Berlin) was recorded with musicians from South African music legend Lucky Dube’s band, at his studio in Johannesburg. Samba Sene & Diwan combine Senegalese mbalax fusion with passionate vocals, original songs and irresistible dancebeats; Diwan are also performing at Glasgow City Council’s official reception for Mandela on Fri 18th July. Zuba Bassabeat is a multinational band which fuses African pop, folk and reggae with a Celtic twist. Their second CD Allez won JTP African Best Album 2006 Award. The performers – musicians, dancers, poets, artists – are from a wide variety of countries including Senegal, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, South Africa, Scotland, England, Holland, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France and Argentina.
The organisers want to decorate the venues with flags from as many different countries as possible – the events are about celebrating human rights and justice across the world. We need donations – bring us your flags! Any size, from any country in the world whose people are proud to stand up for these principles. If people want to make and design their own banner with an appropriate message these are also very welcome. Drop off in advance at the venues in Edinburgh and Aberdeen and at Cafe Rio, Hyndland St, Glasgow. You can also bring them on the night.
For more press information, photos, CDs to arrange interviews etc call Morag Neil on 0131 478 6364 / 0771 288 0965 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates – Mandela Birthday Party Scottish Tour
Thurs 17th July – Ndaje:African Connections – Bongo Club, Edinburgh – 10pm – 3am ((£5)
Louis-Jean & the Irie Rainbow, Samba Sene & Diwan + special guests + DJs
Tickets in advance from Ripping, Tickets Scotland, and on the door
Sat 19th July – Cafe Drummonds, Belmont St, Aberdeen -9.30pm-3am (£3)
Louis-Jean & the Irie Rainbow, Samba Sene & Diwan + special guests
Tickets on the door
Sun 20th July – Classic Grand, Jamaica St, Glasgow, 8pm-3am (£7/£4)
Louis-Jean & the Irie Rainbow, Samba Sene & Diwan, ZUBA Bassabeat
+ Ayawara Drummers + Seeds of Thought + Glasgow Gospel Choir + DJ Highway Competition.
Tickets in advance from Tickets Scotland, and on the door