Headlining the festival, Toumani Diabaté, recently seen on BBC TV’s ‘Later with Jools Holland’, is considered one of the world’s best kora players (21 string African harp) and will be bringing a group of his musicians with him to Bridlington. The Levellers will also celebrate their 20th anniversary at Musicport. The band that made its name campaigning against the Thatcher-government during the 80s and protesting against UK road-developments in the 90s, played to a full house at The Spa in Bridlington when they performed there 10 years ago. Rolf Harris will mark his debut at Musicport, having already graced stages at WOMAD and Glastonbury
Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster Reem Kelani returns to the festival this year. Her debut album, ‘Spring Gazelle’ released in 2006, brought her critical acclaim after 20 years work she had invested into research into traditional Palestinian songs.
In a rare UK performance, Moussu T E Lei Jovents will demonstrate their particular take on the music of coastal Marseille, inspired by the 1930s and combining its eclectic music history, the Occitan language & modern subject matter, to conjour up a picture of life in a modern sea-port that should chime with visitors to Bridlington, itself twinned with Languedoc town Millau.
Ivo Papasov will be flying in from Bulgaria with his Wedding Band, demonstrating why listeners voted him to win the BBC Radio 3 World Music Audience Award in 2005 and why Frank Zappa was a huge fan. Of Bulgurian Roma and Turkish heritage, Papasov’s music draws on Balkan Gypsy culture. His band established itself as a famous wedding band in Communist Bulgaria, where Ivo’s wild clarinet playing often drew gatecrashers to local nuptials.
Other performers booked to appear so far include:
• 2006 Mercury nominee Zoe Rahman with her new Bengali Project.
• Radio 2 Folk Award 2008 double winner Martin Simpson ( a Musicport patron)
• Papa Noel & Adan Pedrosa (Congo/Cuba)
• Mitch Benn from Radio 4’s The Now Show
• Bob Brozman (USA) amazing slide guitarist and ethnomusicologist
• Mor Kabasi- highly acclaimed young Israeli singer
• The Outernationalists – Simon Emmerson (Afro Celt Sound System & Imagined Village) & Phil Meadley on decks.
Ahead of the festival, that will this year see a move from Whitby to a larger live venue in Bridlington, Festival Director, Jim McLaughlin commented: “A line-up that people will travel miles to see, performing along a stunning coastline that people travel miles to see – and all of the usual upbeat, life-affirming music that keeps people returning to Musicport year on year- an indoor festival with an outdoor spirit – is what we expect from Musicport 08”.
The musical bill will be complimented by dance/drama from the Kathakali Theatre Company from Kerala, India. As well as two main stages there will be a DJ room, a visual arts and a workshop area, a festival club, film programme, children’s festival, an expanded market area, and Musicport’s first silent disco.