First artists announced for Africa Oyé

The first wave of artists for this year’s Africa Oyé festival have been announced with artists from Guinea Bissau, the Gambia and Ghana set to take the stage in Liverpool this summer.

On 16th & 17th June 2018, Sefton Park will once again be taken over by the music and culture of Africa and the diaspora for two free days of fantastic live music, DJs, dance, workshops, food stalls and a range of traders in the Oyé Village.

Kicking off the first wave of artists is singer-songwriter Binhan, who broke through in Guinea Bissau back in 2008 with his refreshing songs of love and hope. His committed and realistic lyrics, whilst political crises dominated the news of his home country, resonated with audiences far and wide. Binhan’s reputation has now grown to the point where he can count the likes of Joss Stone and cult band Super Mama Djombo amongst his collaborators.

Those who braved a rainy Sunday at Oyé in 2016 will have witnessed a stunning set by pioneering kora player, Sona Jobarteh, and will no doubt be thrilled to hear that she is returning to Liverpool for this year’s festival.

The first female Kora virtuoso to come from a prestigious West African Griot family, Jobarteh is a modern day pioneer in an ancient, male-dominated hereditary tradition that has been exclusively handed down from father to son for the past seven centuries. The Gambian artist has modernised the presentation of Kora music and brings a rhythmic edge to her compositions that fits with her remarkable voice.

Concluding the first wave of artists is a man who brings a unique sound from Ghana – Guy One. Guy built up a fervent following in local villages amongst the Frafra people in northern Ghana, in which no funeral or wedding would take place without his soaring voice and deeply rhythmic playing. He brings with him his kologo – a plucked lute with a skin membrane, which is regarded as the forerunner of the Western banjo.

Sona Jobarteh

Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said “The huge number of applicants to play this year’s festival has been overwhelming, yet a real testament to how revered the event has become around the world. It’s been far too long since we had an artist from Guinea-Bissau so Binhan’s appearance will be a perfect way to remedy that. Sona deserved a far bigger audience than she had on a rain-soaked day a couple of years ago, so we’re really pleased to be able to bring her back. And Guy One is one of those musicians that is a true master of his art – his set is going to be something really special.”

The 2018 Africa Oyé festival will take place on 16th and 17th June, 2018 in Liverpool’s Sefton Park from 12:30pm til 9:30pm both days and entrance is FREE. For more information on the festival and other events held across the country by Africa Oyé please visit africaoye.com.

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