Julian Marley to headline Sunday night of Africa Oyé 2017

The Grammy-nominated reggae star heads up the latest wave of artists, with Diabel Cissokho and HAJAmadagascar also added to the festival line-up.

The UK’s largest FREE celebration of African and Caribbean music and culture will be headlined by reggae royalty this June as Julian Marley is set to close the festival weekend out in style.

Marley will play hits like “Boom Draw”, “Systems”, “Lemme Go” and “Violence in the Streets” along with a selection of his father’s iconic songs, complete with his band The Uprising, in Liverpool’s Sefton Park this June.

Photo: Siobhan Marie Slater

Described as the ‘jewel in Liverpool’s festival crown’ (Bido Lito!), Africa Oyé has always prided itself on a strong reggae representation in their line-ups, and this year – their 25th anniversary – is certainly no exception.

Julian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley and Barbados-born Lucy Pounder, is a Grammy award nominated, roots-reggae musician, singer-songwriter, producer and humanitarian. In the same tradition as his father, Julian is a devout Rastafarian whose music is inspired by life and spirituality.

A humanitarian at heart, Julian Marley naturally leans toward building on charitable missions and contributing to the Ghetto Youths Foundation, which allows him to give back in various communities. Whether it’s reasoning with children at the football fields in London, or offering his time to benefit concerts, Julian consciously looks towards finding ways to help build positive guidance that benefit the youth of today.

Oyé is also very pleased to announce two more festival alumni to this year’s milestone event in Sefton Park.

Diabel Cissokho

Senegalese musician Diabel Cissokho, who first played Oyé in 2012, is part of the great line of Cissokho griots. Growing up in Dakar and Tambacounda, surrounded by a rich musical heritage and a family of musicians, Diabel began playing a number of traditional instruments. However his affinity with the kora (an African harp) was clear from an early age.

Diabel’s musical pedigree is exceptional. International tours with his family’s band Bannaya led to a long stint as Baaba Maal’s kora player, as well as with acclaimed musicians such as Kandia Kouyate, Cheikh Lo, Ernest Ranglin and Youssou N’Dour. Diabel has been welcomed everywhere from Glastonbury to London’s Barbican, where he performed alongside Femi Kuti, Cheikh Lo and Manu Dibango, and more recently in the Queen Elizabeth Hall London with his band.

Joining Marley and Cissokho on the bill are the hugely charismatic and energeticHAJAmadagascar and The Groovy People. Having played the festival originally in 2005 and returning to great acclaim as part of his first ever UK tour in 2014, HAJA will be sure to delight Liverpool again as a guitarist, singer, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and above all, showman. He also hosted Oyé’s Learning and Participation workshops around Merseyside schools in 2015, in which he taught local children about the music and culture of his home country.

HAJAmadagascar

His band’s music blends in as colourfully as the population of the exotic island he hails from. Their live set stretches from Malagasy salegy to bahoejy, and antosy to kilalaky, all beats and hot grooves originating on the great South East African Island of Madagascar.

Alongside the main stage of live music, the Oyé Village will be providing the public with a variety of world foods, workshops, dance classes, traders and DJs and more. Lots of child-friendly entertainment will once again be on-site so festival-goers can bring the whole family along.

Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said “We had the pleasure of bringing Julian Marley to Liverpool as part of his UK tour recently and I knew when I saw him perform that he would be a dream act for Africa Oyé. Diabel and HAJA are two amazing live performers that have become real friends of Oyé over the years and I’m delighted to welcome them back for our 25th Anniversary as well.”

Africa Oyé will take place on 17th and 18th June in Sefton Park, from 12:30pm till 9:30pm on both days and entry is FREE. For more information on Oyé and its associated events, please visit africaoye.com.

Acts Announced (MORE TBC…)

Mokoomba (Zimbabwe)
Julian Marley & The Uprising (Jamaica)
Jupiter & Okwess International (DR Congo)
Dobet Gnahoré (Côte d’Ivoire)
Dizzy Mandjeku & Odemba OK Allstars (DR Congo)
Bonga (Angola)
Diabel Cissokho (Senegal)
HAJAmadagascar & The Groovy People (Madagascar)

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