The Specials’ Jerry Dammers to play at Writing on the Wall Festival this Saturday

Founder member and principal songwriter of The Specials Jerry Dammers has been announced as a guest DJ for the after-party of  a special event celebrating Afrofuturism.

Taking place on Saturday 21 May in District, the day of conversation, art and creativity will navigate its way through stories of our past to create visions of the future.

Inspired by the work of Afrofuturist artists, writers and musicians the event has been devised by Writing On the Wall, Next Stop New York and Afrofutures_UK.

Madeline Heneghan Co-Director of Writing on the Wall said: “It’s a huge event for us to be bringing Jerry Dammers, one of the UK’s most innovative musicians to Liverpool. Founder member of The Specials, one of the UK’s most iconic bands whose music and attitude educated a whole generation about Ska music, diversity and internationalism; creator of one of the most potent protest songs of all time, ‘Free Nelson Mandela’, and UK pioneer of the sounds of Afrofuturism through his celebration of the work of Sun Ra with his touring Spatial A.K.A Orchestra – Jerry’s DJ set featuring tracks from his extensive repertoire from Ska-punk-dub fusion to Sun Ra inspired Afrofuture tunes will have the place bouncing all night.”

“The event explores Afrofuturists like Octavia Butler, George Clinton and Janelle Monae, We will look at how we can find new ways to express the voices of the marginalised, exploring race and gender as alternative technologies for creating new ways of co-existing. We want to explore how our journeys through the past impact our journeys into the future. What kind of a future is it that we want to live in? What kind of a future will we end up living in? How do we answer these questions as a community?

Taking to the decks at the evening’s after-party, Jerry will follow the day at District DJ’ing from his extensive repertoire of ska-punk-dub fusion through to the wilder edges of jazz, avant-garde and Sun Ra inspired Afrofuture tunes.

As well as establishing 2 Tone Records, which helped develop the 1970s and 1980s ska revival, Dammers also became an anti-apartheid campaigner, helping to create Artists Against Apartheid in the U.S and writing the song “Free Nelson Mandela” in 1984.

Re-emerging in the Millenium as a DJ of some repute, Dammers also now performs with his band The Spatial AKA Orchestra, playing his own compositions and tributes to Sun Ra and other experimental jazz artists. The band features established jazz musicians Zoe Rahman and Denys Baptiste. They perform in elaborate Ancient Egyptian and outer space-themed costumes and share the stage with bizarre props such as model alien heads and Mummy Sarcophagi.

Find more about Jerry Dammers here: http://www.jerrydammers.com

Jerry Dammers appears as part of the month-long Writing on the Wall festival – WoWfest 2016. Check out the full listings at Festival.writingonthewall.org.uk.

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