Preview: Heart Of The World - A Celebration Of World Music, May 2006

Preview: Heart Of The World - A Celebration Of World Music, May 2006
Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
A major feast of music from around the world opens with South African male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Cambridge Corn Exchange on May 11. They headline a thrilling four-day series of concerts which includes acclaimed performers from West Africa, India and New Orleans.

Renowned for their moving Zulu harmonies, evocative South African folk songs, and vocals on Paul Simon's ‘Graceland' album, Ladysmith will be supported by South Africa's joyous Mahotella Queens, senior figures from the pulsating world of South African jive.

Malian singer-composer Salif Keita (May 12) joined Les Ambassadeurs in 1973, successfully incorporating Malian rhythms and melodies into an Afro-Cuban repertoire. He's also mixed electric reggae with acoustic Malian folksong, made an album of French chansons by Brel and others, and recorded with hardcore New York rockers. The Guardian (and many others) rate Keita as one of the greatest singers in the world - a unique and unmissable artist. Support act Julia Sarr and Patrice Larose, West African vocals and flamenco guitar, make their British debut.

Kaushiki Chakrabarty (May 13) skillfully displays the differing vocal styles of North and South India. World Music Award winner Kaushiki also gives a lecture on her work at Heffers the Booksellers on May 10 (6-30p.m, admission free)

Legendary pianist-singer Dr. John (May 14) embodies the music and spirit of New Orleans, celebrating his home city in superbly rousing fashion on such classic albums as The Night Tripper and Gumbo - and recently taking part in this year's therapeutic New Orleans Jazz Festival with Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon. The good doctor also cleverly interprets slower Johnny Mercer standards like Moon River on his current album Mercenary. Dr John is preceded on stage by versatile New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Abram Wilson.

* Cambridge Corn Exchange, May 11 -14, concerts start 7-30 pm.

Author: Mark Dobbin