Portico Quartet are at the start of their UK tour - a double bill with Penguin Cafe. Seen here at the soundcheck to their sold out show at London's Barbican where the line of fans hoping for ticket returns testified to the beguiling power of their music. Catch them at further dates around the country until 21 February.
The Creole Choir Of Cuba have a busy day today at BBC Broadcasting House. They are guests on the Robert Elms Show on BBC Radio London (94.9 FM) at 2.30pm, where they will chat to Robert and perform live.
Then on to BBC Radio 3 In Tune, presented by Sean Rafferty, where the choir will perform three songs live, beginning at 5.15pm.
Tune in, or listen again!
The UK tour is in full swing, with The Barbican tomorrow then Croydon, Bury St Edmunds, Manchester, Birmingham, Basingstoke, Southampton, Chichester & Nottingham
Portico Quartet have begun their much anticipated UK tour with Penguin Café. They perform at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester this evening then off to Barbican, Basingstoke, Warwick, Bristol, Northampton, Brighton, Gateshead and Edingburgh
The Barbican has sold out but there are still a few tickets available for the regional dates!
Re-released on Real World Records, Knee-Deep In The North Sea has been remixed by John Leckie (The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Muse and producer of Isla) and features three new tracks.
Watch this new film about the making of the album, featuring behind the scenes footage of the band sound checking at their recent London concert.
Editors Jazz Choice - Knee-Deep In The North Sea makes Number 1 in Play.com's pre-order download chart.
"Nominated for the Mercury Prize and rightly considered a modern masterpiece, Knee-Deep In The North Sea is the breathtaking debut from Portico Quartet. Fusing modern jazz with a psychedelic twist, the Londoners continually push the boundaries, resulting in a thrilling listen." play.com
As The Creole Choir Of Cuba continue their UK tour, the BBC filmed their performance at Celtic Connections.
They also did an exclusive Global Gathering live set for the BBC at Celtic Connections. Hear Eugenia talk to Mary Ann Kennedy on behalf of the choir and listen to their live performances.
(The set starts 1 hour 29 mins into the programme)
Aurelio is one of the most extraordinary and passionate Central American artists of his generation, and with Laru Beya he has created an irresistibly soulful and uplifting album. Hailing from Honduras, Aurelio is recognised for his powerfully evocative vocals and talent as a composer, guitarist and percussionist. He is also a major tradition-bearer of the threatened Garifuna culture that fuses African and Caribbean roots. The album was recorded in Honduras, Belize and Senegal - where Aurelio worked with Youssou N'Dour and Orchestra Baobab, who both guest on Laru Beya.
We start 2011 with an impressive run of UK touring from Real World artists. Whether it's The Creole Choir of Cuba at Brighton Dome, Portico Quartet at the Barbican or Skip 'Little Axe' McDonald at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, there's a diverse range of music for all tastes.
Please read on below for further info...
Electronica meets 21st century jazz in Portico Quartet's melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with a very contemporary kind of improvisation. After the eagerly anticipated re-release of their remastered Mercury nominated album, 'Knee-Deep In The North Sea' on 31st January, Portico Quartet commence their UK tour with the Penguin Café in February.
See Portico Quartet perform on...
6th February - Nottingham
7th February - Manchester
9th February - London
10th February - Basingstoke
11th February - Warwick
15th February - Bristol
17th February - Northampton
18th February - Brighton
20th February - Gateshead
21st February - Edinburgh
"uncommonly beautiful." Time Out
Skip "Little Axe" McDonald hits the road later this month for a series of solo gigs. Very different to the large-scale Little Axe band experience, Skip's solo shows see the legendary guitarist ploughing the roots of American blues with his moody guitar licks and soulful vocals.
See Skip "Little Axe" McDonald perform on...
28th January - Lincoln
29th January - Colchester
10th February - Scotland
11th February - Edinburgh
25th February - Wiltshire
5th March - Essex
12th March - Cardiff
19th March - Nottingham
26th March - Bristol
2nd April - London Coronet
12th May - Barnstaple
9th July - Hertfordshire
"McDonald is a master of the contemporary blues." The Guardian
Joining The Creole Choir at Scotland's Celtic Connections festival will be The Blind Boys of Alabama on 23rd January. This timeless gospel ensemble has been spreading the word for six decades, and with a repertoire encompassing both gospel classics and contemporary spiritual material, The Blind Boys of Alabama are a joy to behold!