Although it was an evening of great sadness the Tribute to Martyn on Friday 15 April at Queens Hall in Edinburgh was an extraordinary, moving and celebratory event. Opening with the Edinburgh Music School's performance of MacKay's Memoirs which Martyn wrote for pipes, clarsach and orchestra the evening unfolded with an array of very different musical moments.The packed venue was delighted with performances from traditional singers Sheila Stewart and Flora MacNeil and firey piper Fred Morrison, an emotional song from Martyn's mother, the revered Margaret Bennett and an unsheduled solo of Here Comes The Flood From Peter Gabriel. The evening ended with Martyn's widow Kirsten joining Mouth Music on keyboards and a rousing Scottish rave set from Croft No 5 of whom Martyn was a great supporter.
Thousands of pounds were raised for the Marie Curie Hospice where Martyn has been treated at the end of his life. The evening was also the launch of the Martyn Bennett Trust which will provide money to fund innovative young music makers.
Daby Touré is soon to start his first full UK tour. Starting in Darlington on 18 May and concluding at the Guardian Hay-On-Wye Festival on30 May, full details of venues can be found under Tour Dates. Following the fantastic reception of his debut album 'Diam' on Real World Records Daby is building a growing fan base particularly in France. This tour will be a great opportunity for UK audiences to enjoy Daby's charismatic, dynamic stage presence and his outstanding guitar playing.
At the Queens Hall Edinburgh on the evening of 14 April an audience will be celebrating the music of Martyn Bennett, the innovative multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer who was considered one of Scotland's brightest, most inspired and original artists. Martyn died in January 2005 after a long battle with cancer.
Musicians from every genre will gather to perform Martyn's work and, through a range of new and eclectic collaborations, interpret both the music which inspired Martyn and that which he influenced.
All proceeds will go to the Marie Curie Hospice and to the 'Martyn Bennett Trust' which will support aspiring young musicians.
World Renowned Sarod Master, Amjad Ali Khan, tours the UK with a highlight performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London
With a career now spanning over fifty glorious years, Amjad Ali Khan was only eight years old when he gave his first public recital of the musical instrument- the sarod. His family history, which is rooted within the Indian classical music scene, sees Khan carry on a family tradition that covers six generations. He has charmed international audiences with solo recitals in some of the worlds most prestigious musical venues (Royal Albert Hall, London; Carnegie Hall, New York), music festivals (WOMAD, Edinburgh International Festival) as well as being a regular guest of HRH the Prince of Wales. He admits that part of his uniqueness is his broad appeal:
There is no essential difference between classical and popular music. I want to communicate with the listener who finds Indian classical music remote.
An ambassador for India and the arts, Khan will be holding workshops within western classical conservatoires. Gaetan Le Divelec, Tour Manager at the classical music agency of Askonas Holt says,
Amjad Ali Khan is our first non-Western artist, and at the height of his career. We are delighted to welcome one of the most eminent ambassadors of Indian classical music to the UK, and hope that through the tour and workshops we can encourage and build an exchange of mutual learning between the North Indian and Western Classical music audiences.
Khan will be joined on tour by his two sons, Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash. Check Tour dates for full details of the venues of these performances.
My father, Haafiz Ali Khan, never played any raga for more than twenty minutes as he felt it was all repetition!"
Find out more about Amjad Ali Khan's new Real World Records release and experience his music in our free downloadable DTS CD (5.1 surround recording).
Daby performs at La Cigale in Paris on Tuesday 15 March following a major promotional campaign for his album 'Diam'. He is also playing three songs live at Radio France for 'Couleur Francophone' in a show which will be broadcast on March 20 at 20.30. You can hear this on:
French national network, France Bleue; in Switerland on Option music network; in Belgium on Vivacité; in Canada on Espace musique & Radio Canada International and all over Africa on RFO.
Iarla O Lionaird will be playing a track from his new solo album 'Invisible Fields' with fellow musical collaborator Graham Henderson. Iarla and Graham (playing harmonium) will be performing the beautiful 'Taimse Im'Chodladh (I Am Asleep) live from Iarla's home County Kilkenny, Ireland. You can catch this on 'Coiscéim' on RTÉ 1, Wednesday 16 March. Coiscéim is a series of programmes specially-commissioned by RTE 1 to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Language Week) 2005. The series is a celebration of all that is Irish in 2005 and many of the participants are well-known faces and also fluent Irish speakers.
Irish televsion viewers will be able to see Real World artist Iarla O'Lionaird reviewing items from the contemporaty arts scene on RTE. You can catch Iarla and his fellow panelists on 'The View' at 23.15 on Tuesday 22 March. They will be discussing current poets shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Award, the film 5X2 by Francois Ozon opening at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin, The Tokyo Ensemble's "Lost in a Flurry of Cherry Blossoms" which will be showing at the Samuel Beckett Theatre and new works by New York based visual artist Fred Tomaselli which opens at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.
On Tuesday 15 March BBC Radio Scotland's Celtic Connections will celebrate the life and work of the great Scottish musician, producer and innovator Martyn Bennett. Mary Ann Kennedy will introduce a number of guests who will talk about Martyn's remarkable life and career. You can hear the programme at 20.05 to 22.00 on Tuesday 22 and again on the following Sunday at 18.05 - 20.00. On the BBC Radio website you can also listen again on line for a week after broadcast.
We are very sad to announce that George Scott, one of the original members of the Blind Boys of Alabama, died in his sleep on Wednesday morning of complications from heart disease at his home in Durham, NC. He was 75.
The booming baritone voice of the group which formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, Scott, along with the other remaining original members and their bandmates, travelled all over the world spreading the group's unique brand of soulful gospel music and good times. Although the band has been continuously active for over sixty years, they only recently burst on to the popular music scene, winning four consecutive Grammys for the last four years, recording with such diverse acts as Ben Harper, Lou Reed, and Ibrahim Ferrer and touring with Peter Gabriel and Tom Petty. Just last month the band won their fourth Grammy award, and performed on both the Grammy Awards telecast and the Tonight Show.
While Scott had retired from the rigors of touring in 2004, his voice was still strong and he was in fine form while singing lead on several key tracks for the band's new album ATOM BOMB. It was his last testament in a career that spanned six and a half decades.