World music week at Norwich Arts Centre
Colin Wilson Go Global! a week of world music events comes to Norwich Arts Centre from July 7 to 12 with Los De Abajo (Mexico), Jah Wobble, Monobloco (Brazil) and Coco Express.
Go Global! a week of world music events comes to Norwich Arts Centre from July 7 to 12 with Los De Abajo (Mexico), Jah Wobble, Monobloco (Brazil) and Coco Express.
Los De Abajo, an exhilarating eight-piece Central American collective kick start the week on Monday (8.30pm, £12, concs £10), proclaiming revolution to their pulse of mestizo rock, reggae, ska, mambo and merengue rhythms. Los de Abajo have a very contemporary Mexican sound, fusing ska with other musical styles that wash in from across Mexico, Latin America and beyond and including hip-hop, cumbia and salsa. There's a powerful mix of both male and female vocals in the band's sturdy songs, while the instrumental work ranges from electronics to brass and strings as well as traditional instruments such the ukulele-like requinto and jarana.
Jah Wobble presents an Anglo-Chinese aural and visual spectacular on Wednesday (8.30pm, £10adv/£11 door). It's the new project from legendary bass player and renaissance man who combines his trademark dub with Chinese melodies and instrumentation. The 22-piece outfit features singers from Tibet and Yunnan Province, dancers from Hangzhou, Sichuan Opera Mask Changers, and an Anglo-Chinese dub band. The music is accompanied by displays of two ancient Chinese performing arts: Tang Dynasty Dance, and Mask Change, a specialty of Sichuan Opera. Expect a fantastic fusion of dub music and Chinese melodies.
On Thursday, One of Brazil's best-known carnival bands (on a 12-date tour of the UK) is taking in a performance at Norwich Arts Centre in St Benedict's Street. Monobloco are so popular at home that the city council of Rio de Janeiro makes them perform their post-carnival parade at breakfast time - in the vain hope of drawing smaller crowds! However, the tactic failed again this year with more than 150,000 people thronging the streets of Copacabana to see them in action. As well as appearing as part of the Lord Mayor's weekend, they'll be inspiring young people in Norfolk over three days of workshops based at the Hewett School. A mass performance of up to 150 young people will take place on Wednesday (6.30pm) on Millennium Plain at The Forum. To conclude their stay the group play Norwich Arts Centre on Thursday (7.30pm). Like last year's sell-out performance it'll be a mixture of traditional Brazilian party music coupled with their high-energy show serving up a mix of traditional rhythms such as coco, ciranda, marcha, xote and samba-charme.
Go Global! comes to a sweltering end in the Mediterranean on Saturday July 12 (8.30pm, £12, concs £10) with Coco Express playing salsa, merengue, bugaloo, bomba, mambo, lambada and more - representing all the popular Latino rhythms and countries, from Cuba to Columbia via Santo Domingo.
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t 01603 660352 (£12, concs £10); www.norwichartscentre.co.uk