FROM THURSDAY 5 APRIL TO FRIDAY 13 APRIL
Hold onto your hats because the good people at Rich Mix are taking us on a whirlwind musical journey this April. It starts in the townships of Soweto, winds through smoky Parisian jazz bars and Michigan dance clubs, stops off to take in some Haitian poetry and live gospel choirs, and then brings us all the way back to Rich Mix’s Shoreditch melting pot.
We’re especially stoked to finally see Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness. The South African six-piece are an injection of pure sunshine: a light-footed mix of township rhythms, positive rap vibes and even a hint of old-time rock ‘n’ roll. And we might bring a sleeping bag because two nights later one of London’s most intriguing songwriters – Mélissa Laveaux – will be up on stage. Mélissa might be from rainy old Clapham but her most recent album, Radyo Siwèl, is drenched in the sounds and beats of 1950’s Haiti. It’s a musical travelogue recounting a journey back to discover her Haitian roots and with a live band it’s a joyful, jazzy joy.
On Saturday night Shigeto takes over the Rich Mix dance-floor. This Michigan native could be house music’s answer to Kendrick Lamar as he seamlessly blends old-school jazz and pointed political commentary with his club-friendly beats, but dancing isn’t the only audience participation you’ll get at Rich Mix this week. A live rehearsal from the internationally renowned House Gospel Choir is open to all. No experience is necessary – just a willingness to sing your heart out (and dance your socks off), while a jam session with the multi-award winning Tomorrow’s Warriors gives everyone a chance to jam with the guys who’ve backed everyone from Adele to Rudimental.
And if that all sounds a little too much work then the 8Eyez Collective are bringing together young female talent for a live show and a live panel discussion. Throw in BBC 1Extra fave Yazmin Lacey with a full band show, flamenco from Tomasito and a rare showing of Nick Cave’s triumphant and heartbreaking concert film, Distant Sky, and you have the musical trip of a lifetime without ever leaving the confines of E1.