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Róisín Gadelrab’s music news: 100-hour blues jam; Topic Records; The Hip Hop Orchestra

06 June, 2019 — By Róisín Gadelrab

The Jazz Cafe in Camden Town

IT’S not often you can step into a blues bar and be part of a world record attempt. But this week you can do just that as The Blues Kitchen is attempting to double its record of five years ago, with a non-stop, 100-hour blues jam running from June 9-13. Be a musician, a wannabe musician, or anything in between, bring your instruments – even a triangle will do – and get onstage to help that musical relay keep going. The jam is an attempt to complete a marathon 100-hour blues jam as part of the venue’s 10th anniversary celebrations. It aims to beat the Blues Kitchen’s current record of 50 hours, reached during its fifth anniversary. All profits will go to the Help Refugees and Camden Music Trust. The gig also will be live streamed for those wishing to watch from afar.

• Topic Records – the oldest independent label in the world – celebrates its 80th birthday this year, marked with the release of landmark album, Vision and Revision: The First 80 Years Of Topic Records, out last week, and featuring an array of British folk royalty. This will be brought to life at a special celebratory concert at Barbican on June 7, featuring many of the artists on the album. Noted folk musician Eliza Carthy is music director and leads an specially assembled house band and a variety of guest artists including Martin Carthy, Lisa Knapp, Sam Lee, Alasdair Roberts, Olivia Chaney, Spiro, Chris Wood, Marry Waterson, Bernard Butler, Gerry Diver, Emily Portman and Boss Morris. Expect solos, small groups and ensembles, as well as elements of dance, in a programme reflecting the diversity of the label.

• Help the Jazz Cafe celebrate its third birthday under the ownership of The Columbo Group. Expect a week of special gigs celebrating worldwide music and international artists and including the likes of: Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (June 10), Matmos (June 11), Havana Musica Presents: A Cuban Celebration with Kalison Orquesta (June 12), Pantha Du Prince + The Golden Filter (June 13), Omar (June 14 and 15) and Dur-Dur Band (June 16) – plus a club night with The Heatwave journeying through the history of Dancehall and a special line-up of unannounced guests for a proper birthday party on June 15.

Female-fronted UK punk band Vice Squad play the Water Rats on June 8 with support from Nuffin, SLADY and Daddy Those Men Scare Me.

• This looks like quite a special night over at Camden Assembly on June 9, where The Hip Hop Orchestra, a 10-piece ensemble, perform the biggest hip-hop and R&B classics, from Biggie to Busta and more. Good luck to them fitting on the stage!

Nineties kung-fu-crazed rapper and producer Jeru the Damaja plays The Garage on June 9 to mark the 25th anniversary of album The Sun Rises In The East. He will be joined by Gang Starr Foundation and Group Home.

• Story-telling duo Matthew Crampton and concert pianist Olga Jegunova debut their version of Prokofiev’s classic, Peter And The Wolf and Other Stories, at Kings Place on June 9. They will also take the opportunity to present their acclaimed performance of The Flaming Firebird and the Princess Vasilisa.

Notable gigs this week: Andrew Bird, Barbican; Sharon Shannon + Seikou Keita, Cecil Sharp House (June 13).


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