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World Music Concerts & Festivals

Justin Vala

Heatwave Tour with Justin Vali, Seckou Keita and Marsada
November 16, 2005 - November 26, 2005

Multiple genres


A 10-date UK tour of feel-good music from African and Asian artists who simply radiate talent and summer warmth.

Introducing a surge of artistic warmth and colour at the onset of winter, HEATWAVE 2005 brings together artistic excellence from the continents of Africa and Asia. An uplifting musical journey from Senegal to Sumatra via Madagascar, onstage will be Malagasy valiha master Justin Vali, world-renowned Senegalese kora maestro Seckou Keita, and rising Batak stars Marsada from Sumatra in Indonesia. Infectious rhythms, beautiful close harmony vocals and expert instrumentation combine to make this an unmissable event. The tour includes 10 UK dates from Wednesday 16th November 2005 (see overleaf for tour dates).

Justin Vali is a virtuoso of Madagascar’s national instrument the valiha (bamboo tube zither). Based in Paris, Vali has built a vast repertoire of classical, traditional and modern tunes and has become an ambassador for Malagasy music, which reflects African rhythmic influences with refined Asian melodies. His debut album, Rambala, was released in 1991 and attracted the attention of Kate Bush, who then engaged him to work with her on her album The Red Shoes. He also worked with Paddy Bush (Kate’s brother) on two television films, Rambala (Taxi Video Brousse productions, 1994) and Like A God When He Plays (Diverse Productions, 1998) on Vali’s album, The Sunshine Within (1998). His first record, Ny Marina (The Truth), was released on Real World in 1995. In 1997 Vali worked with Congolese legend Sam Mangwana on his album Galo Negra, and the following year released The Genius of Valiha. More recently he released He Baobab and Live at GTS in Paris (2003). His new solo album (Les Bombous) is due out in October 2005 on the Cinq Planètes label.

Seckou Keita is one of very few kora players able to get people out of the chairs and up on their feet. A multitalented Senegalese artist, Keita is part of the highly respected family of Jalikunda Cissokho, with whom he has toured the world. As a solo artist he has opened for Youssou N’Dour, Salif Keita and Papa Wemba, winning over huge audiences with his unique style. His first solo album, Baiyo, was released in 2001 and he was nominated for a Radio 3 Award for World Music in the same year. Keita will release a new album in autumn 2005 with his exceptional four-piece band formed for the ‘Acoustic Vibes’ project of last year. This group features Sammy Bishai from Egypt on violin, Italian double bassist Davide Mantovani and Gambian percussionist Surahata Susso on congas and calabash. Keita is also a long-time member of UK-based group Baka Beyond.

Rising Batak stars, Marsada draw inspiration for their music from their surroundings – the beautiful tropical island of Samosir in Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world, situated on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Their music, a contemporary mix of instrumental ceremonial and Batak folk, combines traditional Batak instruments with acoustic guitar. Initially formed as a musical trio in 1990, Marsada developed the group in 1999 to become what they are today. For Heatwave 2005 Marsada will tour as a four-piece. Their debut album, Pulo Samosir, was recorded in Medan, Sumatra in 2003 and released in June 2004 by Dug Up Music prior to a very successful UK tour. Supporting the soulful vocals of lead singer Marlundu Situmorang will be Kolous Sidabutar on acoustic bass, Jannen Sigalingging on hasapi (2-stringed plucked lute) and guitar and percussionist Monang Sidabutar on garantung (wooden xylophone) and