Sofa Sessions #6: Culture Night Belfast 2012

Ulster Hall, BelfastOn Friday 21st September 2012, I’ll be bringing you another line-up of great performers in a special edition of the Sofa Sessions for Culture Night Belfast 2012.

This street-level cabaret of music and dance will take place in the porch of the historic Ulster Hall and is completely free to attend. Come and enjoy live music and dance from 5-6:30pm to kick off one of Belfast’s most lively, inspiring and eclectic arts events.

Music

Photo of Manukahunney belting out soul classicsFirst up, Manukahunney is a collective of talented musicians and singers with a love for authentic soul rhythm and blues music. They bring a fresh take on classic Motown soul, funk and northern soul interweaving recognised hits with classic tracks topped with their own unique groove style and compositions. Perfect for kick-starting your Friday night!

Check out Manukahunney on YouTube and Facebook 

Adele and Meghan of WookalilyNext, we switch genres entirely, losing none of the energy, with Adele and Meghan from Wookalily. Between hammerin’ out the harmonies, slammin’ on the geetars, slappin’ the bass, beatin the drums, pickin’ on the banjos (not to mention the banjo player) and chopping on the fiddle, it’s a miracle Wookalily haven’t been arrested for cruelty to expensive musical instruments. Despite their reckless ways they’ve managed to create a unique and quirky sound that’s all heart. Their style, sometimes referred to among the ‘lilys as chillbilly roots, has an old-timey feel with a young-timey appeal.

Special note: Wookalily founder/songwriter Adele Ingram has been selected to showcase her song Diamonds and Gold alongside award winning singer-songwriters. Her song has been selected with nine other songs for the IBMA songwriter showcase at the World Of Bluegrass festival in Nashville. A long-time supporter of the local music scene through her promotions company One-A-Chord, she has been instrumental in helping many bands break through the scene. If you want to support Adele in raising funds for this opportunity, you can donate – and receive a reward – at http://getadeletonashville.moonfruit.com/

Check out Wookalily on YouTube and at www.wookalily.com

Rassie Ai performingThe third musical act at Sofa Sessions #6 is Rassie Ai, a British-born Zimbabwean who has been based in Belfast for 10 years. Rassie Ai’s musical journey began in earnest in the year 1989 when he first fell in love with hip hop music. Living in Botswana at the time, he teamed up with schoolmate Richie Cee and they began meshing the hip hop and reggae dancehall genres together to create their own unique sound. The following years saw him joining Startime Supapowa, a reggae sound system in Zimbabwe, and spending the next few years honing his sound. His collaborations lead to billings as opening acts for hip hop group The Lost Boyz’ tour of Zimbabwe in 1997, Buju Bantons’ Zimbabwean tour in 1998 and Soul 4 Real’s Zimbabwean tour in 1998. Through out this time he released many unofficial singles as well as being featured on official collaborations like The Future (Shamiso Productions 2001) and collaborating with diverse groups and artists such as Mhepo Jazz Band.

In more recent years, Rassie has been on the line-up for Zimfest, a major music festival held in London, headlined the World Cup Reggae Revival Tour in June 2010 in Lilongwe, Malawi and been involved in the Black History Conscious Tour in late 2010. In his free time Rassie Ai works with the African and Caribbean community within Northern Ireland investing his time in using music and the arts to confront social issues like sectarianism, racism and prejudice.

Check Rassie out on YouTube

Dance

Photo of Ajendance performersSofa Sessions are always about more than music – and since we’re downstairs with a bit more space, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to show off some local dance talent! Ajendance dance company was founded by Annika Graham in 2009. The company specializes in hip-hop, ballet, tap and jazz. It offers a range of classes and lessons to all ages and abilities. They work with many different choreographers and teachers around Belfast, N.I and Dublin. Ajendance has grown from strength to strength over the past 3 years with its ever-growing classes and crews. They run out of a brand new modern and unique dance space called “Studio1” situated on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. They have performed all over N.I in various events and shows and are delighted to be appearing at the Sofa Sessions on Culture Night. They welcome new comers with open arms and love adding new faces and styles to the Ajendance family.

Check them out on YouTube and at www.ajendance.co.uk

Screenshot of the Culture Night Belfast programme entry for the Sofa Sessions

As always, I’ll be chatting and performing with my guests, so come along and be inspired by their passion for their art.

5-6:30pm in the Ulster Hall – spread the word!

Sofa Sessions on Facebook & Twitter

Keep up to date with the Sofa Sessions at www.facebook.com/soulambition.sofasessions. Follow @soulambition and look for #sofasessions posts.

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