OK, first I had better explain all these acronyms. For the past few days my blogs have concentrated on EBAF, the East Belfast Arts Festival, which runs until Sunday (1st September) and is now in its second year. The Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir paid tribute to the “hardworking committee at East Belfast Arts Fest” when he met them at Belmont Tower. On his twitter account @newbelfast he described their five day programme as “a magnificent event, lifting the entire city”.
WOMAD brought to the Skainos Centre (East Belfast Mission) on the Newtownards Road the World of Music, Arts and Dance (sorry, I couldn’t fit the dancers into the title!). It was founded by rock icon Peter Gabriel in 1982, when he envisaged a concert involving artists from Africa. Since then concerts have been held in over 20 countries in front of live audiences totalling over one million people. It is now officially recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest international music festival.
Beyond Skin are delivering an outreach programme using international music, arts and dance to bridge cultural relations and promote cultural learning. The all day event ranged from Uganda Gaze Dance to South American Charango & Ukulele to Indian Warli Art displays.
The outreach showcase culminated in a concert that brought a range of unique world culture never seen before in East Belfast.
The event featured performances from two of the most exciting musicians to come out of Senegal in the last decade, Oumar Sow (best known lead guitarists with Youssou N’Dour) and Singer/Guitarist Laye Sow. Supported by guest artists and the Reggae & Ska group, Boss Sound Manifesto. The five are Marty Malone on drums, Kieran ( sauce) Mc Curry on Guitar, Máirtín Ó Briain on Bass, Brendy Mc Curry on organ and guitar and Cormac (Buzz) Ó Briain on vocals and tenor sax.
The event was part funded by Belfast City Council’s Creative Legacies project supported under the Belfast PEACE III Plan by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the PEACE III Programme and East Belfast District Policing & Community Safety Partnership.