British Black Music Month (BBMM) 2017 Programme Announced
British Black Music Month (BBMM) 2017 Programme Announced
[email protected] Reggae, Racism, Music Industry, and Britain’s diverse black music celebrated
May 25, 2017
This year’s British Black Music Month (BBMM) has a mixture of opportunities for musicians and fans alike in June and July.
After the unveiling in Windrush Square in Brixton, south London on June 22 of the memorial to the African and African-Caribbean service personnel who fought for Britain in World War I and II, BBMM will be marked by The African And Caribbean Memorial ‘Remembered’ inaugural world celebration concert later that evening at the nearby POW (Prince Of Wales) venue.
The bill includes acts such as soul star Omar, reggae singer Janet Kay, hip-hop duo Native Sun, the Taxi Pata Pata African Drummers, plus Congolese soukous star Kanda Bongo Man. There will also be DJ sets by Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, Fat Freddie M, KMT Freedom Teacher and Kwaku BBM.
Also, as part of marking Jamaica’s 55th “independence” anniversary, there are a number of reggae-focused BBMM programmes, including bringing International Reggae Day to London on July 1.
BBMM is a BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) initiative started in 2006 to provide a forum for discussing black music and music industry issues, highlighting domestic black music, and improving music industry knowledge and contacts.
It unofficially starts on June 2 at east London’s Rich Mix, where BBMM’s supporting the Focus Africa Music Festival, which although headlined by Kanda Bongo Man, has several UK-based acts including roots reggae artist Natty and hip-hop duo Native Sun.
The Month is preceded on May 31 by the weekly BBMM2017 On BCR (BrentCommunityRadio.org) on Wednesdays 4-6pm live broadcasts, which are replayed immediately on the same day from 6-8pm. The programme, presented by BBMM curator Kwaku, will cover all forms of British black music, irrespective of genre and vintage, in addition to interviews, community and music industry news.
BBMM2017 officially starts on June 5 with the Rock Against Racism: How Music And Culture Can Build Unity presentation at Harrow Mencap by Faithless guitarist Dave Randall. Randall’s recently published book ‘Sound System – The Political Power of Music’ (Pluto Press) will be on sale at the event, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Rock Against Racism movement, which brought European and African acts together to fight against racism, particularly in the 1970s/80s.
Racism will also be the subject of the July 29 event at Edgware’s Flash Musicals Theatre entitled Interrogating London’s Nighttime Economy & Highlighting Conscious Hip-Hop Acts, co-organised by RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music Industry). The impact of the Metropolitan Police’s Form 696 on live music in the capital will be one of the issues discussed, whilst the rest of the programme will highlight the work of the Music4Causes project and conscious and mostly self-released hip-hop acts through talks, videos and performances.
It will also be an opportunity to meet some of the artists supporting RE:IMI’s British Artists Against Racism initiative.
As this year marks Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of “independence”, reggae features highly. International Reggae Day comes to central London for the first time, and consists of industry discussions, interviews and honoring veteran reggae artists and industry personnel, performances, a young people and conscious reggae workshop, and screening of documentaries, including the premiere of the final cut of the ‘Britain’s Contribution To Reggae Music’ vox pops.
BBMM is supporting the Positive Vibration: Festival Of Reggae by offering free tickets for the weekend event on June 9-10 in Liverpool. There’s When The English Loved Reggae Music on June 19 and Reggae History Quiz on July 10, both at Harrow Mencap. The reggae-featured Brent Black Music Quiz is on July 21 at Brent Civic Centre.
The Talking Copyright strand set for June 20, makes a departure from the usual seminar format. It will introduce a case study, which participants, drawn from in and out of the legal and music industry fields, will engage with in a workshop at City, University Of London, led by City senior law lecturer Dr Enrico Bonadio and former City music industry lecturer Kwaku.
Kwaku also leads on the half day Making Sense Of How The Music Industry Works course on July 15 at Harrow Mencap. At the same venue will be the Black Music Records & African Crafts Fair on July 23, with hard to find vinyl and CDs on sale. The evening will round off with Vinyl Memories: Talking Classic BBM Albums, where attendees are encouraged to bring their favourite vinyl records to play and talk about.
BBMM includes two joint AntiUniversity Now programmes in east London. Kwaku leads on the two thousand year History Of Black Music In Britain presentation on June 15 at Hackney Museum, whilst community educator Toyin Agbetu leads on Musvism: The ‘Black Power’ Soundtrack on June 10 at the Arcola Theatre. Agbetu also leads on the Revolution Will Be Live! The Black Power To Guerrilla Media workshop at Harrow Mencap on July 7.
The Month also includes competitions for items such as Imagination feat. Leee John’s BBMM2017 Recommended Album ‘Retropia (Cristal Records), BBM/BMC T-shirts, Focus Africa Music Festival tickets, and the Island Records @ 50 commemorative book ‘Keep On Running’; a screening day on June 24 at Unite The Union in Holborn, where BMM/BMC related films will be screened; plus When UK Impacted Upon US Black Music and Rock Music Is Black Music presentations on June 26 and July 3 respectively.
Although BBMM2017 will officially end on July 31 with The History Of British Black Music Music (BBM) & Crossover BBM Quiz at Harrow Mencap, the weekly Wednesday broadcasts on BrentCommunityRadio.org will continue until the end of August.
Majority of the events are free, except where indicated. For more information or to book, go to the BBM microsite at www.BBM.eventbrite.com.
“Although in its ten years British Black Music Month has been London-focused, it’s hope that 2018 will signal the start of non-London events, as a consequence of the [email protected] stakeholder relations programme,” says BBMM curator Kwaku
BBMM2017 in June/July is part of the two-year [email protected] programming, which ends December 2017.
BBMM events are organised by BBM/BMC in association with a number of partners.
Majority of the events are free except where indicated. For more information or to book, go to the BBM microsite at www.BBM.eventrite.com.