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Making Manchester interview 2 - Kabantu, world music quintet

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

Kabantu are a world music quintet from Manchester who unravel new marriages of music from around the globe to celebrate the space where different cultures collaborate. Highlights include performances at the BBC Proms, live sessions for BBC Free Thinking Festival, BBC Radio 3 In Tune, World on 3 and an array of prestigious festivals and venues across the UK including The Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead, Celtic Connections, Musicport, Spitalfields Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival. Kabantu will be working with pupils from DTA to workshop and compose the final song, which the young people will emerge from the audience to perform on stage alongside Kabantu. Kabantu will also write music to perform along to the audio-recordings of the young people's stories.

What interested you about Making Manchester, and why did you decide to get involved? We have all lived in Manchester for almost a decade now - this project is all about people who originate from elsewhere, but call Manchester their home and Kabantu also find ourselves in this situation. Members of Kabantu were born in Scotland, Germany, France, South Africa and England but we now all call Manchester our home and are proud to be part of such a melting pot of cultures, where so many people live side by side from different parts of the world. How do you see Making Manchester being different from other projects you've been involved in?

This is different from other projects we have been involved in because it involves creative work built around real people - Kabantu means "of the people" and stems from a South African philosophy called "Ubuntu" which translates as "I am who I am because of who we all are What are you most excited about, as part of Making Manchester? We are really excited about the collaborative forces coming together - the combination of improvisation, world and classical music, children, poetry, the vision of the director and to see how this materialises in the show. What do you hope to achieve in your role as part of the project? We hope to be able to be the musical glue that stitches the show together - that uplifts and moves and takes the audience on a journey through the narrative via music that takes inspiration from the origins and ancestry of the children's stories.

Two performances of Making Manchester will take place on 27/28th June at Niamos Radical Arts Centre. Tickets for are £5 and available from Skiddle, Tickets For Good or on the door.

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