world music, jazz, popular music

Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

no interval
Festival Theatre
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

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The harp/kora duo of Welshwoman Catrin Finch and Senegal's Seckou Keita formed by accident in 2012. Finch was planning to go on a tour in partnership with Toumani Diabate, but an extremist military group prevented Diabate from leaving Mali. They couldn't cancel the rehearsals, as Finch had never played with an African harpist before, so she had to find someone to replace Toumani. The choice thus fell on the highly esteemed Senegalese griot, who is also, incidentally, a descendant of Sundiata Keita, founder of the Mali Empire.

It didn't take long, scarcely a few days, for their 'ad hoc' relationship to bind together two ends of a thousand-year-old tradition evolving in places 3,000 miles apart: the harp, an indispensible part of both Celtic and West African culture, that of the relentless Welsh bards and the griots, the storytellers of Mali and Senegal. Also becoming a symbol of their new album Soar, for this reason, is the majestic bird of prey the osprey, which had returned to Wales from West Africa after several hundred years.
For Finch and Keita, their encounter felt like one of two artists who had always played together. The following year, in the autumn of 2013, they appeared together at WOMEX, the most prestigious forum for presenting world music. Those present kept dead silent throughout the magic atmosphere of the concert, and even afterwards it was not easy for them to snap out of their trance. So it was a fortunate thing when they released their début album, Clychau Dibon, in 2013, thus assuring that the extraordinary experience would remain an unforgettable one time and again. Named the BBC's 'best line-up', the duo also won Songlines magazine's 'best fusion' award last year. And no wonder... because the only wonder involved is the one that will bring the Müpa Budapest audience to their feet.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest

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