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‘This is the ninth year of Songlines Encounters Festival. We’re doing what we’ve always done – bring high-quality artists from around the world as championed by world music magazine Songlines to play in the superb environment of Kings Place.

In our 20th anniversary year of Songlines magazine, we’re thrilled by an exciting package of golden-age Ethiopian music. A screening of the excellent film Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul is followed by a performance from one of the stars of the film, veteran singer and pianist Girma Bèyènè with the band Akalé Wubé. It’s a UK premiere and will take your breath away.

Also tying in with Kings Place’s Venus Unwrapped series we’ve got an explosion of strong female creativity headlined by the young Portuguese fado singer who’s making waves, Gisela João.

With a typical global spread, we have superb musicians from four continents, including France, Portugal, Italy, Estonia, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, India, Brazil and of course the UK. There are compelling Q&As and films too.’

Songlines Editor-in-Chief Simon Broughton

Listen to the Songlines Encounters Festival playlist to get in the mood.

View shows & offers

Festival Offer: Save 30% when you book 3+ Songlines Encounters Festival concerts.
Discount automatically applied when 3+ concerts have been added to your online basket. This offer is limited and subject to event availability. The film screenings and Q&As are excluded from this offer. Saver Seats are excluded from this offer.

Q&A: Mari Kalkun in conversation with Simon Broughton

Free / Songlines Encounters Festival

Estonian kannel zither player Mari Kalkun talks to Songlines Editor-in-Chief Simon Broughton about her instrument and sources of inspiration.

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AKA Trio

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Coming from three different continents – Europe, Africa and South America – Antonio Forcione, Seckou Keita and Adriano Adewale create a refreshingly original international fusion.

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Double Bill: Mari Kalkun + Fran & Flora

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Estonian kannel zither player Mari Kalkun brings us her captivating solo show. Violinist Flora Curzon and cellist Francesca Ter-Berg combine traditional Transylvanian, klezmer, Romanian, Greek and Armenian sounds.

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Film Screening: Mariza and the Story of Fado

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

This documentary profiles Portugal’s most famous fado singer, Mariza, and tells the fascinating political story of the music which began in the working-class districts of Lisbon around 200 years ago.

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Gisela João

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

The celebrated Portuguese fado singer Gisela João performs soulful songs from her second album Nua.

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London Klezmer Quartet

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Ilana Cravitz (violin), Susi Evans (clarinet), Carol Isaacs (accordion) and Indra Buraczewska (double bass and vocals) are real experts in the Jewish klezmer tradition and totally compelling on stage.

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Film Screening – Éthiopiques: Revolt of the Soul

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Maciek Bochniak’s documentary is one of the most compelling music films of recent years. It tells the story of Girma Bèyènè, Francis Falceto and Ethiopia’s musical golden age.

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Songlines Encounters Festival 2019 – Saturday Pass

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

See three fantastic events at Songlines Encounters Festival on Saturday 1 June for £30. Limited availability.

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Éthiopiques at Songlines Encounters – Girma Bèyènè & Akalé Wubé

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

The legendary Ethiopian singer and pianist Girma Bèyènè revisits some of his best hits joined by the young French Ethio jazz band Akalé Wubé.

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Vula Viel

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Described as ‘Ghanaian minimalism’, with the unassuming ability to blur the lines between atmospheres – Vula Viel’s sound may nod to Steve Reichian jazz, but influences don’t stop there.

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Q&A: Debashish Bhattacharya in conversation with Simon Broughton

Free / Songlines Encounters Festival

Debashish Bhattacharya demonstrates the unique qualities of his slide guitars and explains to Songlines Editor-in-Chief Simon Broughton why he needed to create them. 

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Double Bill: Debashish Bhattacharya + Derek Gripper

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Guitar masters Debashish Bhattacharya and Derek Gripper perform some of their solo repertoire before celebrating the UK premiere of their spectacular collaboration.

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Songlines Encounters Festival 2019 – Sunday Pass

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

See two fantastic events at Songlines Encounters Festival on Sunday 2 June for £28. Limited availability.

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Anandi Bhattacharya

World / Songlines Encounters Festival

Anandi Bhattacharya's debut album Joys Abound has impressed everyone who has heard it with its accomplishment and inventiveness. The singer performs solo and with her father and uncle.

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Lau

Folk / Songlines Encounters Festival

The brilliant trio of Kris Drever (guitar and vocals), Martin Green (accordion) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) are regarded as the epicentre of the new folk boom.

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