Yellow Arch Venue Hosts Rafiki Jazz with Sheffield Harmony Collective, The End Of UpClose2019

Now we have finished the tour, I am not sure where to go from here. I am feeling slightly empty; a feeling of a space that awaits for more music; not just any music, but with great artistic musical expressions that radiate history of mankind, interactions and deliver joy and courage. These all come from the musicians, they radiate infinite energy, as if they are spotlights. That energy is a form that creates our reality. If you have it, you think everyone else has it too. But that is not particularly true. The people who have it, have got to live with its burning warmth.  Using that energy is the craftsman’s discipline, it is a learned skill. When artists produce works which reflect that light and those emotions and lives, then the audience gets the whole story, including the tales that are told and the ones that are hidden.

It should not be mixed with ego. We can compare its power with the deadliest weapons of our times, it has the potential to turn that person into an unstoppable fireball. It is the essence of the universal personal truth of art and music. Not everybody dares to carry it with the responsibility, humility, and respect it deserves, but only the greatest. We are lucky to have these greatest musicians on our album and on the 10th December at the Yellow Arch Studios. 

I would like to cut this piece of writing short and I hope you would accept my apologies. I am not too good on goodbyes. Even though every goodbye is a new start. 

Sheffield is close to our hearts. The gig promoter Spencer, and Nick from the Yellow Arch venue both know everything that ought to be known during the day, & could easily be one of my mates. Yellow Arch is a bit like Sheffield, romantic, diligent, full of taste and always ready for an interesting, surprising night of good music with good people.

I am emotional. Before I cry my heart out, I ought to give you the names of our guest singers all joining us on this night. They are the finest in their league.
Brief chat with Kaitlin Ross

Sheffield Folk Harmony Collective: Nancy Kerr, Greg Russell, Sam Carter, Marilla Homes, and Gaelic traditional singer Kaitlin Ross

At this gig, instead of Sam Carter who had other musical arrangements for the same night, we had the pleasure of working with James Fagan, Nancy Kerr’s husband and music partner.

Sheffield Folk Harmony Collective

Nancy, James and Greg are all well-heard names on the folk music scene. Nancy Kerr: 2015 BBC 2 Folk Awards “Folk Singer of the Year”; Greg Russell: 2015 BBC 2 Young Folk Award and the Horizon Awards winner, whilst Kaitlin Ross won the 2018 Battle of the Scottish Folk Bands with her band Eabhal. Marilla released her debut album in 2018 with Steel Songbirds, and Sam Carter was Best Newcomer for the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and is hunting for Sacred Harp Music. So many more harmonies, projects and performances are happening! 

Overall, it has been a rewarding journey working with all the guests’ singers. Getting to know them & getting to hear their music has opened a door for me & for the band to other musical worlds. 

We explore a vision of the future of world music, meandering between music from anywhere and re-imagining new ways of moving among the traditional folk soundscapes.

Azadi was one of my favorites. Originally put together by Tony Bowring, Cath Carr & John Ball, now with lyrics from Avital Raz and soaring solos from violinist Vijay Venkat and Kadialy’s glittering kora.

As we come to the end of our blog posts, it is time to order Rafiki Jazz’s new album ‘Saraba Sufiyana’ if you haven’t yet! You can find all their albums on Amazon & streamed on Spotify.