Set towards the end of May, just as we’re easing into summer, WorldFest brings something different to the cultural life of the Tees Valley, with a packed schedule of events.
Past years’ WorldFests have featured acts such as Horace Andy, Aswad, Tinariwen, Gregory Isaacs, Kanda Bongo Man and Kasai Masai.
Headliners this year (Saturday May 29th Middlesbrough Town Hall) will be Misty in Roots and Dennis Bovell Dub Band.
With a career spanning four decades Misty in Roots are one of England’s finest reggae groups and their album Live At the Counter Eurovision is proclaimed by many critics as the best live reggae album of all time. Misty In Roots were also a favourite group of the legendary radio DJ John Peel and in October 2005 they played the first "John Peel Day" held to mark the anniversary of his last show.
Dennis Bovell has earned himself the reputation of being Britain's reggae maestro, from pioneering early developments in the genre over 20 years ago to producing classic hits. He is renowned as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (playing guitar, bass and keyboards), sound engineer, composer, band leader and producer and continues to lead the UK scene with innovative and adventurous music. He was co-founder of Matumbi, the grossly under-rated band who once knocked spots off some outfit called Bob Marley and The Wailers who they were supporting. Dennis continues to be a massive presence - he's worked with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Fela Kuti, The Slits and Linton Kwesi Johnson- and live, the Dub Band's rock-solid horns and rhythm section never fail to move and groove.
There will also be a varied WorldFest programme including a youth event, a community night, an African night at ARC Stockton on Friday 21st May featuring French Ivorian reggae star Pablo U-wa and Dennis Bovell International Orchestra.
Rowena Sommerville, Director of Tees Valley Arts, commented “we are delighted to have booked two stars of the reggae world in Misty in Roots and Dennis Bovell. They have delighted festival audiences the world over and I am sure Middlesbrough will be no different!"
WorldFest is brought to you by Tees Valley Arts in partnership with African Arts Association and Middlesbrough and Stockton Councils.
WorldFest is funded by the Northern Rock Foundation with additional support from Middlesbrough Council, Stockton on Tees Borough Council, Northumbrian Water, Tees Valley Community Foundation, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Baring Foundation and local businesses. Our thanks go to all our supporters and sponsors!
For further information please contact Tees Valley Arts on 01642 264651