Editor-in-chief Simon Broughton Publisher & Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Editor Jo Frost Deputy Editor & Reviews Editor Alexandra Petropoulos Art Director Paulina Stopka Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Online Content Editor James McCarthy Editorial Assistant Spencer Grady News Editor Russ Slater Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska World Cinema Editor John Atkinson Marketing Manager John Barnett Cover Image Nöt Cédrick (Moonlight Benjamin) Brett Rubin & Bernard Benant (Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela inset) Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & Nigel Williamson Subscriptions Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford CEO Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: 0800 137 201 Overseas: +44 (0)1722 716997 subscriptions@markallengroup.com ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7501 6683


The changing world

At the time (March 14) I didn’t appreciate that the concert by Kodo, Japan’s legendary taiko drumming troupe, would be my final gig before the UK went into COVID-19 shutdown. At this point social distancing was being talked about – but not widely implemented – so I admit to venturing out to the Southbank Centre with some trepidation. I was delighted, however, that the almost sold-out Royal Festival Hall gave the group a genuinely heartfelt standing ovation. The picture on p19 gives a good reflection of the joy felt not just by the group, but by the audience too. The speed at which the coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of our lives has been unprecedented. As a music fan, it won’t have escaped your notice that the music scene has been severely hit, with the closure of venues and a barrage of gig, tour and festival cancellations. Sadly just as we were completing this issue, our own Encounters Festival in May was cancelled. A huge disappointment for us given that it was to be our tenth anniversary edition, but also a massive blow for everyone at Kings Place and the artists, several of who are still featured in this issue – London Bulgarian Choir (p21) and San Salvador (p36) – as we still hope to include them next year. Thanks to everyone who supported the festival – and please do save the dates (May 20-24 2021) for next year’s edition.

As it’s no longer an option for many readers to buy the magazine from their local shop, there’s all the more reason to subscribe – either for yourself or perhaps for a family member or friend who might be self-isolating. You can find more details on how to subscribe on p40. I hope this issue and the covermount CD will provide some welcome distraction. So please keep on reading and listening to music, but most importantly stay safe.

The speed at which coronavirus has impacted all of our lives has been


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Jo Frost, editor




Songlines is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PB, UK +44 (0)20 7738 5454 info@songlines.co.uk www.songlines.co.uk © MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting http:// privacypolicy.markallengroup.com. This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2A Record trade distribution Songlines 020 7738 5454 Newstrade distribution Seymour 020 7429 4000

Mark Sampson A writer and DJ based in France, Mark has been a longtime contributor to Songlines. This issue he ventures into la France profonde to speak to the vocal sextet San Salvador. Read more on p36.

Lucy Hallam A recent graduate of SOAS, Lucy is based in Paris where she works as a music workshop facilitator and freelance journalist. Read her interview with Moonlight Benjamin on p30.

Bastiaan Springer Dutch music journalist and DJ Bastiaan travelled to Brussels to review Zaïko Langa Langa’s anniversary gig (on p66) – very sadly his last as he passed away just as we went to press. He’ll be much missed.

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music fits into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identi . Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.