Saturday 22 July -Help the Refugees Community Act
‘Help the Refugees’ has been working with artists from countries in crisis and will be showcasing talented musicians from Syria, Iraq and Sudan, living in Bristol playing music from their homelands.
Saturday 22 July - Alice Wild
The New Age Gypsies 'The NAGS.' An original folk duo who sing conscious songs, travelling the country busking and playing gigs. Alice Wild is the lead soulful vocalist, with Jamie Worley playing electric acoustic guitar, harmonica and backing vocals.
Saturday 22 July - Snazzback
Bristol’s Snazzback are a five-piece jazz, funk, soul and groove band. Their EP, recorded at Jute Box Studios, is scheduled for release this year.
Saturday 22 July - Katandi
Katandi are an energetic percussion band, playing traditional rhythms from West Africa. They are based in Bristol and play a mixture of djembe and dundun drums.
Saturday 22 July - Jimi Can
A consummate showman, singer-songwriter Jaime Cantera (Jimi Can) follows a singular muse, ambitiously splicing music from Spain, Cuba, Jamaica, West Africa & UK into a modern sound that fires the imagination.
Saturday 22 July - Duke Frenzy
This band offers a refreshing take on blues folk music, whilst riding on waves of African and Latin rhythms, providing a raw blend of styles whilst adopting a hip hop mentality and offering lyrics that will knock your socks off and return them to you odd, but fresh.
Sunday 23 July - The Bristol Ensembles Youth Project
The weekly music workshops enables the children to learn about Handel, his life and what musical instruments were used for the Water Music composition. The children have been supported to create their own version of Water Music which they will be performing.
Sunday 23 July - Bath & Bristol Community Band
An energetic local ensemble that plays a wide repertoire of swing, jazz, blues and Latin big band classics in festivals and gigs around the Bristol and Somerset area. Made up of non-professional musicians from all over 20 postcodes, BCBB are a fun-loving and inclusive group.
Sunday 23 July - Batala Samba Band
Batala Bristol is part of a larger international samba reggae music project. The Batala family currently has over 30 groups in 15 countries and a worldwide membership of over 1000 percussionists.
Sunday 23 July - Mango Factory
Comprising a super tight rhythm section, explosive horns and two incredible vocalists, the Mangos have been blasting their way across the South West and beyond.
Sunday 23 July - Galactic Funk Militia
Galactic Funk Militia infectious tunes swagger with impulsive groove, explode with horns and wailing electric guitar, and seduce you with sensuous liquid synth. The sound is completed by quick-fire rap and the divadelic lead vocals of Amber Kuti.
Sunday 23 July - Baraka
A unique combination of musicians from Ghana, Senegal, Trinidad, Dominica and Ireland. Each musician contributes his individual sound and style - Reggae featuring a Kora and Djembe, Township with a Calypso bassline, Hilife with Blues Harmonica, Soca with Balafon and Flute.
This year’s Bristol Harbour Festival will conclude with a 45-minute performance of Handel’s Water Music in the Floating Harbour at 5.30pm on Sunday 23 July. The Bristol Ensemble will perform on a flotilla of boats, with flares marking the finale beside Brunel’s SS Great Britain.
The dramatic performance will mark the 300th anniversary of the first legendary performance of the famous piece. In July 1717, the premiere was given in front of the King and his court aboard a flotilla of boats on the River Thames, so it is fitting that this recreation will take place on the water beside one of Bristol’s most exciting historic landmarks: Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Brunel was a great fan of Handel’s music, and requested that ‘See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes’ from Judas Maccabaeus was performed at an underwater party held inside his new Thames Tunnel during its construction in the 1820s; Brunel later had the same piece performed at an event marking the completion of the Royal Albert Bridge, Plymouth.
Bristol’s 300th anniversary performance of Handel’s Water Music is possible thanks to public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Earlier on Sunday 23 July, children from local primary schools involved with ‘Preludes’ music project will perform a new composition on the SS Great Britain and BBC Radio Bristol stage in Brunel Square. They will work with ‘Preludes’ teachers and musicians from the Bristol Ensemble, taking inspiration from Handel’s Water Music before premiering their Bristol Harbour Festival performance.
Roger Huckle, Artistic Director for the Bristol Ensemble, will direct both performances. He said: “This will be a fantastic event, echoing the first performance of the Water Music which took place on the Thames. Our flotilla will set sail from the SS Great Britain, voyaging along the harbourside to the amphitheatre and Museum Square, entertaining the crowds with this wonderful, centuries-old music. It promises to be a wonderful highlight of Bristol Harbour Festival.”
A variety of other acts will also be performing over the weekend. Scroll through the pictures above for highlights.
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