The London Latin Music Festival 2009

la linea

The London Latin Music Festival (14th April – 30th April 2009)

Tuesday 14 April  Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro UK Debut + Pascal Comelade & Bel Canto Orquestra UK Debut Barbican (Catalan Focus)
Friday 17th April – Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra with Omar Puente group – South Bank Centre
Saturday 18 April  Peret: 50 years of Rumba Catalana UK Debut + La Troba Kung-Fú UK Debut Barbican (Catalan Focus)
Barbican Late night Freestage – Los Chinches + Movimientos DJs
Sunday 26th April  Vanessa Da Mata UK Debut – Koko
Monday 27 April – Ojos de Brujo + Kumar – Roundhouse (Catalan Focus)
Tuesday 28 April –  Spanish Bombs: Tropical Tribute to the Clash World Premiere – Barbican
Thursday 30 April – Alejandro Escovedo – Bush Hall

La Linea pre-launch:
Wednesday 1 April  Novalima + Movimientos DJs – Cargo

La Linea on film:
Tuesday 14 April  Café de los Maestros (U) 5pm screening – Barbican
Tuesday 28 April  – Walker (18) 5pm screening – Barbican
La Linea, the London Latin Music Festival, now in its ninth year, returns in venues across Central London in April.  La Linea has earned an international reputation for unveiling, new artists, new collaborations  and each year extends the frontiers of Latin Music. As usual La Linea delivers – with the music and musicians of Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Cuba plus a large Catalan contingent, in a special Catalan Focus presented with support of Institut Ramon Llull, with tradition, innovation and toy pianos all in the mix.

Of the UK debuts Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro bring their Tango attack, Pascal Comelade & his Bel Canto Orquestra, is likely to be the quirkiest La Linea visitor in ’09; Peret is the don of Rumba Catalana and his show is long overdue in London, La Troba Kung-Fú mix Rumba Catalana with Colombian Cumbia with great energy and songwriting; and Vanessa Da Mata is three albums into a career that promises to scale the heights for years to come.

The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra from Caracas is already creating great interest worldwide with their unique intensive teaching method, known as El Sistema, that takes young street kids and teaches them how to play and love classical music but uniquely, for one night only, they will be joined by classically trained Cuban violin virtuoso Omar Puente and his band; and then we have an extraordinary evening of music first performed by one of the most iconic bands of the last 30 years, The Clash. Punk inspired many to pick up guitars for the first time and in the case of the Clash it was especially so in the Spanish speaking world. Spanish Bombs: Tropical Tribute to the Clash does what it says on the tin – and is not to be missed.

La Linea: two world premiere collaborations, five UK debuts, a special focus on the music of Catalonia and two great films. Vamanos.

La Linea is produced and presented by Como No and supported by the Arts Council of England. Events in La Linea also continue in Liverpool on May 1 and 2 with shows by Ojos de Brujo and Spanish Bombs: Tropical Tribute to the Clash at the Philharmonic Hall.

Tuesday 14 April 7.30pm
Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro UK Debut + Pascal Comelade & Bel Canto Orquestra UK Debut Catalan Focus
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS
Tel: 0844 848 8434
Tickets: £10/15/20

The UK debut for the band at the forefront of a movement in Buenos Aires to recapture the verve, energy and virtuosity of traditional acoustic tango for the 21st century. Fernández Fierro is a 12-strong orquesta tipica driven by three violins and four bandoneóns; vocals are handled by Walter ‘Chino’ Laborde.  The group has revolutionised what tango stands for in Argentina.  Their sound is younger, harder, faster and perfectly captures the mood of the country in its post-crash hangover, appealing to a younger audience and deliberately side-stepping the clichés of ‘tourist’ tango.   But it is playful as well as intense, with a touch of Vaudeville staging and plenty of rock attitude.  Listeners are amazed at their virtuosity, and fall in love with their intensity.  They have so far released three studio albums: Envasado en Origen (2002), Destrucción Masiva (2003) and Mucha Mierda (2006).

‘The vibe’s hip and energetic. The music’s totally infectious. They call it “non-traditional traditional tango” ‘ –  The Guardian

Gloriously unclassifiable, the Franco-Catalan composer and multi-instrumentalist Pascal Comelade received rave reviews for his recent retrospective collection The No Dancing (Because), which featured collaborations with PJ Harvey and Robert Wyatt. Eccentric, whimsical, and above all musical, Comelard has been doing it his way since the 1970s.

Friday 17th April. 9.30 pm
Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra with Omar Puente group
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX
Tel: 0871 663 2500
All Tickets £12

Members of Venezuela’s acclaimed orchestra collaborate with UK-based Cuban violin virtuoso Omar Puente and his group in a special show featuring wild improvisation and big band fireworks. Unique live magin exploring the musical links between Venezuela and Cuba.

The Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra) is a Venezuelan <> youth orchestra. The orchestra is under the auspices of Fundacion del Estado para el Sistema Nacional de las Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela, known colloquially as El Sistema <> . The orchestra is based at the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex <>  in Caracas <>  and is considered the apex of the nation’s system of 220 youth orchestras.

Saturday 18 April 7.30pm
Peret : 50 years of Rumba Catalana UK Debut + La Troba Kung-Fú UK Debut Catalan Focus
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS
Tel: 0844 848 8434
Tickets: £14/18/22

Rumba Catalana – once widely dismissed by many Flamenco purists as a low cross-breed genre unworthy of serious interest – is one of the most vital and exciting sounds to have emerged from Spain in the late and post-Franco years.  Unlike flamenco itself, it grew up in northern Spain (primarily in Barcelona’s gypsy neighbourhoods) and Peret (real name, Pedro Pubill Calaf ) has long been its godfather and one of its musical figureheads. This long-awaited UK debut for Peret (b. 1935) promises to make many new converts for this irrepressible and infectious mixture of flamenco and Latin American styles, which he introduced to the world in the 1970s on his early Discophon albums.  His songs have been covered by everyone from Tom Jones to David Byrne and his influence stretches from the Gypsy Kings to Ojos de Brujo. His most recent CD is Que Levante El Dedo (K Industria).  Tonight, backed by his Barcelonan big band, the ultimate showman, celebrating 50 years in music, finally brings his rumba to London.

‘The undefeated heavyweight champion of the Rumba Catalana’ –

La Troba Kung-Fú, another example of the remarkable musical mestizaje (fusion) that continues to emerge from the barrios of Barcelona, is led by singer and accordionist Joan Garriga. Heavily influenced by Cumbia, seasoned by rock and reggae, they deliver a manic and electrifying live show.

Los Chinches + Movimientos DJs
Aftershow Late night Freestage

Los Chinches have been described as Chicha Libre with Oyster Cards which is one wag’s way of saying that this is a band based in the kingdom of Bullingdon Boris but are also purveyors of Chicha – the sound of late 60s Peru – a mixture of latin rhythms, surf music and psychedelic pop that could also be described as Amazonian funk.

Sunday 26th April. Doors 7 pm.
Vanessa Da Mata UK Debut
1A Camden High Street,
Tel: 0870 1451115
Tickets: £15 in advance

The UK debut of a great new voice from Brazil. Singer/songwriter Vanessa Da Mata wrote “A força que nunca seca” with Chico César which was recorded by Chico himself as well as being covered by Maria Bethânia and used as the title track of Maria’s ’99 album. Vanessa has had other songs covered by Maria as well as by Daniela Mercury. Vanessa has toured Brazil with Black Uhuru and her third album “Sim” (Yes) features a collaboration with Ben Harper and is released in the UK on April 6th. Vanessa originally planned to be a doctor but instead became a model, a basketball player and a member of a female reggae band called Shalla-Ball before immersing herself totally in music.

Presented in association with Jungle Drums

Monday 27 April. 7pm
Ojos de Brujo Catalan Focus + Kumar
Chalk Farm Road,
Tel: 0844 482 8008
Tickets £18 in advance

The great Catalan collective celebrate the release of their new CD “Aocaná” on April 20th via Warners (and singer/lyricist Marina’s new baby) with what promises to be a highlight of La Linea ‘09. Their last show at the Roundhouse, in 2007, was a sell out which The Guardian gave a 5 star review: “The classy musicianship was matched by the visual effects, with the constant changes in style matched by the witty imagery on the screen behind the stage. This was great European music with a global outlook”.

They are supported by Cuban rapper, Kumar, who is something of an Ojos protégée as his debut CD “Película de Barrio” was produced by Xavi Turull from the band. Kumar is already getting big love from Gilles Peterson and featured at GP’s Worldwide Awards show in January at Cargo.

Tuesday 28 April 7.30pm
Spanish Bombs: Tropical Tribute to the Clash World Premiere
Featuring members of Ozomatli, Plastilina Mosh, King Chango, Sergent Garcia, Amparanoia, Alejandro Escovedo and more tba.
Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London EC2Y 8DS
Tel: 0844 848 8434
Tickets: £15/20/25

World-premiere concert featuring 15-piece band and guest vocalists re-interpreting Clash repertoire through a Latin filter.

In the late seventies and early eighties a band from west London called to the Latin world and now that world is answering back. The Clash – Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simenon and Topper Headon – had a huge influence on a generation of musicians in the Spanish-speaking world through their sound, attitude and the internationalism of albums such as Sandinista!  Joe Strummer even went on to record a Latin-flavoured soundtrack for the Alex Cox film Walker (nb screening details below).

Among many guest stars will be:
• Ulises Bella & Wil-Dog Abers of LA cross cultural Latin hip-hopsters Ozomatli
• Tex/Mex-inspired rocker Alejandro Escovedo, whose musical and geographical journeys have taken in punk rock, country and string quintets
• Amparo Sanchez of Amparanoia, winner of a BBC Radio 3 Award for World music in 2005
• Blanquito Man of New York Latin Ska pioneers King Chango
• Jonaz of Mexico’s electronic funsters Plastilina Mosh
• Bruno Garcia and the Cuban crew from France’s mighty Sergent Garcia
• Moyenei, a stunning Mexico-based singer of Reggaeton and Dance Hall.

Also featuring a 15-piece band, this special show is being assembled by producer and DJ Toy Hernández (who has worked with Shakira, Café Tacuba, Manu Chao, Eminem, Cypress Hill, and many others) and keyboardist Mike Smith (who has worked with the Clash’s Paul Simenon in The Good, The Bad and The Queen, as well acting as musical director for MD for Africa Express, Monkey and Honest Jons Chop Up).

This supercharged evening promises Clash repertoire reinterpreted and reinvigorated through a Latin filter, the sound that finally came back from the faraway towns.

Thursday 30 April 7.30 pm
Alejandro Escovedo
Bush Hall
310 Uxbridge Road,
W12 7LJ
08700 600 100
Tickets £15 in advance

Escovedo’s roots are in San Franciscan punk starting with The Nuns in the mid-70s (The Nuns supported the Sex Pistols on their first US trip)  moving to New York based country-punk (later known as alt country) in Rank & File. After a stint with his brother Javier in their “True Believers” he began a successful solo career with ‘92’s “Gravity”. His most recent is called “Real Animal”. Alejandro is brother to Pete and Coke Escovedo of the original Santana band and uncle of Sheila E. This is a chance to get up close and personal with an artist that boasts Bruce Springsteen as a fan.

La Linea Pre-Launch

Wednesday 1 April Doors 7pm-1am
Novalima + Movimientos DJs
83 Rivington Street
Tel: 08700 600100
£12 in advance

For the last few years Novalima has been on a mission to bring Afro-Peruvian music up to date. It’s raw and acoustic but with electronic touches. Dark but soulful. Deep and haunting at times. Killer dub basslines with thumping cajon, quijada and percussion. Coming direct from Peru this is the band’s first show in London since their La Linea debut three year’s ago.

La Linea on film


Tuesday 14 April 5 pm
Café de los Maestros (U)
Barbican Cinema 3
0844 848 8434
Tickets from £4.50

A must-see ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ for tango fans, which charts the legendary gathering of veteran musicians from tango’s golden age during the 40s and 50s
for a concert at Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colón. A labour of love from La Linea favourite, Gustavo Santaolalla. The film is screened before tonight’s performance by Fernández Fierro and heralds the coming of a live show by Café de los Maestros at the Barbican in June.

Tuesday 28 April 5 pm
Walker (18)
Barbican Cinema 3
Tickets from £6.50.
0844 848 8434

With a score composed entirely by Joe Strummer, Alex Cox’s film follows the 19th century exploits of soldier-of-fortune William Walker. Strummer also has a small walk-on part in this eccentric, yet serious look at the relationship between the US and Central America.

La Linea ’09 Liverpool

La Linea Liverpool is presented in association with the Philharmonic Hall

Friday May 1 – Ojos de Brujo + Kumar
Saturday May 2 – Spanish Bombs: Tropical Tribute to the Clash
Philharmonic Hall
36 Hope Street
L1 0AB.  0151 709 3789

For more information on La Linea please visit:

For all enquiries regarding London’s La Linea please contact Gerry Lyseight on 020 7095 8146 / /

For all enquiries regarding Liverpool’s La Linea please contact Victoria Lamb, Press and Marketing Officer – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall,
on 0151 2102903 /