Sunday 3 April 2016

Bollywood comes to Calais

The Calais Sessions are a group of international musicians who use music to empower and entertain Europe's refugees. They travel with their instruments, and on arrival at camp, connect with local musicians, hear their stories, write and perform together. Workshops, including teaching basic guitar skills, ensure all residents can join in. Next weekend, 9/10 April, they are returning to the Calais 'jungle' for more music work there and, at the end of the weekend the ensemble will perform a Bollywood song, with dancers from the camp. As co-founder of the charity, War Child, and former director at the Pavarotti Music Centre in Bosnia, I have been invited to join them for the weekend. Percussionist Eugene Skeef and former director of music development at the Centre will come with us and lead drumming workshops. The importance of music to health and rehabilitation is as important to the victims of war today as it was 20 years ago. ( 'The Calais Sessions' the album, is released on May 6th, featuring the sessions in the jungle - Syrian folk songs, Ethiopian gospel lullaby, Sudanese drums and Afghan pop.) More on music and war in Left Field

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