African music in Graffham

Kasai Masai

Music promoter Roots Around the World is heading back to where it all started – The Empire Hall, Graffham – with UK-based African band Kasai Masai and their dancers on Saturday, January 10.

Roots director Sue Martin said: “Roots Around the World formed in 2002 and for the next seven years ran a series of concerts that took quality world-music artists to perform within the communities of rural West Sussex.

“The challenge at first was to encourage people to experience genres of music so unfamiliar to them. Once people started to trust that what we were presenting was always going to be top quality, audiences grew.

“Although the village-hall concerts were gaining popularity, in order to sustain such a programme and Roots, we also promoted concerts at the Chichester Festival Theatre’s main house and Minerva Theatre by more well-known celtic and folk artists to raise additional income and our pro-file. Sadly, once our Arts Council and local authority funding ceased, and the Chichester Festival Theatre closed for refurbishment, it was impossible to keep our rural activity going.”

“African bands were particularly popular at The Empire Hall. It’s a wonderful space that just oozes character and atmosphere, with plenty of room to dance,” says Sue. “Kasai Masai were always a firm favourite with our Roots Around the World audiences so what better band to choose to start, what is hoped to be, a new rural music programme.”

Tickets from 01243 783185 and details from www.rootsaroundtheworld.com.

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