City Of London Festival @ Canary Wharf

City of London Festival @ Canary Wharf is a six-day, action packed event of world music, featuring acclaimed international and UK-based musicians and is part of the City of London Festival.

Following the success of its inauguration at Canary Wharf last year, the event now celebrates its second year with an impressive line-up of musical talent set to perform during lunchtimes and early evenings at open air locations within the Canary Wharf Estate, including Canada Square Park, Montgomery Square and West Wintergarden.

Lucie Moore, Acting Arts and Events Manager at Canary Wharf Group said: “We are excited to see the return of the City of London Festival at Canary Wharf with a feast of entertainment that includes nationally and internationally renowned artists and a diverse range of cultural music suitable for all ages to enjoy. The programme blends styles and instruments from around the world and sees the return of popular performers plus a line up of exceptional new talent”.

From Monday through to Wednesday, there will be a performance every lunchtime in Canada Square Park starting with a concert of Finnish tango nuevo from Helsinki’s Duo Milla Vijamaa & Johanna Juhola on Monday 6th July. On Tuesday 7th July, Brazilian-born percussionist Adriano Adewale and his band will offer up their unique and thoroughly entertaining fusion of world music and jazz and on Wednesday 8th July Southern Tenant Folk Union, led by Belfast born banjo player Pat McGarvey will play a lively blend of old-time, bluegrass, Celtic folk and union songs.

There will be two performances in Canada Square Park on Thursday 9th July. At lunchtime The Pete Churchill Vocal Project, a contemporary 18-piece choir led by pianist Pete Churchill will perform uplifting South African township, funk, soul and jazz. In the evening the brilliant Buenavista style band, Soneando will help everyone to unwind with their hot Cuban Son and Salsa.

On Friday 10th July the extraordinarily comic and skilful dancers, Bicycle Ballet will celebrate the playful, chaotic and sometimes treacherous world of cycling with a visual spectacle that fuses dance forms with striking imagery and a dynamic soundtrack. They will present three performances in Montgomery Square at 12pm, 2pm and 5pm.

Lunchtime music in Canada Square Park that day will be from the remarkable young Scottish band Bodega, recent winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musicians of the Year award. In the evening the Afro-jazz super group Soothsayers & the Red Earth Collective will present sublime, grove-heavy beats, combining Afro beat, hip-hop and dub with organic sound and mighty horn arrangements.

The Festival’s week long programme at Canary Wharf will conclude on Saturday 11th July with PLUCK!, a celebration of stringed instruments from around the world.

Saturday Performances:

12:30pm Rattle on the Stovepipe – this 5-string, banjo, fiddle and guitar combo have earned an enthusiastic folk club following with their mix of traditional songs, ballads and dance tunes from the British Isles and the Appalachian Mountains region of the U.S.A.

2pm & 4pm Les Colporteurs – a final chance to catch this award-winning French theatre company’s latest performance Les Etoiles. Balancing on a structure made of pipes and wires, four tightrope walkers perform two poetic tales of predictable encounters in a very unpredictable ballet.

3pm El Andaluz – London’s leading exponents of classical Arabic and Andalusian music, led by renowned oud player, Yazid Fentazi, will take the listener on a wonderful journey around the southern shores of the Mediterranean, often beginning with a poetic and reflective Andalusian Nuba before travelling on to the trance-like Sufi music of the Sahara.

5pm Balalaika London – this quartet specialising in Russian music on traditional acoustic instruments, including balalaika, will present a varied repertoire of gypsy and village dances, tangos, waltzes and traditional Russian folk.

6pm Hopkele House Amazing String Band – A 21st century klezmer céilidh, which is
barn dancing Jewish-style. Fun for all ages and abilities, this promises to be a fittingly rousing end to this vibrant and colourful week of music-making and dance.

Saturday Kids Workshops
In addition to stunning performances, there will be half-hourly kids’ music workshops from 1pm-6pm at West Wintergarden. These will provide a fun and exciting opportunity for kids of 8 years + to play traditional stringed instruments such as the ukulele, berimbaum, kora, balalaika and banjo. These workshops are supported by Mayor of London as part of Rhythm of London.

Venue: Canada Square Park, Montgomery Square, West Wintergarden, Canary Wharf, E14

Date: Monday 6th – Saturday 11th July 2009

Performances: Monday-Friday 12.30-2.30pm, Thursday-Friday 5pm-7pm, Saturday 12.30pm-7.30pm

Workshops – Saturday 1pm-6pm. Suitable for 8 years +. Places limited and should be reserved on arrival at the venue.


Information and programme updates: arts&
Transport: Take Jubilee Line or Docklands Light Railway to Canary Wharf