CD out now
Alevanta! is the first solo album by Benjamin Escoriza, the former lead singer of the seminal Spanish band Radio Tarifa.
Radio Tarifa pioneered a crossover between Spanish, Moroccan and Sephardic Jewish music before they stopped performing last year.
They led the way for a whole range of musicians in Iberia and southern Europe to explore the huge Arab input into Mediterranean culture.
This new album is more rooted in the flameco tradition of Escoriza’s native Andulacia, but the North African influence is still there. The Moroccan multi-instrumentalist Hassan Erraji features on the track “El Raton”.
Despite the change of musical direction, Escoriza is continuing Radio Tarifa’s work with his new album. It is confirmation of the cultural vitality that can currently be seen across Spain.
Thirty years of Rock Against Racism
Hackney Empire, London E9
Tuesday 10 July and Thursday 19 July
Misty in Roots, Tom Robinson and other acts old and new will play at the Hackney Empire on Thursday 19 July to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formation of Rock Against Racism (RAR).
Tickets cost £15 and proceeds go to RAR’s successor Love Music Hate Racism, which campaigns against the fascist British National Party today.
Active between 1976 and 1982, RAR worked alongside the Anti Nazi League to help stop the rise of the National Front. It drew together black and white musicians and helped propel bands like The Specials to the top of the charts.
The birthday celebrations also include a round table discussion on Tuesday 10 July at the same venue, chaired by comedian and columnist Mark Steel. The debate will be followed by a reggae DJ set from Jerry Dammers, The Specials’ founder.