Next month: Salif Keita headlines ‘City Roots’

❉ A new city-wide Folk and Roots Festival in February 2017.

The headliners of the first ever City Roots festival, an expansion of Cambridge Folk Festival taking place in venues across the city, have just been announced.


Internationally-renowned Malian singer songwriter Salif Keita has been confirmed as the closing headliner for the new event, joining previously announced Transatlantic Sessions as part of a varied line-up of gigs and events at venues across the city.

Salif Keita, known as the Golden Voice of Africa, has carved out a distinctive musical sound, combining West African griot traditions with rock, funk and jazz and will bring the week-long City Roots festival to a triumphant close at Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Transatlantic Sessions, also at the Corn Exchange, brings together musicians from the Celtic and Americana traditions for a unique evening of musical camaraderie. Shetland fiddle legend Aly Bain and dobro star Jerry Douglas again share the musical direction, and are joined by John Paul White, Tift Merritt, Eddi Reader, Dirk Powell and Jim Lauderdale. The house band featuring, among others, John Doyle, Danny Thompson, Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker is stellar enough to be the main attraction at most other folk concerts.

Cambridge Junction will be presenting four gigs as part of City Roots. In J2 will be Jim Moray, the English folk singer known for pushing the boundaries of traditional music, Paolo Angelli and Derek Gripper in a daring double bill of genre-defying solo guitar, and Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson, a pairing of two generations of captivating performers. Meanwhile in J1, Mad Dog McRea will entertain with a unique mix of folk rock, gypsy jazz and bluegrass.


At the Portland Arms, Green Mind Gigs will showcase the home-grown talent of Cambridge-based singer songwriter Steven James Adams, performing with his new band. Other events will be taking place in CB2, Cambridge Guildhalls, Anglia Ruskin University and the Cambridge Union, and the city centre will be taken over by specially commissioned folk and roots buskers, with more details being announced soon.

Cambridge Live aims to create a culture of collaboration within the arts in Cambridge, partnering with venues and supporting artists and groups of all sizes and levels of experience. City Roots is a key part of this collaboration, building on the success and popularity of Cambridge Folk Festival to strengthen the relationship between folk and roots music and the city of Cambridge.

Steve Bagnall, Managing Director of Cambridge Live, said:

“We are delighted to launch this extension of Cambridge Folk Festival, working with venues and groups across the city. In its first year, we hope that City Roots proves to be a successful model, helping us to forge new, long-lasting partnerships enabling us to continue to deliver what we hope will become an annual event.”

❉ The full line-up can be found online at:

❉ News source: Prescription PR

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