London’s Lost Rivers

New Video Clip! London is a City that is never far from a river. There is a lot to explore. Thanks to Elio Peña and Rebecca Radmore, husband and wife film and photography team, I learned about the River Wandle as I made some research for the London Lucumi Choir’s debut Video clip. The track we made the Video for is a cover version of the Ibeyi’s amazing Song “River”.  Whilst I wanted to make an arrangement suitable for the Choir also exploring toques dedicated to Oshun, I wanted a backdrop of a beautiful London based river and I found…

Orishas: 1,2 or 3 Dimensional?!

One thing that bugs me about the continuous and unstoppable commercialisation and appropriation at times, is the tendency of the Orisha to be narrowed down to one, or two dimensional characters. The visualisation of Orisha has always been a fascination to me. For Example, how artists depict Orisha in their paintings; the stories and the four sentences you usually get when you google a particular  Orisha, as if this can describe all the complexities of the energy of each Orisha in four simple quotes. I also notice how on the net, there is a tendency to copy and paste from…

Honouring Your Ancestors

As I have mentioned before, the first step really in following this spiritual path and most Ancient Spiritual Paths is not to find out your Ocha, is nothing to do with the Orisha, but it has everything to do with your Ancestors. I spent a month in Cuba recently, as I attended my daughter’s Ocha Ceremony. It made me realise more and more that this path is not for everyone.  My daughter has a lineage of Orisha practitioners within her blood line, on both sides of her family, she has visited Cuba since very young  yet she was brought up…

December Artists 2015 Sonia Kounasso

Sonia Kounasso originally from Benin, is now based in London. I met her when she joined the London Lucumi Choir. Here she is singing a beautiful traditional lullaby from Benin Download Sonia’s Track!   She is  also known as Sonia Sonayon and she makes her own Beauty Care products: Candles: and also fashion accessories.   This Christmas she will have her products selling at Sydenham Craft Markets and also Dulwich Northcross market. Or you can also buy her products on line. Buy direct online This is what she says about her products: “We make and sell handcrafted natural toiletries &…

December 2015 Artists: Natalie Cooper

Natalie is an Artist, Graphic designer who has a passion for African Musical Instruments. She has produced several books for all ages including a colouring book based on African Design and she also is a supplier of African Musical Instruments. Here is a video explaining more about her project: Video explaining the ideas behind Natalie’s project   Please have a look at Natalie’s fantastic website which has lots of information and examples  of her books such as this one: Natalie Cooper’s Website If you want to buy in London. She will be at the Open the Gate Christmas Market this…

December 2015 Artists: CÉLINE SIANI DJIAKOUA

There is no forgetting that it is December and that it’s  Christmas and the season of buying presents. It is hard to avoid this especially if you have children.  This year I am trying to either make my own presents or support those I know who make things for a living. This month I would like to concentrate on three amazing UK based artists who have some fabulous gifts for you to buy for friends and family. CÉLINE SIANI DJIAKOUA Céline is a visual artist, jewellery maker, and performer based in Nottingham. The work she does is very varied, but…

Jacob V Joyce, Artist of the Month, November 2015

This weekend, I am in Nottingham launching a new Choir, the Axis Orisha Singers. They will be working with myself and the Axis Percussion Trio. Our debut performance will also feature art by Jacob V Joyce. Jacob is an artist, who uses art within the community. Also an activist, Jacob is not afraid to push boundaries and question many things that people may take for granted. For more information visit Jacob’s Website Jacob’s Tumblr   Here are some of Jacob’s Orisha portraits. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JACOB’S WORK, PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITES ABOVE.

REVIEW: Film “They Are We”

Last year on the 21st November, my birthday,  the Film “They Are We” Premiered in the UK at the London Latin American Film Festival, an established film festival directed by the power force of Cuban born Eva Tarr-Kirkhope Llaff . I had been looking forward to seeing it for a long time and was thrilled that it was being shown in the UK. The film follows a small family group known as the Gangá-Longobá from Matanzas who have kept their heritage songs and customs alive for many years, trace where their customs originate from. Read the Whole Story It is a…

Review: Angelique Kidjo and Ibeyi

 Praying To Ancestors by Miguel “Anga” Diaz Echu Migwa, Ibae Bae, T’orun. November was such a busy month for me in London, but thankfully I had some time to go and see some wonderful acts. I also was really lucky to be able to attend the BBC Radio 4  Mastertapes with Angelique Kidjo, at the studio in West London. I have always been such a big fan of Angelique Kidjo. She is not only an amazing and charismatic performer, but she speaks her mind, tells it like it is, and is obviously driven by a deeper mission than just to…

Erik Olivera. Featured Artist, Oct/Nov 2014

“Orishas” an exhibition of artwork by visiting Cuba Artist, Erik Olivera, is currently on display in a small gallery in North London off the beat and track, where you would least expect it, where Newington Green meets the beginning of  Green Lane’s long journey. 13The Gallery  is an interesting project; run by extra-ordinary photographer Alejandro Gortazar. it is not only a gallery, it runs classes, makes bespoke picture frames and hosts Cuban Cinema nights.  Here’s hoping that this Blog entry will draw some attention to this small North London Oasis. On Wednesday I caught up with Erik Olivera to ask him a few…