Afro Celt Sound System
Formed by Grammy-nominated musician and record producer Simon Emmerson, Afro Celt Sound System are a European and African based collective who’ve been a ground-breaking force in music ever since they started. Their acclaimed live performances are energetic and captivating and innovatively combine folk traditions of different cultures to breath-taking effect. They won Best Group in the 2017 Songlines Music Awards.
With album sales now topping one and a half million and two Grammy nominations to date, Afro Celt Sound System celebrated their 20th Anniversary in 2016 with an acclaimed album, The Source, which fRoots Magazine described as ‘a colossus of an album’.
ECC Records released ‘Flight‘, the 8th studio album by this ground-breaking collective on 23rd November 2018 supported by a major 10 day UK wide tour (November 2018, including London’s Barbican Centre on 21st). The album explores themes of migration – both human and avian – with a dazzling cast of stellar musicians from around the globe.
Afro Celt Sound System have invited three other large collectives to join them on this album and by doing so, shine a spotlight on migration, with a particular focus on refugees. These include the Amani Choir whose music director Emmanuela Yogolelo came to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo and has a refugee background. The album also features Stone Flowers, the band supported by Music Action International, a charity who helps transform lives affected by war, torture and armed conflict through music and song, alongside the Johannesburg based African Gospel Singers.
The album also references the environment and is in part inspired by ECC Records owner’s Simon Emmerson and Mark Constantine’s shared passion for bird-watching. ‘Flight’ is perhaps Afro Celt Sound System’s most overtly political album and draws from Armagh-born vocalist and flautist Ríoghnach Connolly and Emmanuela’s work within the refugee community of Manchester and across the north west of England.