Musicians from two very different parts of the world are performing at the Tramshed in Woolwich this Saturday, writes Holly O’Mahony…

The event, Sounds of the World 7, is part of a series produced as a partnership between Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) and Ganga Thapa, a musician and promoter from south-east London.

“I strongly believe that music is one of the strongest ways to connect people and bring together a community,” says Ganga. “We live in a remarkably diverse society, but sometimes we forget to consider our wider community because of [what we perceive as a] lack of time.”

Saturday’s event is the seventh installment in the series and features a performance by multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Aga Ujma, whose folk music draws on influences from both Poland and Indonesia; and the Afrik Bawantu Band, an orchestra producing African rhythm-driven music with traditional roots, formed by Ghanaian vocalist and djembe drummer Afla Sackey.
Aga’s music mixes her classical upbringing with folk influences from Poland and music from her studies at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Surakarta. A solo performer, she focuses on exploring and connecting Indonesian, Polish and English folk music, using the accompaniment of unique Indonesian instruments. Aga has previously performed at the British Academy Awards (in 2017) and the Tate Modern Exchange (in 2018).

Meanwhile, Afrik Bawantu’s original compositions are a cross-cultural collaboration, blending highlife from West African percussion with funk and rock. The result is a powerful Afro-Funk sound with the kind of energy that has a reputation for driving its audience to the dance floor. The group headlined Trafalgar Square’s Africa on the Square festival in 2015 and have previously performed at other major UK festivals including Shambala, Secret Garden Party and Green Man.

“I think people will enjoy hearing music which they’ve never heard before,” says Ganga, adding that audiences are invited to stay for a Q&A session after the performances to learn more about the performers’ artistic journeys and musical styles. Nepalese dishes from local traders Yak Bites will also be available to purchase at the event.

Sounds of the World 7 is on at The Tramshed, 51-53 Woolwich New Road, London, SE18 6ES.
February 23, from 7pm – 11pm.
Admission: £10/£7 concession.