Its been sunny! Which is never, guaranteed in the UK but we were lucky with the weather this year. We were also lucky enough for musicians we work with to be invited to some fantastic gigs this Summer. There was a little bit of morning rain at the The Same Sky 30th Birthday party in May, but the sun joined us later and everyone danced to a great line up, which included Jamal, Alaa and Zahi.
Jamal and Alaa have also been involved with a great project with Music Action International working with school kids in London, which culminated in a concert at the Southbank Centre during Refugee Week. (Photos and video clips to follow).
The guys also played at Tunbridge Wells Mela Festival, thanks to Cohesion Plus for organising this fantastic inclusive event, as part of their busy summer program. It was also great to see the new 4x4 Bhangra/Festival Roads collaboration Dancing Maharaja (see pics below). They had the whole crowd in awe as they paraded through the festival ground and then got us all dancing and even taught everyone a few moves. Do check them out if you can.
We also were invited with Bashir Al Gamar to play at the Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts as part of an event they held, showcasing some of the cultural contributions made by people who've come to the UK as refugees. There is a recording here, which Bashir is using to fundraise for his childhood village in Sudan.
The Mate Cafe team have also been busy at events in Brighton, including a day in the Royal Pavilion Gardens and a community Eid celebration.
And of course all recordings are on our Bandcamp page.
We're off for a short summer break now, but will be back with Mate Cafe on 1st September, and also a couple of gig dates for you diaries.... more info on those later, have a good summer all.