The story of BATUKE! Festival
The Batuke! Festival started out of our passion for the music and dance of Afro - Portuguese countries. We realised that there is a special rapport and connection between all the Portuguese speaking countries, a recognition of common experiences through music and dance. In 2010, when we started there was no platform in the UK where Afro - Portuguese artists were represented, the community could experience their culture in a professional space, young and old, and share their common heritage. So, we decided to just go ahead and do it ourselves! We self produced initially through our regular events. It was very risky, but we believed in it so we made it work! The team derived from Iris De Brito social dance school at the time - Studio Afro Latino. Roles were delegated, artists contacted, plenty of volunteering support and voila! We became the go - to festival in the UK representing Afro-Portuguese culture, created a space for artistic development, cultural exchange and research. Guest artists came from the USA, France, Senegal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique and the UK. We were founded by the Arts Council for 5 years and developed creative partnerships.
In 2019 we achieved a fantastic milestone with our 10th Anniversary and decided to have a break.
We are now looking towards developing a new event, investing in organisational development and research. Make sure you continue to follow us and connect with us through Afro - Portuguese culture!
BATUKE! has a long tradition of inviting artists that are reknown for the quality of their work, their expertise and ability to communicate to a diverse audience.
The festival encourages artists to share their various paths and experience with students and to connect with other artists through exchanging best practices.
Since inception, BATUKE! is an open and dedicated cultural space which focuses on the Afro-Luso culture through the exploration of its origins & influences.
For the first time this year, you can book individual classes! You can still upgrade to an all access pass but if there is only one thing you can do, it's possible!
SINGERS & SPECIAL GUESTS
This year BATUKE! Festival has the honour to present the Angolan singer known as BONGA KWENDA.
Bonga is one of the most iconic artists from Angola. He has inspired a whole generation of artists and continues to attract and collaborate with new artists keeping his sound fresh and exciting.
His music portfolio is rich and vast and he has been a life long representative of Angolan culture and heritage internationally. The recipient of many awards, Bonga been awarded in 2018 with the Order of the medal of Bravery & the Arts for his life long work with Angolan culture.
Bonga was born in the province of Bengo. In 1972 he launched his first album “Angola 72”. In the 80’s he became the first african artist to open at the Coliseum in Lisbon. He has performed at the Apollo in Harlem NYC, Paris Olympia, Canada, French Caribbean, China as well as concerts for UNICEF, FAO and ONU. Bonga was responsible for the arrangement of the song “Sodade” 18 years before Cesaria Ever made it a world famous theme.
Bonga Kwenda means someone who is ahead and in constant movement.
He will be singing some of his most iconic themes but arrive early to hear him speak about his life story. BOOK NOW
...and of course good things come in volumes so...we will have the pleasure to also present world known singer KAYSHA performing his new LIVE show!
Congolese singer and rapper KAYSHA performs live alongside an exciting line-up of invited guests at BATUKE! Festival!
Kaysha is one of the first African artist to have been nominated in the MTV Europe Awards in 2005 for Best African Artist
He won a Kora award for best African Artist of the Diaspora in 2004 and 2005. He appeared on CNN in 2000 and appeared again in 2005 on “Inside Africa”
His youtube channel has more than 100 million views. He is also a savvy businessman with his clothing brand Shadawear. Kaysha is also a music producer. He produced songs for Passi, Solaar, Jacob Desvarieux, Soumia, Aycee Jordan and many others.
He produced huge hits for other artists like "Deeper" & "Rebound Chick" for Nelson Freitas, "I like it" for Abege, "Close your eyes" for Djodje, "Ceu" & "Love again" for C4 Pedro.
Kaysha will be performing live accompanied by dancers.
Don’t miss this! BOOK NOW
Dancers - Kizomba/Semba / Afro
Dino Da Cruz & Elisa Sala :: This power dancing couple are originally from Angola and in the last 5 years have risen to become one of the most sought after Teacher/ Performer couple in the Kizomba and Semba dance scene. Their combination of sheer professionalism, authenticity and pure talent make them an exciting act not to be missed!
Akram & Yllian :: Originally from Tunisia, Akram and Yllian, known as the "Afro Wolves"are a supercharged Afrohouse dancing act. Their energy, super choreography and performance dynamic make them simply unmissable.
Iris De Brito :: Iris is originally form Angola. Trained in classical ballet, Jazz and musical theatre, Iris has toured the world performing and teaching Salsa, Rumba and Kizomba. Iris has work extensively on TV, has created her own theatre show and founded BATUKE! Iris is the soul of the festival. She will be teaching and presenting during the event.
Wilson & Lydia = Wilson & Lydia are part of the BATUKE! team. They are also part of Studio Afro Latino dance academy - the 1st Kizomba Dance school in the UK and were trained by Iris De Brito. Their approach to teaching is honest and fun. Great for those still shy to learn their first Kizomba steps.
Studio Afro Latino & Batuke Project = Created by Iris De Brito and assisted by Kemi Sangowawa. BATUKE! Project has always brought great performances to the festival. They have been a fantastic support act made by the dance students. This year the project is around supporting Kaysha's Live show! Pressure is on!
The workshop day to experience the dance workshops and the unique energy of this dances is on Sunday 25th August.
Immerse yourself in dance workshops, the Afro Market place, network and dance and eat some African food! BOOK NOW
Our music gurus of the dance floor this year are an explosive combination of talent and diverse background. We have worked with them before and know what they can bring! Get your dance shoes ready...your foot gel...your vitamin C...'coz...you're not leaving the dance floor!
DJB = From the brand " Nad Custa Nada" DJB is a well known and established DJ. He travels all over the UK bringing a level of authenticity that the audience craves for. DJB is from Angola and he plays a distinct Angolan sound of new and retro hits in Kizomba, Semba and Afrohouse. Watch out for him coming out of the DJ booth to dance!
DJ Britanico = Sean Wilson is a unique DJ who has developed his craft purely from immersing himself in Afro - Portuguese culture. Three months of the year he travels to Portugal, meets top DJs and plays alongside them. His music knowledge and understanding of the crowd will make you want to stay for his set. Sean is also creator of Kizomba Manchester and regularly brings international artists to perform at his events.
DJ Santiano = New and upcoming DJ Santiano has been earning his "stripes" playing at Kizomba UK "Ginga" events and other private and Kizomba gigs. Originally from St Tome & Principe, Wilson lived and grew up in Luanda - Angola. This experience led him to have an in-depth understanding of Angolan and Palop culture. DJ Santiano will surprise your musical ear with his selection of tunes.