Festival of the week: Back2Black Festival, Old Billingsgate, London EC3

 

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The Independent Culture

Spread across three days, four stages, 30 acts, talks and exhibitions, Back2Black brings a pan-continental celebration of African music and culture to Old Billingsgate from its home in Rio's Leopoldina Station.

Friday's highlight is poet Linton Kwesi Johnson with Dennis Bovell's amazing live Dub band. From Brazil comes Luiz Melodia's take on vintage Samba, while in Batalha dos Passinhos (Steps Battle) Brazilian dancers freestyle. Saturday includes a double-header of young Brazilian singer Criolo with Ethio-Jazz legend Mulatu Astatke.

Hugh Masekela raises his golden trumpet and Femi Kuti opens a new vein of Afrobeat; plus, samba veteran Mart'nália delivers an illustrious take on the tradition.

Sunday sees Toumani Diabaté unveil a new album, A Curva da Cintura, with poet-musicians Arnaldo Antunes and Edgard Scandurra. Amadou & Mariam conjure the sound sensations of Bamako, and there's a closing set from the festival host, Gilberto Gil.

(020 7638 8891; barbican.org.uk) Fri to 1 Jul

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