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Just announced: The Manchester Ballads, 12th June.

The Manchester Ballads

12 June / 13:00 / More Info / Free Entry

In the nineteenth century, the news of Manchester was presented as single sheets of paper printed with a ballad to be sung of the day's happenings.

Chetham's Library holds a large collection of these ballads and Band on the Wall is proud to explore and celebrate this unique history of Manchester in a day of performance, films, exhibitions and talks, supported by Manchester Histories Festival.

Featuring talks by social archeologist David Jennings and Gavin Sharp, producer of the Edward II Manchester’s Improving Daily, plus performances by "pre-eminent broadside balladress of the Manchester region" Jennifer Reid, Mark Dowding and Chris Pollington, and The Fosbrooks, it's a day for all ages. 

Drop in and explore about this unique part of Manchester’s history.

13:00 Doors

13:30 David Jennings / Gavin Sharp re Manchester's Improving Daily project

14:30 Fosbrooks

15:30 Mark Dowding Chris Pollington

17:00 Jennifer Reid

Just announced: Antonio Sanchez & Migration Band, 26th July.

Antonio Sanchez & Migration Band

26 July / 19:30 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Four time Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez is considered by many critics and musicians alike as one of the most prominent drummers, bandleaders and composers of his generation.

Antonio has become one of the most sought after drummers in the international jazz scene. His playing is featured in over a hundred albums and has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz including Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Charlie Haden, Gary Burton and Toots Thielmans.

He has been the drummer of choice for 20 time Grammy winner Pat Metheny and has been part of virtually every project the famed guitarist has put together since 2000. They’ve recorded eight albums together and three of them have been awarded a Grammy.

He regularly collaborates with some of the today’s most prominent jazz musicians such as Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Christian McBride, John Patitucci, Donny McCaslin, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Paquito D'Rivera, Kenny Werner, Marcus Roberts, Avishai Cohen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Miguel Zenon, Scott Colley, Dave Samuels, Luciana Souza, Billy Childs, and Claudia Acuña just to name a few.

Antonio’s continuous search as an artist has pushed him to compose and lead his own bands and ensembles. He has released 4 critically acclaimed albums under his name. His first one, “Migration” was called “one of the best new releases of 2007” by All About Jazz and features a star studded cast which includes Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Chris Potter, David Sanchez and Scott Colley. His second solo effort “Live in New York” was recored during a 4 day run at the prestigious Jazz Standard in New York City and features saxophone greats David Sanchez and Miguel Zenon as well as bassist Scott Colley.

Antonio’s 2013 album New Life was made entirely of his own compositions and was well received by critics all over the world. It was the winner of the prestigious German Echo Jazz Award in 2014. Downbeat Magazine said: "New Life is that rare combination of great composing, great players and great musicianship” 2015 will see the release of two very distinct projects that are important milestones in Sanchez’s solo career: Three Times Three, a double album which features three stellar trios: Brad Mehldau and Matt Brewer, John Scofield and Christian McBride and last but not least Joe Lovano and John Patitucci. This record includes six original compositions and three standards arranged by Antonio.

In 2013 Antonio was invited by acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful) to create the original film score for his 2014 release Birdman. This is a very unique project that features Sanchez’s drumming as the main musical ingredient in Iñarritu’s film. It won the Sound Stars Award for best Film Score at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and got nominated for the 2014 Hollywood Music in Media Awards for best original Film Score.

Just announced: Kanda Bongo Man, 5th August.

Kanda Bongo Man

05 August / 19:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Kanda Bongo Man is the Soukous superstar in the continent of Africa. His music has always been driven by optimism and happiness; it contains melodies that curl through the patterns like vines on a trellis.

Kanda is the man, who gave the world Kwasa Kwasa, the infectiously charged Congolese dance style. And, he is credited as being one of the pioneers of modern Soukous. He is, according to his fans, an icon, the one who brought Soukous to them. He has performed throughout the continent of Africa, in Australia, Europe, in the Middle East, in Canada, and of course in the USA. He met with so many African heads of states as the leading “ambassador” of popular culture in Africa.

Kanda Bongo Man, the nightingale from Congo presents an exciting & fast moving show of music and dance. His style is known for its shimmering duel guitar parts, which produce intensity, which is very hypnotic on the dance floor. He sometimes breaks the barrier between the audience and the performers to bring people on their feet for a better enjoyment of his performance. Audiences always take home a new dance move every time they go to his shows.

 “If Kanda Bongo Man doesn’t make you want to dance, call an ambulance,” his followers would say, “you’re dead.”

Just announced: Friday Night Reggae presents Lively Up Yourself, 10th May.

Friday Night Reggae presents Lively Up Yourself

10 June / 23:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets


Baron Turbo Charge Crew

Mr Womble

The Mighty Bush Band


£6 Advance / £8 Door

Baron Turbo is Manchester’s original sound System, founded in 1974 by members of the first generation of the British-born black community in Hulme and Moss Side. The crew used locally built amplifiers and wardrobe size speaker cabinets, constantly refining and improving the setup and using the latest technology available to stay on top of the game.

Sound Systems originated in Kingston Jamaica during the 1950’s when DJs would hold street parties from trucks loaded with a generator, turntables and huge speakers. When Jamaicans emigrated to the UK around this time Sound System culture came over with them and soon became established. The Sound System is recognised as a cornerstone of Jamaican culture and has been responsible for the rise of modern musical styles such as Ska, Reggae and Dub. Since the establishment of the Sound System in the UK the culture has influenced modern indigenous British music from Jungle and DnB, UK Garage, Bassline and has been crucial in the progression of these form and their subsequent influence on British culture and pop music.

Manchester has always had a distinct influence on British music and though often overshadowed in the mainstream by the London based music industry has been vital in shaping and influencing musical styles across the globe.

Band on the Wall was an early pioneer in showcasing Reggae outside of the local communities in which it was forged, though it is fairly common place now for venues to host a wide range of artists this was not the case in the 1970’s and early 80’s. In those days very few places had inhouse P.As, bands would carry all backline and equipment and set up in upstairs rooms in pubs to perform. In 1976 The George and Dragon Hotel, already known as Band on the Wall, was purchased by Jazz musician Steve Morris. He renamed the venue with the term it was generally known by and installed a permanent PA. Weekly nights were given over to various genres of music, including the local punk/post punk scene - itself instrumental in breaking reggae music out of the black communities and introducing the music to a wider mixed audience. Friday nights were given over to reggae artists, both local and National, but also showcasing singers and bands direct from Jamaica. Steve had a love of reggae and would often get up at the end of a set and play along with the bands on Saxophone. This endeared him greatly with the audiences and bands and these sessions are remembered with affection by those in attendance.

Over the year legends in the field of Reggae music have graced the stage at Band on the Wall ,these include artists such as Burning Spear, Horace Andy, Twinkle Brothers, Max Romeo and Prince Far I. Many great DJs and selectors have performed also, including Jah Shaka, Channel One, Iration Steppas, Freedom Masses and David Rodigan.

Sound System culture, Reggae and Band on the Wall have been entwined for several decades, and the existence of a scene in Manchester is testament to the early pioneers - the roots and foundation of this rich history ensure a loud future for Reggae in all it’s forms.

Expect to hear tracks from the artists mentioned and many more, think Chronixx, Damian Marley, Luciano, Macka B, Jah Cure, Morgan Heritage, Etana, Frankie Paul, Ken Boothe, Cali P, Barry Brown, Culture, Sizzla, Black Uhuru, Warrior King, Queen Ifrica, Jah9 and many more.

One Love

Just announced: J Chambers (EP Launch), 8th July.

J Chambers (EP Launch)

08 July / 19:30 / More Info / Buy Tickets

J.Chambers has quickly become a big name in the underground Manchester hip hop Scene, making waves with his energetic live shows. J’s spent the past 12 months in the studio, signed an artist development deal and smashed opening slots for the likes of Akala, Dead Prez and Oddisee. Now he returns with his new EP The Merchant of Manny, an autobiographical piece telling the story of a young man growing up in the city.

"The Merchant of Manny was inspired by Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. The pound of flesh concept stood out as I feel like within this industry artists are constantly expected to give more besides our music when we’re at the underground stage. We’re expected to give that proverbial pound of flesh for the ear of new listeners and for “bragging rights” or “hype”. Merchant of Manny explores various topics that face the average young person growing up in the city we explore the traps of growing up in working class areas, we explore consumerism, relationships and we explore loss. The Merchant of Manny really paints a well rounded image of having to grow up in an inner city environment.”

Expect a frenetic set from J, plus he’s bringing in the big guns, with three supports on the night.

DJ Man Like P is prevalent in the London underground urban music scene. Hosting Radar Radios The Art of Rap Show, which is a show which is centred on lyrical hiphop its tag line “No Bull Just Bars” Lets everyone know exactly what to expect when they tune in. Man like P is one of a handful of radio presenters  dedicated to the promotion of lyrical and conscious UK hip hop.

JSD is a Producer and MC from hip hop and grime juggernauts Virus Syndicate. JSD is one of Manchester's most prolific musicians. Having toured the world countless times playing shows from the USA to Russia and everywhere in between, JSD is your favourite rappers favourite rapper.

The Shady 80s are an up-and-coming live hip hop band from Manchester. With a love of all things funky, The Shady 80s have been rocking stages across Manchester since 2013, gaining a reputation for their high energy live shows, hard beats and eclectic sounds.

At 21 years old, alternative hip hop artist Dane is on a mission to rebrand Manchester as a musical force in the north by creating his own dark, atmopheric, yet minimalistic sound. Having recently made it onto the worldwide platform GRM Daily, Dane is gearing up for a string of new releases in anticipation of a forthcoming project this summer.

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