London’s Latin Music Festival, La Linea. will make a much anticipated return this spring featuring artists from across the eclectic and thriving Latin music scene in venues across the UK capital from 21 April to 2 May.
Featuring a programme largely headlined by women, La Linea 2022 marks the return of international artists after more than two years alongside shows from an array of acts from the UK’s burgeoning Latin music scene.
The festival has a prelaunch on 27 March with a show from multi-Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto, who will debut work from her highly acclaimed 2020 album Agora.
Daughter of Brazilian music royalty João Gilberto, Bebel has been described by The Guardian as someone who “has specialized in a laidback, misty fusion of bossa nova and electronica” and this concert presents a rare opportunity to catch one of the music world’s most beguiling stars.
Rescheduled following the postponement of La Linea 2020, Bebel’s concert will take place at the end of March as a precursor to the shows in April and May. Opening for Bebel is Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 whose Welsh language take on Brazilian music epitomizes the La Linea bridge between the UK and Latin America.
Pioneering French-Chilean vocalist Ana Tijoux, whose sound blends hip-hop, Latin pop and R&B, makes a welcomed return to the festival with a concert at the Jazz Cafe on 26 April. The same venue also presents Grammy nominated Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca with his trio on 24 April. Since making his name in the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, Fonseca has been at the forefront of the renaissance in Cuban music, blending his love of jazz with his Cuban heritage and African roots.
The festival will also welcome Sara Correia for her UK debut performing at the Union Chapel. Correia’s voice and style captures a balance between traditional fado with its modern and lighter incarnation but also swaying towards French chanson. Her debut album Sara Correia, released back in 2018, earned two nominations for Best Fado Album and Best New Artist at the PLAY-Portuguese Music Awards.
In addition, Union Chapel hosts fado rewired with Portuguese singer Lina joining forces with contemporary producer Raül Refree creating a new approach to fado queen Amália Rodrigues’s iconic repertoire. Their album Lina_Raül Refree delivers a 21st century impression to this ancient music replacing guitars with piano and analogue synths. The Times commented that “the contrast between the red-blooded emotion of Lina’s voice and the cool electronic tones is hugely effective.”
Electric Brixton showcases Maykel Blanco in South London with his Salsa Mayor known as ‘The Musical Machine of Cuba’. Having spun their way onto the Havana music scene almost fifteen years ago, they still remain one of the most tantalizing live bands in Cuba. London’s own New Regency Orchestra plays a special La Linea show as part of its EartH residency, as they demonstrate their mission to take the Afro Cuban sounds and lift them into the 21st century. The band includes a 12-piece horn section alongside an extensive 6-piece rhythm section sourcing inspiration from New York’s amalgamation of Jazz and Latin from the 50s to the 70s.
They’ll be appearances for Las Adelitas, a seven-piece all-female band aiming to break stereotypes as the only female Mariachi band in Europe, and Luzmira Zerpa, a prolific Venezuelan singer/songwriter who is presenting her new project delving into the music of the Andean plains.
La Linea 22 will also host a Candela Records Showcase at the Jazz Cafe, where musicians such as Angelo Flow, Clara Hurtado and Guala will take to the stage. Candela Records is the UK’s first ever record label dedicated to Urban Latin Music, a partnership between Atlantic Records UK, music distributor ADA and Latino Life media.
In addition to live music, the festival will present the UK film premiere of feature film Mambo Man, which has won 80 international film festival awards and features a soundtrack of Cuban music. La Linea joins forces with Movimientos for a special edition of their ¡Cumbia, Mi Amor! night featuring a live show from the UK’s premier Cumbia outfit Malphino on the eve of their new EP release on Lex Records plus special guest DJs all in Peckham’s newest live music club Well Seasoned.
Tickets are on sale now and available from the event’s official website.
La Linea 2022:
Bebel Gilberto + support Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18
Sunday 27 March – Royal Festival Hall
Candela Records Night:
Angelo Flow, Clara Hurtado and Guala, Rene Alvarez and his Afro-Cuban Funk Project
Thursday 21 April – The Jazz Cafe
Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor + Javier La Rosa + Rich Fallon + Dr Jim
Friday 22 April – Electric Brixton
Lina_ Raül Refree + support Francisco Sales
Saturday 23 April – Union Chapel
Sunday 24 April – The Jazz Cafe
Sunday 24 April – Café Oto
Ana Tijoux + support Fedzilla + DJ Cal Jader
Tuesday 26 April – The Jazz Cafe
Sara Correia + support Babesa Cubana
Thursday 28 April – Union Chapel
Thursday 28 April – Ritzy Cinema – film premiere
Mariachi Las Adelitas UK
Friday 29 April – Rich Mix
¡Cumbia, Mi Amor! ft Malphino & special guests
Saturday 30 April – Well Seasoned Peckham
New Regency Orchestra
Monday 2 May – Earth Hall