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Teenagers in the limelight at the Musicport World Music Festival

14 October 2008

Music4U teenagers perform at Musicport

Photo/Broadcast Opportunity: Teenagers will be rehearsing with Etran Finatawa (who
will be wearing traditional African nomadic costume) at Headlands School, Sewerby Road, Bridlington, YO16 6UR on Fri 17 Oct at 10.30am in preparation for their concert at Musicport.

Aspiring young musicians from the East Riding of Yorkshire will perform live on stage at this year's Musicport with the world music band Etran Finatawa (Sat 18 Oct, 6.45pm) thanks to a new collaboration between Music4U - the Humber Region Music Action Zone and BBC Blast.

Prior to stepping in to the limelight in front of the Musicport audience, who for the first time will be enjoying this internationally acclaimed Festival at The Spa, its new Bridlington home, this group of 13-19 years olds from Headlands School in Bridlington and Bridlington Youth Centre, will have had the opportunity to work closely with Etran Finatawa, an outstanding world music band from the Niger, to develop their Afro-Rock techniques in a series of free workshops run by Music4U and BBC Blast .

During these sessions Etran Finatawa, who will be joined by Music4U's own community musicians, will teach the young people African percussion and vocals and they will learn two new songs from the Saharan nomadic groups of the Touareg and the Wodaabe. The young people will then perform a couple of pieces with the band at the start of their concert at Musicport.

Etran Finatawa has a distinctive Nomad blues sound, which combines an innovative meeting of music, characterized by the gentle, sometimes raunchy guitar riffs of the Touareg and the unique sound world of vocal and percussion traditions of the Wodaabe which together provide an evocative reminder of the disappearance of nomadic life in the 21st century. Etran's gritty desert songs enjoy a cult following in the Niger and huge success in throughout the US and Europe.

Jim McLaughlin, Musicport Festival Director was delighted to be working with Music4U for the first time. He said: "The new collaboration with BBC Blast/ Music4U has been is the perfect way to engage with young people in East Yorkshire as we move the festival to its new home at The Spa, Bridlington. "We are confident the experience of learning and performing with Etran Finatawa as well as seeing some of the other world class acts at the festival will inspire all those involved. As an organisation our remit has always been to engage young people in our work at our events and give them opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to them."

Music4U welcomed the opportunity to link up with Musicport and give young people in the region and exciting opportunity to world alongside world music musician and to also learn about another culture. Delma Tomlin, Music4U's Director commented: "This innovative world music project provides the unique chance for some of the region's aspiring young musicians to be part of an internationally recognised world music festival and to learn first hand skills from these fantastic musicians. We intend to gather our own knowledge and skills during this project and to pass it on to other young people in our Zone in future music projects."

As part of capturing this event, the young people working with Etran Finatawa will have the opportunity to load their music, video and lyrics onto the BBC Blast website at where their work can be listened to by thousands of other young people around the country. The website is also a useful resource for young people with lots of tips and tools covering a range of commonly asked questions ranging from how to put sound insulation in home studio through to what to you need to know when hiring a PA for a gig.

Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music who work in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils and supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More information about Music4U and the BBC Blast workshops can be found on the website at or on myspace at


Press Contact: Shona Galletly on 07813 796 733 / 0113 255 1308
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Editors Notes:
Music4U is the Humber Region Youth Music Action Zone. Music4U is co-ordinated by the National Centre for Early Music working in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Councils. The Action Zones have been instigated and funded by Youth Music and are supported by Arts Council England, Yorkshire. More info is available at
BBC Blast is a BBC initiative which encourages, inspires and supports 13 to 19 year olds throughout the UK to get creative. It helps young people develop their skills and turn their ideas for art, dance, film, music, writing and games in to a reality. Their website is packed with opportunities to upload content, receive on-line tutorials and a wealth of accessible information.

Musicport - takes place from 17-19 October 2008, The Spa, Bridlington. Musicport was established in 2000 to promote live music and music education in the coastal area of Yorkshire with its primary event being Musicport World Music Festival each autumn. Over the last eight years the festival has grown year on year and has established itself as a prestigious event in the festival calendar attracting major names such as Rachid Taha, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Caichito Lopez etc, Misty In Roots, Courtney Pine, Talvin Singh, Altan, Mory Kante, Osibisa, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, & Los De Abajo. More information is available at:

Etran Finatawa - Among the grasslands of the Sahel and the shifting sand dunes of the Sahara desert, two legendary nomadic peoples, the Wodaabe and Tuareg, are joined together through the raunchy guitars, camel-gait percussion and haunting voices of Etran Finatawa. Reflecting on their roots and with a nostalgia and warmth that mirrors the majesty of their desert home, these six musicians have toured constantly all over the World since the release of their BBC Award-nominated first album in 2006. The latest album Desert Crossroads, received excellent reviews in the national press. More information is available at: and