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BASS Festival 2009

BASS Festival (British Arts and Street Sounds), the UK’s only month-long celebration of Black Music and Art, returns this June for a celebration of African music and culture.

Taking place for the fourth consecutive year, BASS will play host to a range of events in venues across London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Manchester and Edinburgh. This year's festival is 'Inspired by Africa and Africans', and so this theme will be explored throughout its host of new commissions, live performances, art exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, film screenings, and masterclasses.

Highlights this year include an exclusive exhibit of controversial Nigerian artist Lemi Ghariokwu's work in Art's Own Kind, which receives an official launch night on Tuesday 9 June at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, London. Live music comes from infamous Afrobeat star Tony Allen, termed "probably the most important musician of the past 50 years" by Brian Eno, and other members of legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti's band.

Elsewhere, you can catch MOBO award-winning and Mercury-nominated rapper Sway in full flow at three separate events across the country, while hotly-tipped acts like female DJ duo Mama Feel Good! and beatmakers Louis Den Beat Cypher will be rounding out the musical lineup.

With other unique events, including a double bill of dance from choreographer Opiyo Okach and a hear-it-to-believe-it live soundtrack to vampire movie Nosferatu from DJs The Shrine, BASS promises to be a great kickstart to this year's festival season.

Nearly all of the events are FREE. For more information on the festival, including details of events and tickets, visit

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