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Singapore, 5.6.17. South African bands Abavuki and Kelele will be performing at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) on July 14 to 16 this year at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

This year will be the 20th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival since its humble beginnings in 1998 in Kuching, Sarawak. It will be an all-day event spanning three days, beginning with daytime mini sessions and ending with grand nightly performances. 

The festival’s presents music with roots and identity in the traditional and cultural content and the vastness of the world’s cultural and ethnic diversity in the art of music and dance.

The festival holds evenings of concert performances over on two outdoor stages, the Jungle and Tree Stages, which will alternate without any breaks with around 20 bands, each one distinctly unique from each other and yet playing seamlessly after another like a quilt stitched together, or a string of beads on a line, creating an incredible experience for the audience.

The indoor Theatre Stage is used for smaller chamber-style performers, giving a more intimate and classical feel for a seated audience. In the day, the mini sessions alone, which are held throughout the festival grounds in the traditional houses and halls of the Sarawak tribes.

This year, two strong South African authentic renditions by Abavuki and Kelele will take stage at RWMF.

About Abavuki

Abavuki, which means ‘Wake up, early birds!’ in the Xhosa language, provides energetic and multi-instrumental performances which mix traditional rhythms of the South African people as well as more modern styles of kwaito, samba and jazz.

Founded in 2001 and based in Cape Town, Abavuki’s high-energy afro-beat music reflects their optimistic outlook on life, music-making and the resilience of the South African people. Their albums are Decade, Live in China and African rhythms.

Watch this high-energy and highly rhythmic band perform Pata Pata at Afrkafestival.

About Kelele

Kelele is a minimal-instrument band with their voices as the focal instrument.

Keeping traditions alive with their melody and harmony, Kelele maintains the age-old African oral tradition of storytelling through song, passing on history, folktales and lessons in life over generations.

The melodic storytelling will be accompanied by these traditional instruments – the mbira dzavha dzimu (the finger piano), the uhadi (the traditional bow instrument of the AbeXhosa people), the umrhubhe (another bowed instrument) and the talking drum of the Nigerian Yoruba people.

South Africa is a country on the southernmost point of the African continent, with a multi-ethnic population with diverse language and culture.

Watch Kelele perform The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a track written in 1939 that was later popularised by The Lion King. Also known as Wimoweh, the song was first composed in Zulu. Original composer: Soloman Linda with the Evening Birds.

About RWMF2017

This year marks the 20th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival and will kick off with three days of all-day entertainment. The nightly open concert performances take place on two stages. During the day there will be musical shows that are more intimate and demonstrative where audience can join along using various creative expression.

Meet the performers in the interactive workshops that take place in the afternoons. What’s more, there will be health and wellness activities, food and craft markets, and traditional games. Sarawak Cultural Village, the venue of the festival, is popularly known as the ‘living’ museum which takes up a sprawling 17 acres of land at the foot of Mount Santubong, roughly 35km north of Kuching.

Watch what typically happens at the Rainforest World Music Festival, presented by Gaia Discovery.


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