Posts under: News

1Sep 2018
News Comments Off on Meet the Artist: Tsungai Tsikirai

Meet the Artist: Tsungai Tsikirai

Tsungai Tsikirai is performing at part of WOW 2018 on Saturday 22nd September.  Tickets available through the Kings Place website.

Tsungai Tsikirai is an award winning singer-songwriter and dancer, born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and based in the United Kingdom. From lively African traditional to soul and ballads, her performances unite the power of the voice with colour, rhythm and movement.

She began performing at the age of 15 in her high school drama club, Iyasa Performing Arts Group, which grew to international fame. Tsungai toured with the company locally in Zimbabwe to begin with, but later took their performances to South Africa, Botswana and the USA.

Tsungai was soon scouted by Zimbabwean musician, Albert Nyathi, who she performed widely with, before going on to work with other renowned local Zimbabwean artists like the late Andy Brown and Nicholas Moyo of the arts council, who also provided mentoring and support

In 2002, Tsungai relocated to the United Kingdom where she continued to perform.  She collaborated with performing arts company Siyaya and featured on their album, Futhi Njalo, and performed with them at Glastonbury in 2010. Tsungai was also a part of the UK gospel group Free to Worship, who she toured the USA with in 2014. She has also worked with Sheffield based choir, Sosa-Xa, being involved in their BBC Last Choir Standing workshops, and she also worked and toured with Tavaziva dance company, led by Bawren Tavaziva.

In 2011, Tsungai partnered with other artists from southern Africa and formed a performing arts group, Flame Lily Arts.

In 2014 she was awarded Best Music Female Artist 2014 at the ZIMMA Awards, and in 2015 Mporiro Festival awarded Tsungai for her contribution to contemporary music.

Tsungai launched her debut album, Rova Ngoma, at The Breaking Boundaries Concert in 2015, which was aimed at promoting cultural diversity, empowering women through arts and community development.

Most recently, she has featured at The British Museum’s Faiths In Tune Festival, ZimFest Live and Nottinghill Carnival.

Buy tickets for WOW 2018

9Oct 2017
News Comments Off on Meet the Artist: Invicta Voices & Invicta Upper Voices

Meet the Artist: Invicta Voices & Invicta Upper Voices

Invicta Voices & Invicta Voices will be performing at part of WOW 2017 on October 21st at Kings Place.

Invicta Voices is a London based a-capella choir formed in October 2014, originally from University of Kent alumni. The singers come from all walks of life, including; teachers, lawyers, consultants and film producers to name just a few. Although we have a diverse range of backgrounds, we are all united in our shared passion for music and choral singing.

Meeting bi-weekly, the choir enjoys exploring a wide range of choral music from traditional pieces by composers such as Byrd and Hassler right the way through to contemporary choral pieces by Gjeilo, Patterson and Whitacre.

Since the choir was formed, they have had some brilliant performance opportunities, with performances at the University of Kent’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations at the House of Lords, the Colyer-Fergusson Hall in Canterbury, and most recently in the Gresham Centre, home to VOCES8.  The choir has also performed in Maidenhead and London. The 2016 programme includes concerts in April in London, May in Dartmouth and October in Germany.

The choir has also had the pleasure of working alongside Paul Patterson on a number of musical works, which has been a valuable experience and has led to the addition of three fantastic pieces to the choir’s repertoire. We hope to continue working alongside Paul in the future.

Invicta Upper Voices choir performed for the first time at WOW 2016 singing works by female choral composers from the 20th century, with complimentary pieces from their male counterparts.

Tickets still available from the Kings Place box office for just £14.50


28Sep 2017
News Comments Off on Meet the Artist: Carmen Souza

Meet the Artist: Carmen Souza

2017 will mark the return to Carmen’s creole roots with a new album called CREOLOGY, which she is performing at Kings Place on September 30th.

Carmen Souza was born in Lisbon (81) within a Christian family of Cape Verdeans. Very early she experienced the “Sodade” feeling of missing someone with the long absence of her father due to his work at sea. She grew up in a mixed language environment of Creole, the Cape Verde dialect her parents spoke at home, and Portuguese, always surrounded by the Cape Verdean way of life.

Theo Pas’cal, her producer and mentor and one of the best bass players in Portugal, discovered her talent  and introduced Carmen to Jazz and other contemporary sounds that markedly influenced her musical development. Musicians like Theo Pascal, Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, etc, truly inspire her evolution and search for a unique personal style.

In 2003, Carmen began working with Theo on the compositions that would be included on her début album Ess ê nha Cabo Verde. Carmen wanted to create a new sound, in her ancestor’s dialect Creole, that would mix traditional African and Cape Verde rhythms like Batuke, Morna, Cola djon, and others, with her jazz contemporary influences, in a totally intimate and acoustic vibe, different from the traditional festive environment of Cape Verdean sounds.

Ess ê nha Cabo Verde, was released two years later in 2005 to critical acclaim and led to her international breakthrough performance at the WOMAD at Reading Festival of the same year. In “Verdade” her second album, which She co-produces and features on Wurlitzer and guitar, released in 2008, Carmen Souza signs an exciting and melodically vibrant repertoire in Creole that once again received amazing reviews from the International Press worldwide.

After 2 critically acclaimed albums, Carmen Souza returns in 2010 with the impressive “Protegid” (Protected) that blends perfectly with elegance and sophistication the African and Cape Verdean traditional rhythms with Contemporary Jazz and Afro-Latin. Once again the two composers, Carmen Souza and Theo Pas’cal, present an album that pushes even more the limits of what constitutes the Cape Verdean music, World Music and Jazz. Carmen co-produces, plays guitar, Rhodes and signs 11 out of the 12 lyrics of the album.

In Protegid, Carmen Souza singular vocal approach and courageous musical chooses earned her pairing with singers like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Cleo Laine, Eartha Kitt or Marie Daulne. Her Unique talent as a singer, composer and musician sets her apart from the female crowded Cape Verdean scene and progressively she is consolidating her own space in the World Music/Jazz music.

This new album received outstanding reviews from all over the World and the Press recognizes that something new is being developed in her music. World Music Central considers the album: “a landmark that will prompt you to embrace and at the same time rethink everything you know and love about the sounds of Cape Verde”, NPR says: “opens a window to another world entirely” and The Independent declares: “the poetic voice is as original as the musical one”.

Protegid received a nomination for the German Record Critic’s Award, enters the World Music Charts Europe in April and was included in the list of pre-nominated albums for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music album . A new edition of Verdade, her second album re-issued in 2010 by Galileo, also enters the WMCE in August and by the end of the year Protegid was included in several lists of “Best World Music Album 2010”.

Carmen Souza have been touring extensively around the World since 2005 and in 2010 she plays big stages like The North Sea Jazz Festival(NL), London African Music Festival(UK) or the Leverkusener Jazztage Festival(DE). In Leverkusener, Carmen Souza, headlines a double bill with Mariza with an amazing performance later broadcasted by WDR/3SAT German TV.

Other concerts were also broadcasted around the world by major TV/Radio Channels like CBC(CA), RDP/RTP(PT), RADIO6(NL), etc, and her uniqueness is recognized by Ethnomusicologists Gerhard Kubik and Fernando Arenas. A closer look into Carmen Souza groundbreaking work was published in a new book called “Beyond Independence: Globalization, Postcolonialism, and the Cultures of Lusophone Africa” by Fernando Arenas released by the University of Minnesota (USA).

Carmen Souza starts 2011 with a special performance on Italian national television RAI UNO, Concerto Dell Epifania, broadcasted to millions in Italy on the Jan 6, a religious holiday and went on a long tour to sold out big venues and Festivals and mesmerize audiences and Press in Uk, Brazil, Turkey, Netherlands, Germany, Cape Verde, Latvia, Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, USA, Canada…

Special mention to her first Official North American Tour with 14 dates in several states receiving opening honours at San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and also performing at Montreal Jazz Festival. Carmen´s Monterey Jazz Festival concert was web broadcasted live, by the first time in the Festival history and transmitted direct by NPR.

Another year highlight was Carmen Souza first concerts in Cape Verde with full coverage in all national press. The concerts receive great reviews from Press and Audience and all recognized her special and unique place in the Cape Verdean music culture.

“In a single song, she delves into the warm and melodic registers of the great jazz divas, only to flee into more contemporary terrain immediately thereafter…the singer cloaks Cape Verdean music in new garb, this distancing herself from what is currently being done by other female Cape Verdean singers…another path for the evolution and renovation of morna or funaná, giving them a new breadth and life.” A Semana-Cape Verde

In 2012, Carmen Souza and Theo Pascal released a special live Duo performance recorded in London ” LONDON ACOUSTIC SET”. This was their first live record and the naked versions of her songs from previous albums receive rave reviews from both the Jazz and World communities. 50% of the sales from this album were donated to SOS Children Villages in Cape Verde and Unicef Brazil.

Carmen Souza’s 4th Album KACHUPADA was released in France and Germany in 2013.
In France the album entered directly to the official sells Chart for World Music and went number 1 on the Songwriters bestselling list.
KACHUPADA received maximum note at Télérama magazine (French most important musical reviewer) and was supported by Vibrations and Sojazz magazines beside other excellent reviews and playlist on national radio RFI. Carmen Souza was also Cover of the Cap Magelan Magazine, the biggest lusophone magazine in France.
In Germany she released the album with a 13 date tour supported by Jazzthetik Magazine and the album was featured as Cd of the week in Major Radios and highlighted by National Tv.

After the goodbye of the biggest Cape Verdean singer, Cesária Évora, Carmen Souza is named has one of the new generation singers to continue the successful path of the Cape Verdean music.

Also in 2013 Carmen Souza won the title of Best female singer and Best Morna with the album Kachupada at the Cape Verdean ‘Grammys’- Cabo Verde Music Awards 2013.

After a hectic year with concerts in Major Festivals and venues all over the World, Kachupada is included in several Best Album lists and Carmen makes it to the #31 Best Vocal at the 2013 NPR Jazz Critics poll together with a position for Best New album right next to all the greats of Jazz in the World!

In 2014 Carmen Souza and Theo Pascal released their first Live CD-DVD recorded at Lagny Jazz Festival in France.
‘Live at Lagny Jazz Festival’ was nominated for the German Records Critics Award and Carmen Souza was again nominated for Best Female Voice at the Cabo Verde Music Awards.
The cd/dvd made it to Top10 at, &
A 65 concert tour around the world, closed with a Sold out tour in Germany goes along with this new release.

2015, is time for ‘Epistola’ CD, headed by both Carmen Souza and Theo Pascal names. The album/concert is selected among more then 500 submissions to be included at the JAZZAHEAD2015 official showcase program, the most important jazz showcase event in Europe. The concert featuring Nathaniel Facey on Sax and Shane Forbes on Drums, two of the most innovative new generation Jazz musicians of the London scene.

The Cd was Album of the week – 4 Stars – Music story, TOP 10 Best Jazz cd of the Month – Mezzo TV, Top CDs of the week at German National Radio – BR Bayern2 Kultur, etc…
Receives 4STARS in both JAZZWISE and EVENING STANDARD important publications in UK.
The live recording from the ´Epistola´ Jazzahead concert went on to be Broadcasted by major radios like FIP in France, Catalunya Radio in Spain and RTÉ Lyric fm in Ireland, etc.
After 76 concerts around the world in 19 different countries and important stages, Carmen Souza ends the year with a nomination for BEST AFRICAN JAZZ at the important African Awards AFRIMA 2016.

Undoubtedly, Carmen Souza have become a true world music force and one of Europe’s most in-demand jazz singers, as someone said: “Carmen Souza does not have to decide whether her music is Jazz or ‘World Music’. Her style is just as unique as convincing and her Cape Capeverdean  roots as evident as her desire to create a new language under the label of ‘World Jazz’.

2017 will mark a return to her creole roots with a new album called CREOLOGY.

“Carmen Souza sings in her native creole dialect with an intimacy, sensuality, and vivacity, characterised by a tremendous lightness of touch. Her music has a deceptive simplicity, a rare clarity, derived from a unique mix of influences from her Cape Verdean background to jazz and modern soul creating this beautifully vibrant, largely acoustic, accessible hybrid. World soul music for the 21st century.” David Sylvian

Tickets still available from the Kings Place box office for just £16.50

19Sep 2017
News Comments Off on Meet the Artist: Hannah Marcinowicz

Meet the Artist: Hannah Marcinowicz

Following the successful debut of her Screen and Sax project at Equator’s ‘Women of the World Series 2015’ at Kings Place, the brilliant saxophonist Hannah Marcinowicz has further developed her association with the cream of British female soundtrack talent. Hannah will be returning to Kings Place on September 30th.

Hailed by The Times as ‘a superb young saxophonist’, Hannah Marcinowicz made her Wigmore Hall debut in 2008. Since then, she has performed as a soloist at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Centre to great critical acclaim.

She has performed with the UK’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia and London Concert Orchestra. A regular performer at the BBC Proms, she has appeared as a featured soloist under Sir Colin Davis and Paul Daniel. Her international performances include concertos and recitals in the Middle East and Far East. She has also appeared as a guest soloist with the European Union Chamber Orchestra.

Hannah frequently records for film, television and radio. She is featured as a soloist on the soundtrack for the United Arab Emirates Pavilion at the Milan World Expo in 2015. Hannah is currently collaborating on a solo album project with the award-winning stage and screen composer, Jonathan Goldstein.

Sweet Thames Flow Softly from Hannah Marcinowicz on Vimeo.

The performance on September includes several new commmisions

  • New commission: ‘Spooks’ composer, Jennie Muskett (British Emmy winning and BAFTA nominated).
    This commission will be based on the speeches of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, and how they empower women. The speeches will be incorporated as part of the piece.
  • New commission: Charlotte Harding.
    As an avid follower of Dior on Instagram, Charlotte was recently very inspired by Maria Grazia Churi’s beautiful ready-to-wear Autumn – Winter 2017-18 collection. In particular, she loves the quote from the collection’s introduction online.. ‘a nod to the femininity of a colour that unites the ocean depths with the infinity of the celestial vault.’ Charlotte has taken this as inspiration for the piece which is entitled ’Bleu’ and is written for tenor/soprano saxophone and piano. It is composed of two movements, ‘Ocean Depths’ and ‘Celestial Vault’, exploring the two extremities and atmospheres of the colour blue, as well as reflecting the strong and feminine heart of the collection. We would like to display the catwalk show on a screen, whilst the music is being played.
  • New commission: Lisa J Burgess (RCM Masters student: Composition for Screen)
    This commission will celebrate the life and work of Shirley Walker, one of the great unsung heroines of Hollywood music who, as a ghost writer, rescued many a score by her male counterparts before finally making a name for herself. Lisa’s commission will have an accompanying film, featuring contemporary dance.
  • ‘The Musical Zodiac’: Debbie Wiseman MBE (Classic FM Composer in Residence
  • ‘Storm Over Everest’: Jocelyn Pook (Golden Globe nomination)
    In keeping with the ‘Women of the World’ theme, and inspired by Mollie Hughes’ recent achievement of becoming the youngest woman in the world to successfully summit Everest from both the north and south sides of the mountain, this arrangement will be performed with an accompanying film showing footage of Mollie’s most recent ascent of Everest.
  • ‘Women of Ireland’
    Scored for saxophone, piano, violin and cello. As this concert is a celebration of British female talent, I wish to cover all corners and showcase the next generation of talented female musicians. With the blessing of Sarah Alexander, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, I will be joined for this piece by two young female members of NYO.
  • Poldark’: Anne Dudley (2017 Ivor Novello award winner: PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music)
    An arrangement for saxophone and piano of the extended version of Poldark
  • Medley of film scores by Rachel Portman OBE (Academy Award Winner)

Tickets still available from the Kings Place box office for just £14.50

19Sep 2017
News Comments Off on Meet the Artists: Midori Komachi ahead of her performance at Kings Place

Meet the Artists: Midori Komachi ahead of her performance at Kings Place

Equator Festival launched the Women of the World concert series in 2007, with the simple aim of promoting female performers from all music genres, from all over the world. The first performer of WOW 2017 is Midori Komachi with  A Journey from the East – Music from Japan and Britain at 3pm on Saturday 30th September at Kings Place.

Midori Komachi, Japanese violinist, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician extensively throughout Europe and Japan.

Midori studied in Basel, Switzerland at the age of 12 where she was accepted exceptionally as a “Young Talented Student” at the Basel Music Conservatoire. Subsequently she made her debut as a soloist with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Howard Griffiths. Since then she has appeared in some of the world’s prestigious venues, including Tonhalle Zurich, Tokyo Opera City Hall, Muza Kawasaki(Japan), Philharmony Warsaw, Wigmore Hall,  St.George’s Bristol, Rector’s Palace (Croatia). She has also given recitals at festivals in the UK, France, Holland and Hungary.

Midori has been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 ‘in Tune’ along with the release of her acclaimed debut CD ‘Colours of the Heart’ (2014). This release and concert tour was supported by Arts Council England, bringing her ‘Delius and Gauguin’ project to a wider audience in the UK and subsequently to Japan. The disc gained high praise from many publications;
“Sensitive accounts of music full of sensual allure Komachi judges the sleek, neo-Classical lines of Ravel’s 1928 Sonata to perfection”  The Strad ‘
“Komachi has chosen a particularly imaginative approach… (Komachi’s booklet essay) Well worth reading in its own right, it is an added enhancement of a recital in which this violinist more than holds her own” International Record Review

Alongside her performing career, Midori is a bilingual writer for her expertise in 20th Century British composers. Currently she is a writer for her Japanese web column ‘London Studio’, produced by Studio 18 Japan. Her first book on Frederick Delius is due to be published in Japan in Autumn 2017.

Midori is a recipient of numerous prizes, including 1st Prize at competitions Max Pirani Prize and Sir Arthur Bliss Prize, as well as receiving the Friends of RAM/Honorary Patrons’ Development Award and MBF Emerging Excellence Award. As an active chamber musician, she has recorded for Metier, Naxos and RAM Labels, and frequently plays with Longbow alongside the Kreutzer Quartet.

In October 2012, Midori completed her Master of Music degree with Distinction at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was supported by the Seary Charitable Trust and the William Barry Trust. Over these years she studied with Maurice Hasson and Tomotada Soh.

Along with her performing career, Midori has founded various concert projects based on several research topics. In 2012, her Delius Project culminated in a series of her concerts in London, Cambridge and Tokyo. This project was featured in the Arts & Collections International Magazine and the Nikkei Newspaper (Financial Times) in Japan. In January 2013 she was awarded the Delius Society Certificate for her performances of the Delius Violin Sonatas.

Since 2012, Midori has developed a cultural exchange project in UK and Japan, introducing works by composers from both countries. For this project she has been supported by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Britten-Pears Foundation, Holst Foundation and Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust. In 2012 she led a series of workshops with composers Nicola LeFanu and Yuka Takechi, and in 2013 worked with Toshio Hosokawa, performing his Elegy for Solo Violin in Tokyo and London to high critical acclaim.

On September 30th the concert will celebrate the diversity of an inspiring sound world created by pioneering Japanese and British female composers through time, to be performed by renowned Japanese koto player Sumie Osaki, and young award-winning violinist Midori Komachi with pianist Simon Callaghan.

Rebecca Clarke Midsummer Moon for violin and piano
Yuka Takechi Beyond the Spring for solo violin (2000)
Grace Williams Sonata for violin and piano (1938)
Japanese Folk Songs (arr. Komachi)
Nicola LeFanu Abstracts and a Frame for violin and piano (1971)

Tickets still available from the Kings Place box office for just £14.50

18Apr 2017
News Comments Off on Celebrate Ashford! Volunteers needed

Celebrate Ashford! Volunteers needed

A new multicultural festival for Ashford

Equator Festival has been awarded funds from the Big Lottery Fund to launch a new multicultural community festival in Ashford. The festival will be in partnership with Festival in the Park on Friday 7th July – Sunday 9th July 2017 and we want YOU to be part of it.

There will also be a food tent with food from around the world and specialist chefs showing you how to cook.  There will be performances and workshops from some of the Equator Artists.

We need volunteers to make this event a success! The day will be very busy so we need volunteers that will be able to keep up with excitement, bring lots of energy as well as enthusiasm.

Volunteer roles will be assigned on the day during briefing but the responsibilities are:

  • Help set up/Close Down the event
  • Give out information and directions to the public
  • Stewarding
  • Support acts and performers

The exact times you will be needed onsite are still be to be finalised.

All volunteers must be over 18 years old.



24Mar 2017
News Comments Off on Equator Choir Competition 2017

Equator Choir Competition 2017

When: July 7th – 9th 2017
Where: North Park, Tannery Lane

Amateur, school, youth and community choirs based in Ken and Medway are invited to take part in the Equator Choir Festival Competition 2017.

The competition will be part of a new outdoor multi-cultural  festival in Ashford called Celebrate Ashford and the performances will be part of World in a Tent programme.

The choir must have a minimum of 12 singers and be available to perform on the dates above, with the performance lasting no more than 15 minutes.

Please email ASAP a list of 3 songs one of which must be from another country and culture.

24Mar 2017
News Comments Off on Equator’s Women of the World 2017

Equator’s Women of the World 2017

WOW Canterbury: 10th – 11th June 2017
WOW London: 30th September & 21st October 2017

Two fantastic opportunities for women, girls and groups led by women at WOW Canterbury and WOW London.

Are you a female choir, performance group or mixed group with a repertoire of songs by female composers and songwriters?

Then come and showcase your talent at the Women of the World events. For more details please email

Equator Festival launched the Women of the World concert series in 2007, with the simple aim of promoting female performers  from all music genres, from all over the world.  Each year Equator showcases the best in female performers, musicians and songwriters.  Over the last nine years the WOW series has presented music from Africa, Eastern-Europe, Middle East, India, Australia and the UK.  The performances have included everything from choirs to solo performers, works you have heard before and new commissions.  Previous performers include: Beyounes Quarter, Commander-in-Chief, Hannah Marcinowicz, Ignite Ensemble, London Bulgarian Choir, London Klezmer Quartet, London Tango Trio, Monica Vasconcelos, Oclay Bayir, Shallu Jindal and Shiva Nova.  We are launching WOW Canterbury in June in partnership with Canterbury Festival. 



24Mar 2017
News Comments Off on Celebrate Ashford!

Celebrate Ashford!

A new multicultural festival for Ashford

Equator Festival has been awarded funds from the Big Lottery Fund to launch a new multicultural community festival in Ashford. The festival will be in partnership with Festival in the Park on Friday 7th July – Sunday 9th July 2017 and we want YOU to be part of it.

There will also be a food tent with food from around the world and specialist chefs showing you how to cook.  There will be performances and workshops from some of the Equator Artists.

We are looking for looking for community groups, youth group and local artists to perform and celebrate with us. The ‘World in a tent’ programme will be finalised by the end of April so please get in touch if you are interested in performing.

Deadline: 18th April 2017



20Mar 2017
News Comments Off on Help support culturally diverse dance and music workshops for young people in Kent

Help support culturally diverse dance and music workshops for young people in Kent

ShivaNova/Equator Festival is a BAME-led organisation in South-East England that brings world class culturally diverse artists and performers from Africa, Asia and Europe based in the UK to perform in professional shows and lead practical performance-based workshops and residencies with young people and communities.
Artistic programming and project management for Equator is led by ShivaNova’s Artistic Director, Education and Outreach Manager, and Marketing Manager, working closely with our school, community and arts venue partners.

ShivaNova brings global music, dance and traditional craft styles to communities who have never experienced them before and engages local schools and community groups to leave a legacy of positive culturally diverse role models sharing their expertise inspired by their cultural homelands.Help us to continue this important work to help sustain our vision of learning through other cultures through the arts.

You can donate through our JustGiving page: