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Editor-in-chief Simon Broughton Publisher & Managing Director Paul Geoghegan Editor Jo Frost Deputy Editor & Reviews Editor Alexandra Petropoulos Art Director Paulina Stopka Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Online Content Editor James McCarthy Editorial Assistant Spencer Grady News Editor Russ Slater Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska World Cinema Editor John Atkinson Marketing Manager John Barnett Marketing Assistant Emma Coull Cover Image Ebru Yildiz Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & Nigel Williamson Subscriptions Director Sally Boettcher Editorial Director Martin Cullingford CEO Ben Allen Chairman Mark Allen SUBSCRIPTIONS UK: 0800 137 201 Overseas: +44 (0)1722 716997 ADVERTISING +44 (0)20 7501 6683


Pause for thought

Whether it’s the change of seasons or the fact that we’ve passed the one-year anniversary of the first national lockdown in the UK, it feels like an appropriate time for reflection. Our cover stars Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi are certainly in contemplative mood and give a candid interview about their life during lockdown, their experiences of being migrants and the various definitions of home. As Turrisi says, “home isn’t a monolithic concept,” but being an Italian in Ireland means he sometimes feels like he “doesn’t belong anywhere,” a sentiment Giddens echoes. Lockdown has however afforded them the time to explore the musics of their adopted and native homes – the results of which can be heard on their wonderful new album, They’re Calling Me Home (read more on p22).

Another artist featured in this issue – who by coincidence has been a big influence on Giddens – is Peggy Seeger whose latest (and possibly final) album, First Farewell, finds the singer ruminating on the inevitabili of ageing and her long career. Like so many artists, Seeger’s planned tour last year was cancelled, but she will finally be showcasing songs from her album at Cecil Sharp House on May 27 (see p32).

One more date for the diary is Songlines’ own Encounters Festival, scheduled to kick off at Kings Place on May 20 – just three days a er the government’s roadmap date for venues to reopen. Fortunately, most of the artists who were due to perform at last year’s edition have been rescheduled (see p16), including the London Bulgarian Choir and Kefaya. As LBC’s leader Dessislava Stefanova tells Simon Broughton on p29, the choir haven’t performed together indoors since February 2020 so it’s highly likely to be an emotional occasion. I, for one, am counting down the days and will be there – with mask and hankie at the ready.

Finally, this issue marks the departure of our art director, Paulina Stopka. She will be sorely missed, but we wish her all the best of luck with her new ventures and look forward to working with our new art director.

Jo Frost, editor

“It feels like an appropriate time for reflection”

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Songlines is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PB, UK +44 (0)20 7738 5454 © MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2021. All rights reserved. No part of Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting http:// This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2A Record trade distribution Songlines 020 7738 5454 Newstrade distribution Seymour 020 7429 4000

Ciro de Rosa Naples-born, Ciro is a long-time contributor who has a PhD in cultural anthropology. He co-edits and produces the radio show Globofonie. This issue he speaks to Stefano Valla about the piffero (p71).

Jenny Cathcart Former BBC TV producer and band manager, Jenny is also the author of the book Notes from Africa: A Musical Journey with Youssou N’Dour. This issue she writes the obituary for Thione Seck (p13).

Bamuturaki Musinguzi A Ugandan journalist, Bamuturaki has covered the culture and creative industries in Uganda and the East African region since 2005. Read his report about Uganda’s recent elections on p69.

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music fits into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identi . Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.



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