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Small Swansea Valley town to hold celebration of African culture

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Ystradgynlais may be a small Swansea Valley town, but it’s set to celebrate the warmth of African culture thanks to its Welfare Hall.

Thursday 11th August will be a day to remember, as The Welfare Ystradgynlais hosts African drumming, dancing and crafts workshops, a carnival procession, a live music performance and pop-up food.

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Encompassing both the Welfare itself and the streets of Ystradgynlais, performers and participants are set to come together in celebration, before the evening brings a headline performance from one of Guinea’s finest exports.

As part of the daytime programme, BACA (Butetown Arts & Culture Association) brings the joy of the iconic Butetown Carnival to Ystradgynlais with Dwndwr y Dŵr. Magical motifs and folk memories from Wales and around the world. A story about desires, choices and consequences through Carnival costume, music and dance.

An ‘OpenOut2022’ commission by Wales Outdoor Arts Consortium (WOAC) and Articulture. Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and the National Lottery.

At 8pm Fatoumata Kouyaté (known internationally as the artist Djeliguinet) leads the group Troupe Djeliguinet in a evening of music and song. Djeliguinet is a renowned Guinean singer-songwriter, and has wowed festivals all over Africa and around the world. ‘Djeliguinet’ means griot-woman in the Susu and Malinké languages of West Africa. Fatoumata Djeliguinet is a woman overflowing with energy and skill in traditional instruments such as the balafon, djembe, kora, krin, and bolon.

At a very young age she learned her craft at her father’s (Ousmane Kouyaté, balafon master) side, and grew up immersed in ancient musical tradition forming her own unparalleled musical versatility and artistic ingenuity. In turn she has passed this most precious heritage to her eight children (five daughters and three sons), with whom she shares the stage and her passion for traditional instruments. Djeliguinet’s determination and talent has seen her ascend to be a respected artist in the male dominated music scene of West Africa, breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes, paving the way for her all-woman family super-group Djeliguinet et ses Enfants (Djeliguinet and her children) featuring her sister and four of her daughters.

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Music fans can buy tickets for the full festival or concert only tickets from the Welfare’s website or box office at www.thewelfare.co.uk 01639 843163 with full day tickets starting at £15.

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