Since 2001, April has been the month that sees the very finest contemporary musicians from South America, Spain and Portugal congregate in London for the La Linea festival, and 2013 is no exception.
Billed as “a 21st century presentation of all that is best and current in contemporary Latin music”, La Linea – also known as the London Latin Music Festival – promises an intoxicating blend of styles traditional and modern.
This year’s selection of artists ranges from brass bands to hip-hop groups – taking in salsa, flamenco, classical and everything else along the way. There should be something for everyone, whether tastes lie with 19th century sounds or modern experimental hybrids. Time Out London describes La Linea as “one of the world’s most eclectic celebrations of Latin music”, and with good reason.
La Linea is the brainchild of Como No, a producer of live events who work primarily with South American, Spanish and Portuguese artists – bringing both established talents and rising stars to London audiences. Seu Jorge, Pink Martini, Gotan Project and Kinky all made their UK debuts through La Linea, and the festival’s international profile continues to grow from year to year.
Performances take place across a range of venues in London, including the Barbican Hall and the Southbank Centre’s Purcell room.
The first shows took place this weekend, with a highlight being the UK debut of 14-piece Havana D’Primera – who perform a “fascinating rhythmic and musical fusion of timba, salsa, jazz, funk and Afro-Cuban music” under bandleader and trumpet player Alexander Abreu.
Festivities continue until the end of the month, so visitors to the capital still have plenty of time to enjoy some of the Latin music world’s leading exponents – from fado singer Ana Moura to boundary-pushing Spanish hip-hop artist Mala Rodriguez.
Tickets are selling out fast, so interested would-be attendees are advised to book soon; listings and booking facilities can be found on the festival website.