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Craig Charles bringing his funk for Freedom City 2017.

A SPECIAL programme of music for Freedom City 2017 has been announced with BBC Radio's Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show as a highlight.

Charles will be at Newcastle's Hoochie Coochie club on November 9 headlining the Music of the Civil Rights Movement series from Northern Roots.

The sister organisation to the Jumpin' Hot Club is presenting Freedom City 2017 in partnership with Newcastle University and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative.

Northern Roots got to know Craig after promoting him on their North Sea Sounds music cruise to Amsterdam.

Adam Collerton, of Northern Roots, said: "Craig was amazed when he heard that Martin Luther King had been awarded an honorary degree from Newcastle University.

"As soon as we told him we were holding a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr King's visit he jumped at the chance to be part of Freedom City 2017."

Other series highlights include reggae legends Black Uhuru, playing for the first time in the North East at Wylam Brewery tomorrow.

The band features Mykal Rose, one of Jamaica's most distinguished singers and one of the foundation stones of the roots movement. Mykal will sing classic songs dating from 1977 to 1985 including Guess Who Coming To Dinner, Spongi Reggae, Shine Eyed Girl and General Penitentiary.

The series also features North East talent including the Voices of Virtue Choir who will perform with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas whose song Dancing in the Street was regularly heard on Black Power marches.

They will be entertain on the North Sea Sounds DFDS ferry to Amsterdam on November 3. Other highlights include Culture, one of the seminal Jamaican roots group of the 1970s, with Afro fusion duet Ladies of Midnight Blue at the Cluny, Newcastle, on November 8. World Headquarters are presenting rapper Akala at Riverside on November 9. In July Akala released VISIONS, a comic book EP which he described as a semi-autobiographical magical realist story charting the evolution of rapping from West Africa to the modern day.

Voices of Virtue will sing civil rights classics at Hoochie Coochie on November 10 and will also perform at The Earl of Pitt Street, Newcastle, on November 13.

On November 11 there will be a concert at Sage Gateshead featuring the little-known Saze music of southern Albania.

Details of all Freedom City events are at www.freedomcity2017.com

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Ladies of Midnight Blue

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2017
Words:395
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