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This year Ely Folk Festival will be welcoming some fantastic African musicians and storytellers produced by the Peterborough-based African Heritage Centre. Batanai will celebrate the music and tradition of this amazing continent mixing up the buzzing and rippling music of ancient and township African music. They will perform in marquee 3 on Sunday evening plus entertain the kids over the weekend.

Batanai means “people lets get together”. Batanai is a six strong group featuring a groundbreaking pan-African line-up mixing the buzzing and rippling acoustics of ancient and township African music; an enchanting celebration of both the past and the future of African Ancestral music. The band concocts a spectacular and vibrant stage show, with an unstoppable momentum guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

Batanai is an internationally acclaimed group that has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including modest village halls. The band has been led by the charismatic Wedzerai Zvirevo for the past 12 years. Batanai continues to grow and evolve, producing exuberant and thrilling music. Talking drums, extreme Bass, Marimbas, Mbiras, Balafon, Nyunga Nyunga and thumping tribal drumming with sax, banjo and enthralling vocal harmonies – typify Batanai. Batanai travels into contemporary territory, to showcase passionate celebrations of the rich diversity of Ancestral African music.


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Line Up

Booked so far for the 2015 festival

(subject to contract)

Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band


Steve Tilston

Les Barker


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ely folk festival 2016