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Don Letts presents Bass Forward

Somerset House Summer Series with American Express®

Sat 07 Jul 2018
Doors 16.00
£31.25 (includes £3.75 booking fee)

For telephone bookings call 0333 320 2836.

The Edmond J. Safra
Fountain Court

Filmmaker, DJ, musician and broadcaster Don Letts curates a Summer Series special that charts the impact of bass culture in British music, from reggae to Grime, featuring a host of very special guest artists.

With live sets from Wiley and Congo Natty and DJ sets from Jazzie B, Norman Jay MBE and Don Letts himself,  this is a celebration of the evolution of bass culture from the 1960s to the present day and its role in transforming the UK’s musical  landscape.

"So what is it about bass? Truth be told I don’t really know, but it seems to connect like-minded people to each other and in turn to the planet. As children of Windrush, Norman Jay, Jazzie B, Congo Natty, Wiley and myself are all disciples of sound-system culture.

Now when people talk about the ‘b-line’, reggae is the traditional default setting as the legendary David Rodigan’s Summer Series show on Sunday 8 July with the Outlook Orchestra will perfectly demonstrate, but that’s not the whole story. For many that might well be where their love of bass started, but that’s not where it stopped. Norman was the first DJ to widen the music palate of the Notting Hill Carnival when he introduced funk into the mix, while Jazzie’s ‘a happy face and a thumping bass for a loving race’ philosophy took Soul II Soul global. Natty Congo brought Jungle to the city and Grime godfather Wiley has pioneered the only new genre to come out of the UK in the 21st century. The journey of all these  brothers and their use of music as a tool for social change can be traced back to sound system culture. They are all testament to the legacy and heritage of Jamaican music and that island’s gift to the world – bass."

Don Letts presents Bass Forward Ft. Wiley, Congo Natty, Jazzie B, Norman Jay MBE
Bass Forward features Wiley and Congo Natty (Live), Jazzie B and Norman Jay MBE (DJ sets)

Don Letts is seen by many as the key figure who turned a generation of punks onto reggae, spearheading a culture clash which spread like wildfire across British cities. Joining up the cultural dots and cutting across class and location, the influence of bass culture and soundsystems in each decade from the 1960s has been profound, initiating so many innovative new forms of British music.



Enhanced Tickets

A select number of Enhanced tickets are available for an additional £25.00. Ticket holders will be given access to the private East Wing Bar with a free drink on arrival and exclusive entry to The Influence Project, a photography exhibition featuring portraits of the pioneers of R&B, Funk, Soul, Afrobeat and Hip Hop. Please note the East Wing Bar sits alongside the courtyard but does not offer a clear view of the main stage. The bar is open throughout the concert and your drinks can be taken into the main courtyard.

American Express is the headline sponsor of Somerset House Summer Series

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