Mareel’s official opening season will kick off with, among other events, The Wonderful World of Cerys Matthews on Sunday 7th October.
The show, billed as “an eclectic and dynamic mix of the best music and poetry from around the world”, will be hosted and performed by former Catatonia singer Matthews and guests.
The event will feature live performances of songs, from original pieces to cover songs from the likes of Johnny Cash and Sydney Bechet.
The guests include Arun Ghosh, Neil Charles, Musa Okwonga, Frank Moon, Chi 2 and Mason Neely, who will be appearing both as soloists during impromptu performances in the cafe bar during the day – where they will take questions from the audience between pieces – and together in the evening revue.
Ghosh is a British-Asian clarinettist and composer. Conceived in Calcutta, bred in Bolton, matured in Manchester and now living in London, his musical vision and vocabulary reflect his rich geographical heritage. He released his debut album Northern Namaste in 2008 to critical acclaim.
Charles is a gifted double bass player best known for his work with Soweto Kinch and Tomorrow’s Warriors, the UK’s leading organisation for jazz music education and professional artist development.
Okwonga is a writer, poet, broadcaster, musician and communications adviser. In 2008 his first football book, A Cultured Left Foot, was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. He is one half of The King’s Will, an electronica outfit that blends poetry, music and animated videos.
Moon is a London-based composer and multi-instrumentalist. After graduating in composition with several awards and prizes from Birmingham Conservatoire, he worked as a composer, a music transcriber/arranger and a full-time university lecturer in music, before embarking on a freelance performing and composing career.
Chi 2 are Chinese and British-born, classically trained violinists/pianists/composers Liz Chi Yen and Sarah Chi Shang Liew. Their music is described as a melting pot of style and influences and improvisations with a plethora of weird noises and the odd sprinkling of live effects, coupled with keyboard wizardry and angelic vocals.
Neely is an American-born record producer, drummer, orchestral arranger and multi-instrumentalist. He is a member of scared music collective Bifrost Arts and has served as a composer, arranger and musical director.
Shetland Arts director Gwilym Gibbons said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome The Wonderful World of Cerys Matthews to Mareel for official opening season. I’m sure that this fantastic selection of musicians will provide the public with an incredible show and set us all up for Cerys’ return to Mareel in December as part of her Cerys By Candlelight tour.”