Revealing the initial line-up for Le Guess Who? 2019

Revealing the initial line-up for Le Guess Who? 2019

Wed May 22nd
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We're pleased to reveal the initial line-up for Le Guess Who? 2019, dedicated to boundary-crossing music from all over the world.

The first 87 acts include very rare performances by Asha Puthli, Ustad Saami, and Ayalew Mesfin & Debo Band, as well as the curated programs by Jenny Hval, Moon Duo, Patrick Higgins and The Bug, and the initial artists for the general line-up of the festival.

Starting today, day tickets for Le Guess Who? 2019 are on sale.

Special performances

Pakistan’s Ustad Saami is the last living khayál master, a precursor of the ancient, Islamic devotional music of qawwali. Even under threat of Islamic fundamentalists, the 75-year old master has spent his life as a dedicated practitioner of a vanishing art--one that has been passed on from generation to generation since the 13th century. Saami will give a very rare live performance at Le Guess Who? 2019.

From award-winning avant-garde jazz vocalist to international pop star to space disco icon, Asha Puthli is one of the first recording artists to successfully merge traditional Indian influences with Western pop. Puthli’s sultry voice adorned Ornette Coleman’s avant-jazz masterpiece Science Fiction, her songs have been sampled by a.o. Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z, and her early admirers include Andy Warhol, Diana Vreeland and Salvador Dali.

Ayalew Mesfin is a quintessential Ethio-groove performer, but like many of his contemporaries, he struggled against obscurity amidst political turmoil in his home country. Distributing 4000 cassettes for free in the 1970s--later becoming collector’s items-- led to several months in jail for Mesfin. Last year, the compilation album Hasabe (My Worries) was released after his music had gone unheard for 40 years—either on stage or on record, leading to renewed recognition of the artist. Le Guess Who? celebrates this legendary artist with his first ever European performance, a show featuring the Debo Band, who formed in 2006 to keep the spirit and craft of Ethiopia’s golden age of pop alive.

Curated programs

Psychedelic/kraut mystics Moon Duo invite a.o. Nivhek, the new project of Grouper’s Liz Harris; Swedish prog/psych/counterculture trailblazers Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Träden); the dreamlike, cinematic nocturnes of sound artist Michele Mercure; and cosmic jazz travelers Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids.

Shape-shifting electronic producer The Bug brings us King Midas Sound’s gloom-ridden dub, spoken word and ambient; juggernaut industrial/metal outfit Godflesh; the world premiere of a collaboration between Kevin Richard Martin and Japanese artist Hatis Noit; Jah Shaka, an essential figure within the British dancehall and dub scenes of the 70s; and the transformative experience of ZONAL featuring Moor Mother.

Norwegian multi-disciplinary artist Jenny Hval hosts Lolina, the project of Alina Astrova (Inga Copeland, Hype Williams); Sarah Davachi performing live with church organ and electronics; French sound sculptor Félicia Atkinson; and Oslo-based collective DNA? AND?, where children with special needs play improvised music with professional musicians, creating some of the most original, carefree and unfiltered music ever produced. Jenny Hval herself will present the new performance ‘The Practice of Love’ together with a multi-national ensemble including experimental musicians, vocalists, dancers and video artists.

New York avant-garde composer Patrick Higgins curates composer and electronic innovator Tyondai Braxton (formerly of Battles); pianist Conrad Tao, hailed by New York Magazine as “the kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music”; Miranda Cuckson, with her dexterous mastery of the violin and the viola; and piano virtuoso Vicky Chow, who has reinvigorated pieces by Steve Reich, John Cage, and Bryce Dessner.

The curated programs of Fatoumata Diawara and Iris van Herpen & Salvador Breed will be announced at a later date.

General line-up

The general line-up of the festival includes Atlanta art-punks Deerhunter; Makaya McCraven, regarded as one of Chicago’s most versatile and in-demand drummers, moving between genres like jazz, hip-hop and funk at lightning speed; The Raincoats, one of the most inventive bands spawned by the late 70’s punk explosion; nurse-turned-musician Doug Hream Blunt whose lo-fi brand of soul, funk and R&B was rediscovered by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label; Dur-Dur Band with vibrant Somali funk music; fabled Japanese collective Acid Mothers Temple and their deep devotion to improvised music; from the outskirts of the small Mexican town of Texcoco, the fantastical and healing music of La Bruja de Texcoco; the playful lyricism and inventive pop melodies of Welsh avant-pop songwriter Cate Le Bon; the 10-piece big band Minyo Crusaders, who infectiously rework traditional Japanese folk with Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms; and the oracle that is Angel Bat Dawid, with her futuristic and spiritual jazz vision.

Le Guess Who? 2019 Dates & Tickets

Day tickets for Le Guess Who? are on sale now. Tickets for the Thursday program are €43; tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are €48. 4-Day Festival Passes are available for €148. All prices include service costs.

Le Guess Who? cooperates with The Dutch Council for Refugees for the ‘Grant an Entry’ initiative, which gives visitors the option to buy an additional day ticket for a refugee residing in The Netherlands who would like to visit Le Guess Who? but does not have the financial means to do so.

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