Saved events

Press room

Barbican announces dates for Balimaya Project, Touching Bass and Matthew and the Atlas for 2023

Photo of Balimaya Project band members

Balimaya Project: When The Dust Settles

+ Asmâa Hamzaoui and Bnat Timbouktou

Mandé Jazz sensations Balimaya Project, led by percussionist Yahael Camara Onono, return for their debut Barbican Hall performance in October 2023. Their biggest performance yet will see an expanded 18-strong group of musicians joined by strings, dancers, and a host of special guests in this one-off evening.

Blending West African folkloric music, the sounds of Black London and the London jazz scene, Balimaya Project take to the stage in the Barbican’s 1,943 seat concert hall to showcase their second album: When The Dust Settles (released on New Soil x Jazz re:freshed, 21 July 2023). For this performance Balimaya Project will be joined by a string sextet, dancers, and special guests including Nigerian music artist Obongjayar, afro-swing, jazz and future soul artist Afronaut Zu, with more to be announced.

Camara Onono comments that “In Mandé culture, the expression 'Raising the dust' refers to dancing a frenzied step at the start of an important ceremony or gathering. ‘When the dust settles’ is when the reason for the gathering in the first place can be addressed and the issues at hand fleshed out.” The album’s first single ‘For Aziz ft. Afronaut Zu’ is out now.

Balimaya Project first performed at the Barbican at Milton Court Concert Hall in 2021, after which Yahael Camara Onono was appointed the Barbican’s Artist-in-Residence at Milton Court for its 2022/23 season. Led by Yahael Camara Onono, Balimaya Project use the repertoire and instrumentation of the Mandé peoples of Senegal and Mali as the bridge to bring the folkloric West African music together with jazz and the sounds of Black London.

Supporting Balimaya Project for this special evening are Asmâa Hamzaoui and Bnat Timbouktou. Asmâa Hamzaoui is the foremost female ambassador of Gnawa music – a folkloric body of Moroccan religious songs and rhythms. With her group Bnat Timbouktou, she delivers a contagious brand of evangelistic desert blues.


Balimaya Project is:

Yahael Camara Onono - Musical Director, Composer, Band Leader, Lead Djembe, Atoumblan, Barra, Calebasse

Adeegun Crispin Robinson - Congas, Bata

Skanda Sabbagh - Sangban set 

Aboubacar Konate - Dounoun Superposé, Barra 

Mohamed Sangare - Kenkeni Set 

Triston Dubison - Drums

Michael Olayinka - Talking Drums 

Jordan Ibironke – Talking Drums

Elijah Ibironke – Talking Drums

Godwin Sonzi - Electric Guitar/Acoustic Guitar 

Gladness Sonzi - Accompaniment Guitar 

Jali Bakary Konteh - Kora 

Jonathan Monga Moko - Bass, Double Bass

Jamal Wilson- Keyboard, Synth, Grand Piano 

Xhosa Cole - Alto Sax, Flute 

Jaz Lee - Tenor Sax 

Elias Jordan Atkinson - Trumpet/Flugelhorn 

Nathaniel Cross – Trombone


Balimaya Project will be joined by a string ensemble and dancers:

Evie Coplan – cello

Elliot Bailey – cello

Jess Meakin – violin

Rebekah Reid – violin

Nicola Hicks – viola

Georgia Russell – viola

Aida Diop - dancer

Salif Camara - dancer

Oumy Mbaye – dancer

Produced by the Barbican

On sale to Barbican patrons and members on Wed 24 May 2023
On general sale on Fri 26 May 2023

Find out more.


Touching Bass presents: anaiis

+ Astrønne

In a new collaboration with the Barbican, South London-based musical movement Touching Bass presents two exciting contemporary singers, anaiis and Astrønne, who will bring their spellbinding blend of R&B, soul and folk to Milton Court Concert Hall. 

Touching Bass is the club night, record label, staple NTS Radio show and curatorial/creative studio founded by Errol and Alex Rita. With their intentional, community-led approach, this collaboration reflects Touching Bass’ ethos of creating rich and memorable live experiences that feel like home, whilst presenting some of their favourite artists - from the local community to international talents. 

Headlining the night with her soul-baring storytelling, anaiis’s music explores the complex and personal journey of self-healing in pursuit of collective healing. Taking to the stage at Milton Court for the first time, anaiis will perform work from her debut album this is no longer a dream (Dream Sequence Recordings, 2021). Released during the pandemic, the album explores themes of isolation and disillusionment, charting the journey from angst to self-affirmation and hope.  

Support for the evening comes from Cameroonian, Paris-based artist Astrønne, whose songwriting aims to convey in song what cannot often be spoken with words – exploring authentic emotions, both painful and therapeutic. 

We’ve witnessed some truly timeless gigs at the Barbican and its associated spaces over the past few years and it’s always been a dream to curate our own special moments within one of our most-loved venues. When the Barbican approached us, we strongly felt that this opportunity should be used to platform some of our most talented friends as much as our bucket-list favourites. 

It feels like a natural evolution of what we’ve been doing to date and we can’t wait to bring the energy of our shows and club nights into this world-renowned space, making our people feel at home within it.” – Errol and Alex Rita

Produced by the Barbican and Touching Bass

On sale to Barbican patrons and members on Wed 24 May 2023
On general sale on Fri 26 May 2023

Find out more.


Matthew and the Atlas

British indie-folk artist Matthew Hegarty, a.k.a. Matthew and the Atlas, performs new music from forthcoming album and makes his Barbican debut at Milton Court Concert Hall.

Matthew and the Atlas has traversed a range of musical territories, from classic acoustic folk, to dramatic synth-laden electronica, as well as urgent guitar-led alt-rock. The common thread throughout has been a songwriting style that marries a subtle melodic sensibility with lyrics full of natural imagery and dark emotional heft – all delivered with a striking and distinctive vocal. In the process, Hegarty has quietly built a major cult following in Europe and the US, and will now bring his forthcoming album This Place We Live (Autumn 2023, Communion Records) as well as material from his much-loved back-catalogue to London audiences at the Barbican later this year.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Communion

On sale to Barbican patrons and members on Wed 24 May 2023
On general sale on Fri 26 May 2023

Find out more.