First acts confirmed for Grace Jones’ 2020 Meltdown festival

Monday, February 10, 2020 - 09:26

That’s it, the wait is over. It’s time to announce the first acts of Grace Jones’ Meltdown, a festival set to showcase boundary-breaking artists and international legends. 

We’re thrilled to confirm that the 27th edition of our annual Meltdown festival will feature Solange, Peaches, Jimmy Cliff, Skunk Anansie, Baaba Maal, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry with Adrian Sherwood, Oumou Sangare, Meshell Ndegeocello, Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra, Lee Fields and The Expressions. and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Plus of course, the woman of the hour herself, Grace Jones. With more acts to be announced in future.

 

Grace Jones, model, singer, songwriter and record producer
Sun 21 June | Royal Festival Hall

Grace Jones

Expect an extraordinary new show unlike any she has performed before as Meltdown’s curator will bring her edition of the festival to a climax. Famed for captivating audiences with her cross-genre music, avant-garde costumes and wild performances, Grace Jones is never one to disappoint a crowd.

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Solange, singer-songwriter
Fri 12 June | Royal Festival Hall

Solange

The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and visual artist Solange Knowles will perform as part of Grace Jones' Meltdown festival.  

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Peaches, musician
Sat 13 June | Royal Festival Hall

Peaches

Pioneering musician and legendary queer-feminist icon Peaches returns to Southbank Centre with the UK premiere of an explosive show specially crafted for Grace Jones' Meltdown. Known for her sex-positive feminism Peaches has long broken down the barriers between nightclubs and concert halls with her own distinctive stage shows.

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Sun 14 June | Royal Festival Hall

Jimmy Cliff

Turns out you really can get it if you really want, as the illustrious ska and reggae musician, Jimmy Cliff joins us for a special Royal Festival Hall gig. One of Jamaica’s foremost musical pioneers, Cliff had a huge hand in taking reggae to the wider world through his hit ‘The Harder They Come’.

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The Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra performing on stage
Wed 17 June | Royal Festival Hall

Paraorchestra presents: The Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra

The world’s first integrated ensemble of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians are joined by special guests to celebrate the music of soul icon Barry White. Conducted by Charles Hazlewood, the sound of this remarkable orchestra is filtered, manipulated, crushed and treated live — rendering the entire orchestra a giant synthesiser. 

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Skunk Anansie, rock band
Thu 18 June | Royal Festival Hall

Skunk Anansie

The band whose electrifying sound delivered a shot of adrenaline to London's mid-1990s music scene, remain as radical as ever. With music that slips effortlessly between the confrontational and the tender, the politically charged and the nakedly emotional, the upfront and attention-grabbing, enjoy 25 years of raw energy, effortlessly crafted.

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Baaba Maal at Grace Jones' Meltdown
Sat 20 June | Royal Festival Hall

Baaba Maal

Stand up for the Sengalese superstar Baaba Maal, who brings his unique blend of traditional rhythms and contemporary electronic influences to Meltdown’s final weekend. Maal has released a string of solo albums since the 1980s, and more recently worked on the Black Panther soundtrack, performing the song ‘Wakanda’.

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By the time I close the festival with my performance on 21 June, everyone who has attended any one of these shows will have had an incredible live concert experience, given to them with love from me.
Grace Jones on her Meltdown festival
Lee 'Scratch' Perry, singer and producer
Friday 12 June | Queen Elizabeth Hall

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry with Adrian Sherwood

One of the most enduring and original reggae producers and artists of all time, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry charges forward into his 80s, making music that recalls African roots while reaching for the vastness of outer space. He’s joined at Meltdown by dub producer and long-time collaborator Adrian Sherwood.

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Oumou Sangaré, singer
Wed 17 June | Queen Elizabeth Hall

Oumou Sangaré

While her sound remains rooted deep in Malian tradition, the Songbird of Wassoulou looks to the future on latest album Mogoya. Though the album represents an exciting new chapter in Sangaré’s career, the power of her voice and the potency of her message remain inviolable.

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Meshell Ndegeocello, singer-songwriter
Thursday 18 June | Queen Elizabeth Hall

Meshell Ndegeocello

Mercurial and masterful, the authentic musical thinker and neo-soul pioneer brings her warm, fat and melodic groove to everything she does. Labelled ‘one of music's least predictable stars’ by NPR, she has received 10 Grammy nominations and appeared alongside artists including the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Chaka Khan

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Lee Field, singer
Sat 20 June | Queen Elizabeth Hall

Lee Fields and The Expressions

Soul music has poured from this living legend since the 1960s, when he was a teenager in North Carolina sweating it out on juke joint stages. Now in his late 60s, Fields is ushering in the most fruitful period of his career, with his music often sampled by hip-hop artists as diverse as J Cole and Travis Scott.

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South African male choral group
Sun 21 June | Queen Elizabeth Hall

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

For 60 years the a cappella male choir have invoked the soul of South Africa with their intricate rhythms and harmonies and powerful, uplifting songs. The group, who shot to global stardom following their appearance on Paul Simon’s Graceland, were once termed ‘South Africa’s cultural ambassadors’ by Nelson Mandella.

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Grace Jones' Meltdown takes place 12 - 21 June across Southbank Centre.

Look out for more concerts, performances, workshops and creative celebrations to be announced soon, including a free programme of events, accessible to all.

 

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

 

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