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London Jukebox: world music and Indian eats at Islington’s new venue

PUBLISHED: 16:52 10 October 2018

Rafiki Jazz: the first band that will play at The London Jukebox's permanent new home in Islington

Rafiki Jazz: the first band that will play at The London Jukebox's permanent new home in Islington

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Borne out of a travel blog, The London Jukebox brings a kaleidoscope of culture and musical styles to the heart of Islington

Raxa Mehta has realised her ambition of transforming The London Jukebox from a travel blog in to a music venueRaxa Mehta has realised her ambition of transforming The London Jukebox from a travel blog in to a music venue

August 24, 2016: Raxa Mehta takes to her blog – The London Jukebox – to introduce her new project.

“The London Jukebox aims to create a permanent venue to bring world music to London,” she writes.

“I am now touring South America to explore the music and culture of this vast and varied continent. Follow my blog to get an update on what I am seeing and hearing, and what I hope to bring back home to share.”

Two years on and true to her word, Raxa has transformed London Jukebox the travel blog in to London Jukebox the venue – an intimate new Islington space which will serve cocktails and Indian street food against the backdrop of a richly diverse musical line-up.

While Raxa and her small team have dabbled in hosting musical talents from all over the world at venues like Nell’s Jazz and Blues in Hammersmith and the Islington Assembly Hall, the launch of a permanent site on Upper Street is the brand’s most exciting development to date.

The London Jukebox promises a line-up including everything “from the beats of Brazil to the sways of the Middle East, from the melody of the Senegalese kora to the rhythm of the desert blues of Mali.”It seems safe to say that no two nights will be the same at north London’s newest music venue on the corner of Islington Park Street.

The London Jukebox’s Jenny Selby says: “It’s a small venue with a 100-capacity.

“We’ll have a communal, cosy environment with an emphasis on sharing food which should get everyone chatting to each other.

“The line-up is going to be very eclectic. The whole thing with world music is that it’s not one specific genre, there is a very broad range.

“What makes us stand out is that while you might not have heard of the acts performing – you can be sure each will be of a very good standard.

“We really want to get local artists in, we want to represent the people that we have around us. A key thing for us is diversity.”

A number of gigs are scheduled in for November already, with Don Kipper’s appearance on Friday 23rd perhaps the highlight. The award-winning ensemble play the traditional music of north-east London, incorporating everything from Turkish and Greek folk to Romani and Klezmer music.

The honour of performing The London Jukebox’s debut gig falls to Rafiki Jazz – a nine-piece roots fusion outfit made up of local, refugee and migrant artists – at opening night on Sunday October 21. Tickets are £10.

Visit their website for more details and full listings.

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