A £5,000 appeal has been launched for music fans to help pay for a top African musician to fly to Eden.
World folk singer-songwriter Katus Young, of the East Fellside, said that Yankuba Conteh – an African story teller and kora player – has got a six-month visa to come to the UK and an online fundraising page has been set up to raise the cash required for his plane journey over from the The Gambia and associated costs.
A total of £1,000 is needed for a return flexible flight and there are seats available on a plane which is set to leave on July 22.
Yankuba is set to go on tour with Katus’s new band The Gift Horses.
A travelling band, which has been formed by Katus, The Gift Horses will feature a rolling line-up of musicians performing a lively fusion of rock, blues, folk and world traditions.
Katus said it was important from a cultural point of view to send out a message that Eden as a community is welcoming to people of other nationalities.
While in the area, the plan is for Yankuba to run kora-making workshops, which, Katus explained, is a West African harp.
“We are going to be really lucky to have this really talented musician for six months.
“He is going to bring loads of koras and strings with him and will also teach people how to build these,” said Katus.
Jilly Jarman, of Penrith-based community arts organisation BlueJam, has already asked for Yankuba to do a kora workshop for them, added Katus.
The fundraising page said: “We need to pay for his work visa and travel costs, as well as send some money for his family while he gets himself on his feet in the UK.”
It is hoping to pay for:
- £1,000 Visa application fees
- £1,000 return flexible flight from The Gambia to UK
- £600-£2,000 Government COVID isolation hotel necessary on his arrival under current COVID regulations.
- £500 for Yankuba’s family so they have provision.
- £500 toward travel for The Gift Horses Tour.
It added that any money raised that is not needed for COVID isolation hotel will be used to fund the tour.