La Linea has built an impressive international reputation as one of the world’s most eclectic celebrations of Latin music, bringing a host of top-notch Latin artists to London every April. This year the festival runs from April 17 to 28 and there’s a typically high-quality bill featuring everything from Portuguese fado to Brazilian hip hop. Warning: this music is hot.
Who’s playing La Linea 2016?
This rapper and singer has risen from a poor upbringing in the São Paolo favelas to become one of the most important new artists in Brazil. Drawing on samba, hip hop and reggae, his switched-on songs tackle the big social problems that you probably won’t see during this summer’s Olympics.
South American cumbia isn’t always high-energy music, but in the hands of Chilean nine-piece Chico Trujillo it gets a real kick up the colo. That’s no surprise when you find out they started out as an offshoot of a ska-punk band. Their Camden show for La Linea will be a real brass fiesta.
Adán Jodorowsky has carved out an idiosyncratic career as a director and musician as well as starring in his dad Alejandro’s bizarre films. He’s joined by regular collaborator Xavi Polycarpe and his band Los Imanes for some singer-songwriterly business to round off La Linea.
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The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch
This Curtain Road venue is close in style and sentiment to its big sister, The Blues Kitchen over in Camden. Expect, then, a restaurant, bar and music venue with a hefty Stateside influence - from its bourbon and its barbecues all the way to its blues. Music does have a big part to play here. There's live artists pretty much every night of the week, with everything from rock 'n' roll to swing, motown, roots and even gospel complementing all that smokey blues. Keep an eye out for nights where food and music combine in happy harmony - think bargain ribs gnawed to a soundtrack of soul. An in-house barbecue, with meats smoked over fruit woods in their own fire pit, is kept busy - orders of beef brisket, smoked chicken, short beef ribs and burnt ends glazed with a beer and hickory barbecue sauce prove popular. Burgers, chilli, lobster, gumbo and a catfish jambalaya also feature.
Venue says: “'Free wing Fridays' between 5-7pm at the Blues Kitchen Shoreditch. Come down and get your wing on!”