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Night of Festivals SPECIAL EDITION which takes place on the weekend of

the 2-4 October will kick off celebrations in Leicester for rugby’s biggest year. The five teams competing in the city - Argentina, Canada, Namibia, Romania and Tonga – are all represented in a packed programme of entertainment.

Award-winning Namibian jazz queen Erna Chimu will make her UK debut when she opens the festival on Friday 2 October accompanied by her band, beautifully combining the traditional sounds of Namibia with smooth jazz. Najma Akhtar is at the forefront of the World Music scene. She is renowned for using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals creating a beautiful fusion of eastern and western styles. Najma has gone down in World Music history by giving birth to the new genre fusion of Jazz and Indian Ghazal, ‘Najma Akhtar is the premier female Asian singer on the planet” Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.

Another highlight of the opening night is a performance from the London Tango Orchestra with guest violinist, the multiple Grammy nominated Argentine violinist-composer Leonardo Suarez Paz and his wife the internationally acclaimed dancer Olga Suarez Paz. Leonardo Suarez Paz is tango royalty; his father Fernando played violin with the great tango composer, Astor Piazzolla.

The line-up for Saturday 3 October includes Kolektif Istanbul mixing the energetic grooves of the Balkans with Anatolian melodies to create a unique dance sound; Leicester band ist, fronted by Canadian singer/songwriter Kenton Hall. The band’s style jumps across genres from ska to jazz to classical. Comparisons have been made with artists such as the Squeeze and Elvis Costello; performances from the vibrant young artists of carnival troupe Kinetika Bloco, and Muha, a contemporary Eastern European folk band who combine the melodic beauty of Eastern European folklore, North Indian kathak rhythms, Cuban beats and original lyrics to produce a mesmerising sound.

A spectacular night-time carnival procession takes place on Saturday 3 featuring special guests from Germany’s premier stilt-walking company Stelzen Arts and Oakleaf Creativity, drummers from Sabar Sounds, unique lighted characters and inflatable costumed carnival characters, culminating in an explosive 15 minute finale to launch the England vs. Australia match.

Highlights on Sunday 4 October include rising star of the UK world music scene Ethiopian singer Haymanot Tesfa accompanied by an eclectic Eastern Ensemble, a Polynesian dance troupe with Tongan dancers, a special Tongan carnival presented by Mandinga Arts and the exceptional sounds of Europe’s leading Rio de Janeiro inspired samba company, Paraiso Samba.

For full programme information visit


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