Bwani Junction to play Graceland with original musicians

Edinburgh indie-rock band Bwani Junction will perform Paul Simon’s classic Graceland album at the Celtic Connections festival, joined on stage by some of the original musicians.

Amongst those travelling from South Africa and New York for the show on Saturday, 23 January, at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Glasgow are Barney Rachabane, Diane Garisto and Morris Goldberg, who all featured on this classic recording, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2016.

How it happened: last June, as a stop-gap gig whilst recording their third album, Bwani Junction conducted a poll of their online fans, giving them four famous albums to chose from, the winner to be played in its entirety at a small club in Edinburgh – the winner was Graceland.

Quickly realising the enormity of the task they’d set themselves, the band enlisted a local horn-section, invited Scottish accordion supremo Phil Cunningham to join them and rounded up a few others for the show – which was a huge success.

In the audience was the director of Celtic Connections, who was so impressed that he made an on-the-spot offer to repeat the show at the festival in January. He also offered to fly in some of the original Graceland players to join the band. Needless to say, it’s become one of the feature events and tickets are now selling well.

Bwani Junction lead-guitarist Dan Muir said: “Our band has been hugely influenced by Graceland, and we once opened for Paul Simon when he performed the album at Hyde Park with the original musicians. To now be doing it ourselves with them is incredibly humbling for us, and there’s already a huge sense of excitement about the show.”