London has always been a melting pot when it comes to music, culture and art, so there was never a more perfect place to host a carnival such as Notting Hill. An annual event in the Kensington and Chelsea borough since 1966, each year sees the streets ignited with a sense of pride, fun and inspiration, Don Letts has captured just a little taster of that famous vibe in this month’s podcast.
The carnival takes place across two days over the August Bank Holiday weekend with over a million people attending from all over the world. Now it’s all about the celebration, but it began as a response to the race riots of 1959 and was originally held indoors in St Pancras and beamed across the BBC thanks to the mother of Notting Hill Carnival herself, Claudia Jones. Don Letts delves into the history of the event, how it came to reunite communities and his own personal memories from when he started attending in the 70s.
From the sounds of Trinidad and steel bands, to taking the event on the road, you’ll get to listen to how it all happened. Alongside the history, expect to hear the musical timeline with some legendary tracks like “Bam Bam” from Sister Nancy, “Police & Thieves” by Junior Murvin and “Boxes and Amps” from the British Dub collective, Zion Train.
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