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This Week June 26 - July 2
Image Credit: Timo Heikkala

This Week June 26 - July 2

26 June 2017 Will Rathbone

There’s a creative spark in the air this week, as several of London’s galleries and more unusual spaces throw open their doors and let the great unwashed pop in for a nosy. Mayfair Art Weekend has a huge programme of events, with the RA as a hub, whilst Art Night 2017 brings contemporary arts to different locations around East London for one night only. Meanwhile the Southbank Centre host a festival of choral music, Zimbabwean legend Thomas Mapfumo is honoured at the Jazz Café and the Vauxhall Street Food Garden begins it’s first weekend opening of the summer.

Mayfair Art Weekend

There are a multitude of small art galleries in Mayfair and every year they come together to celebrate the area’s special creative attitude and legacy. With over 60 galleries, auction houses, fashion brands and restaurants all taking part this year – and the Royal Academy itself hosting the central hub of the weekend in it’s courtyard – 2017 promises to be the biggest year yet. All you need to do is head to the RA and the helpful team will let you know how you can get involved. There are exhibitions, talks and tours programmed all weekend.
 
Mayfair Art Weekend takes place throughout Mayfair from June 30 – July 2. Entry is free to most events, however some are ticketed.


Image courtesy of Ian Davenport and Alan Cristea Gallery, London

 
Art Night 2017

In a similar vein, Art Week 2017 blows East London wide open, and fills it with contemporary art from 6pm on Saturday till 4am Sunday morning. All events are free, with the exception of a Village Underground set from experimental German electronic musician Alva Noto (which sounds pretty special). The idea is that you just pick up a map and go explore. Highlights include Ian Whittlesea’s illuminated meditation in a rarely accessed cavern inside Tower Bridge (booking essential), Skip Gallery’s life-drawing classes with legendary street artist Ben Eine and a night of short films courtesy of Future Shorts at the Institute of Light in Hackney.
 
Art Night 2017 takes place throughout East London on Saturday July 1. Entry to most events is free, however booking is advised for some.
 
Celebrating Thomas Mapfumo's Birthday with the Heritage Survival Band – Jazz Café

A figurehead of Zimbabwean music, Thomas Mapfumo is in fact still in exile thanks to his open criticism of President Robert Mugabe, and his long history of politically motivated music. Bear this in mind when you listen to the Heritage Survival Band pay homage – as it is soul-stirringly beautiful and melodic, and a far cry from how one might expect such controversial music to sound. Taking the traditional mbira (thumb-piano) and translating the harmonies and sounds over to electric guitar is what thrust Mapfumo on to the international stage, and this Jazz Café gig is a great chance to pay homage to a true international legend – on his birthday, no less.
 
The Heritage Survival Band celebrate Thomas Mapfumo’s Birthday at the Jazz Café on June 30. Tickets are £8.


Image Credit: Afropop
 
Chorus Festival – Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre’s Chorus Festival celebrates the power of voice and communal singing which, if you‘ve ever participated or witnessed, really can be phenomenal. It’s a family-friendly affair with the ENO staging Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and several Nordic choirs performing pop-ups. Watch out for Huutajat, the Finnish screaming men’s choir – though we’re sure you won’t miss them – and the Iceland Chamber Choir performing Surrounded by Strangers, an immersive performance piece. Top-notch artist Rachel Mars is also performing the incredible Our Carnal Hearts and hosting a workshop.
 
Chorus Festival takes place at the Southbank Centre from July 1-2. Many events are free, however others are ticketed.


Image Credit: Timo Heikkala

 
Vauxhall Street Food Garden

We’re big fans of street food here at London Calling, and the Vauxhall Street Food Garden – which now opens on selected weekend dates throughout the summer – is one of the finest out there. With over 40 different food stalls, seasonal cocktails and drinks menus, live entertainment and DJs, and evening activities including wine tasting, movie nights, dance classes and quizzes there’s something for everyone. So tuck in!
 
Vauxhall Street Food Garden is now open on selected weekends throughout the summer. Entry is free!

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