Chaka Khan’s Meltdown Festival coming to Southbank Centre from 14-23 June

Pop icon Chaka Khan will be curating the 29th edition of Meltdown Festival 2024, the UK’s longest-running artist-curated music festival that has previously been curated by music greats such as Elvis Costello, David Bowie and Patti Smith.  

Khan, aka the Queen of Funk, is celebrating her 50th anniversary in music this year and will be opening Meltdown 2024 at the Royal Festival Hall with a set of her iconic hits including her 1978 debut single I’m Every Woman and 1983 single Ain’t Nobody..

There will also be the opportunity to watch Khan close her Meltdown with the first ever live performance of her album ClassiKhan (2004) alongside Nu Civilisation Orchestra.

Chaka Khan (Credit: Jo Metson Scott)

Adem Holness, head of contemporary music at the Southbank Centre, said: “Chaka Khan’s incredible energy and commitment to music, young people and well-being really resonates with the Southbank Centre’s artistic goals and values and is helping us to create a particularly special Meltdown, providing a love-filled space for everyone to come together.”

A whole host of artists spanning jazz, soul, pop and more will be performing as part of the festival.

Acts Khan has invited for the Royal Festival Hall include soul singer Emeli Sandé to perform on 15 June and US singer-songwriter and pianist Bruce Hornsby, on 18 June.

Acid jazz group Incognito will be performing on 19 June, while US jazz and soul singer Lady Blackbird will perform on 20 June and electronic duo Morcheeba on 22 June.

Incognito Group (Credit: Amanda-Searle Group)

Some of the acts for The Queen Elizabeth Hall include female vocal group Les Amazones d’Afrique on 14 June, vocalist Mica Paris on 19 June, jazz vocalist Judi Jackson on 20 June and vocal group House Gospel Choir on the 23 June.

House Gospel Choir will be performing a fusion of house, gospel and garage tunes.

The choir was founded by vocalist Natalie Maddox, 41, after she published an Instagram post inviting people to join a house choir and now has over 1.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

House Gospel Choir (Credit: Dan Reid)

Maddox said “As a space, as an institution, to be able to perform at the Southbank Centre for Chaka Khan’s Meltdown is incredible, like a real dream come true and to be able to do it as part of Chaka Khan’s meltdown festival, I feel very grateful.

“Our show is a big party essentially, from beginning to end with messages and themes of love, peace, hope, respect for each other and we share that message through the power of house music.

“But every now and again we like to slow it down a bit, so we’ve created some new arrangements which probably feel a little bit more gospel in their intonation.

 “So still the same uplifting House Gospel choir, just slightly different arrangements with songs that you may know and love already.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Khan said the festival would be a space where the magic of music met the warmth of community.

She said: “We’re going to funk it up, rock every crowd, and touch every soul.”

You can book tickets and read more about further acts, free performances and club nights at Chaka Khan’s Meltdown at the Southbank Centre’s website.

Feature image: Jo Metson Scott

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