Will Oldham, Ron Sexsmith and more to play livestreamed Cat Stevens festival

Yusuf / Cat Stevens has announced CatSong Festival, a special live YouTube broadcast in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his classic 1970 albums ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ and ‘Mona Bone Jakon’. Over 40 artists have given their time to perform songs from across his entire catalogue, including Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Matt Sweeney, Ron Sexsmith,  Dave Matthews and Passenger. The collection of covers will be broadcast on the official Yusuf / Cat Stevens YouTube channel on 5th December at 8pm GMT here.

In a statement, the promoters said that “The CatSong festival will see participation from artists across a wide range of different musical backgrounds and at various stages of their careers, representing “the unity and spirit of inclusion that is an essential aspect of Yusuf’s message of peace. The remarkable quality and sincerity of the performances that make up this project shows how profoundly Yusuf’s influence is felt at all levels in the industry; from those just starting out on their musical journey to those who have become legends in their own right and at all points in between.

With the extended disruption to the music industry due to the global pandemic, the CatSong Festival has taken on a new significance. Having had to cancel a full year of scheduled touring in 2020, Yusuf is all too aware of the significant threat that the ongoing pandemic poses to live music and is keen to be a part of the solution. He sincerely hopes that this event will give the participating artists a chance to share their talents with his and each other’s audiences. At all levels of the industry, it is imperative that we find ways to allow musicians to connect with new audiences to keep the flame of live music burning.”

The full list of artists taking part includes:

Dave Matthews, Brandon Boyd of Incubus, Jack Johnson, HAIM, Passenger, Andy Allo, James Morrison, Imelda May, Feist, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Matt Sweeney, Ron Sexsmith, Eliane Correa & Fedzilla, Hamza Namira,  Ariel Posen, Mimi Naja, Vintage Trouble, The Brothers Landreth feat. Murray Pulver,  Mary Spender, Mollie Marriott, Jason Kerrison, Matt Costa, Sad13, Ruby Waters & Debbie Bechamp, Braison Cyrus, Cinzia & The Eclipse, Mark Diamond, The Lucky 13s, Laura Sheeran & Brian Bolger, Bonnie  Laughton Kora, Noah Kahan, Parker Gispert, The Heartstrings Project, Leoni Jane Kennedy and more TBA.

Yusuf / Cat Stevens commented: “It’s great to see and hear these covers of my songs given new life. There’s no better honour for a songwriter than to have his songs performed by talented musicians with such love and sincerity. Thank you.”


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About Mark Whitfield 1575 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.

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