RITA RAY: 5th AFRIMA Juror

Rita Ray

Rita is an embodiment of performing arts with an outstanding repertoire in music, theatre, broadcast and sound production.

With a relentless passion for her craft, the music guru is a popular club DJ and a celebrated music revolutionary. Having a career life that revolves around music, she presents the African music review on Focus on the BBC World Service, and is a regular contributor and presenter on World Routes on BBC Radio 3 and The Arts Hour.

Rita has an extensive and enviable experience as an international music consultant and has worked on several musical programmes such as the African Rock and Roll Years series. She delved into music as a singer and was a founding member of the British pop band Darts, who had numerous platinum, gold and silver records. Her wide spectrum of global music made her popular in the early 1990s where she played at the legendary Mambo Inn club. She was also an active participant in the revitalization of the World Music Scene in London during this era.

Her unwavering passion and interest in traditional African music led to the birth of the Pan Afro music and culture session, Mwalimu Express which she founded with her colleague Max Reinhardt. They also pioneered the Fela Kuti inspired Shrine club nights, and tours with the band ‘the Shrine Synchro System’ all over Europe and Africa.

Her notable works as an international festival curator and consultant include Celebrating Sanctuary, Amazing Africa and The Mayors Thames Festival which was Europe’s largest anti-racist festival. She also researched and presented “The Musical Legacy Of Slavery” series for BBC World Service and her award winning documentary “A short History of 5 Notes”.

Rita is currently presenting and consulting for the new BBC World Service series, Global Beats.

With these grave knowledge, intelligence, and aptness accrued overseas and across Africa, Rita Ray, a representative of the Diaspora-Europe, has contributed immense value to the board of AFRIMA jury since its inception in 2014.

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