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San Salvador: thrilling singing and percussion from France

Thu 19 May 20:00 - 21:15

Swirling voices and energetic percussion fill the air: six friends from childhood bring their local folk songs to life in an exhilarating ride through the vocal traditions of the Massif Central. This is folk music, but maybe not as you know it. Pulsing, driving, wild – music to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Gutsy voices, reminiscent of Georgian singing with their focused sound and rich harmonies. Vocal lines interweave like parallel conversations to make joyful and energy-filled music.

San Salvador sing in Occitan, a southern French dialect. However you don’t need to understand Occitan to enjoy this music: their music brings a raw appeal that crosses the language barrier. As lead singer Gabriel Durif says, there is “a universality in our music that works.”

San Salvador formed in 2015 and since then they have travelled all over the world performing their songs in many different countries. Last year they went down a storm at WOMAD 2021. The band includes two pairs of siblings, making that close knit blend of voices even tighter.

San Salvador are Gabriel Durif, Eva Durif, Laure Nonique Desvergnes, Sylvestre Nonique Desvergnes, Marion Lherbeil and Thibault Chaumeil.

This concert is 1 hr 15 mins approx, there is no interval. Doors open at 7.30pm, concert starts at 8pm.

What the press are saying about San Salvador:
“…welling up into a frenzy of vocal energy… Astonishing stuff.”
Songlines Top 10 Albums of 2021

“…rich chords, call-and-response, drone-backed dissonances, microtonally inflected incantations, complex counterpoint, hocketing, propulsive unison refrains — delivered with handclaps, drumbeats and full-throated vehemence.”
New York Times



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Date and Time

Thu 19 May
20:00 - 21:15
£22 pay more, £16 standard, £10 pay less


SJE Arts
St John the Evangelist church, 109A Iffley Road
Oxford, OX4 1EH


Oxford Contemporary Music
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