Singing to Save the Sifaka At Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Sifaka, an exciting Leeds 6-piece band, have decided to support the Sifaka Conservation Project at the Cotswold Wildlife Park. Upon hearing that their namesake, the rare Madagascan lemur, was endangered, the band decided that some of their record sales should go towards saving the Sifaka!

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‘Sifaka’s have a great lifestyle. They wake up late, sunbathe until the evening, and then dance across the forest floor…we felt we had a lot in common with them!’ (Photo courtesy of Leon Davies)

Since forming in 2015, Sifaka have made a big impact on the Leeds scene with their fusion of soul, rock and African blues. Winning the Trinity Competition 2015 to find Leeds’ finest up and coming bands, they went on to play at Live at Leeds, Hi-Fi, 360 Club, East Leeds FM and The Wardrobe. This weekend they will play Cheltenham Jazz Festival for the first time, before going on to play major UK festivals over the summer (Bath International Music Festival and HowTheLightGetsIn).

Growing up with an obsession for the 60s and the music of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Sifaka’s sound unleashes powerful riffs, seething solos and soaring vocals. Now, in 2016, they believe the spirit and sound of the blues is to be found in the continent it first came from – Africa. Fusing elements of African blues with their beloved rock music, Sifaka has developed their own unique sound. After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign they raised the money to record their latest release, the Sifaka EP, at Wincraft Studios with renowned engineer James Towler.

Sifaka Live at Bachannalia, Leeds Univeristy Union (photo courtesy of RLH Photography)

Sifaka Live at Bachannalia, Leeds Univeristy Union (photo courtesy of RLH Photography)

Sifaka took their name from the endangered Madagascan lemur. ‘Sifaka’s have a great lifestyle’, Mike (drums) says. ‘They wake up late, sunbathe until the evening, and then dance across the forest floor…we felt we had a lot in common with them!’ But upon hearing that Sifaka’s were being hunted and their forest habitats were being cut down, the band decided to donate 5% of all of their merchandise and album sales to the Sifaka Conservation Project supported by the Cotswold Wildlife Park Conservation Trust, and to raise awareness of the project online and at gigs.

image007The Sifaka Conservation Project aims to protect the Crowned Sifaka in forest fragments in Central and Western Madagascar. As well as funding, the Cotswold Wildlife Park Conservation Trust have provided this project with camping equipment, radios, capture equipment and technical assistance. Techniques learned from this project may well prove extremely useful, not only for the population of Crowned Sifaka, but for many other species throughout the world that are currently at risk from habitat destruction.

Sifaka will play at Cheltenham Jazz Festival on May 1st at 2pm on the Cambray Place Street Stage. Their Sifaka EP will be released on 3rd June, visit www.facebook.com/sifakamusic to find out more or email sifakaband@gmail.com

To support or find out more about the Cotswold Wildlife Park Conservation Trust and the Sifaka Conservation Project visit: www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk/conservation

Future Gigs

  • 360 Club Leeds                                   22 April
  • Live at Leeds                                      30 April
  • Cheltenham Jazz Festival                    1 May
  • Bath International Music Festival       20 May
  • How the Light Gets In Festival          29 May
  • Northern Green Gathering Festival    11-14th August

About Sifaka

Sifaka is a 6-piece band from Leeds, setting stages alight with their fusion of Soul, Rock and African Blues. Growing up with an obsession for the 60s and the music of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Sifaka’s sound unleashes powerful riffs, seething solos and soaring vocals. Now, in 2016, they believe the spirit and sound of the blues is to be found in the continent it first came from – Africa. Fusing elements of West African blues with their beloved rock music, Sifaka has developed their own unique sound, taking them to the frontier of the blues!

In their brief history Sifaka has made an impact on the Leeds music scene and beyond. Playing at Hi-Fi, 360 Club, East Leeds FM and The Wardrobe, winning the Trinity Competition and gigging constantly around the UK, the summer of 2016 will see them play major UK festivals for the first time and release their second EP, ‘Sifaka’. Reflecting life in multicultural Leeds, and their constant urge to travel, Sifakas songs often urge cultural and environmental awareness, and they see music as a way to bring people closer together. Their close friendship shows in their electric live performances and their infectious grooves are guaranteed to make feet move and faces smile!

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