Jazz FM Awards nominees refused entry to the United States
Jazz FM Award nominees Yussef Kamaal have been refused entry to the United States. So far three groups including the British duo and south London group United Vibrations have announced that they will not be performing at this year's South by Southwest [SXSW] music festival due to President Trump's Executive Order travel ban.
The label Brownswood Recordings, founded by DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson, announced that the drummer Yussef Dayes — who performs in two bands, the London-based duo Yussef Kamaal, which is signed to Brownswood, and United Vibrations alongside his brothers Ahmed and Kareem — had his "visa revoked at the 11th hour." The label added that Yussef Kamaal believes this decision "to be discrimination based on religion and race."
According to a statement from Brownswood, all three Dayes brothers, originally scheduled to travel to the U.S. today, have had their status under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) revoked.
The bands were due to perform at the Jazz re:freshed 'Outernational' project, an Arts Council England funded initiative that had taken over 2 years to plan which had the sole purpose of showcasing of the UK Jazz movement around the globe.
In a statement Jazz re:freshed said:
' We are outraged and appalled at the revocation of 4 previously approved ESTA’s with little more than 48 hours notice. These revocations prevent 4 of our musicians from traveling to and performing at SXSW, one of the largest and most influential global music industry events of the year in Austin, Texas. This has a major impact on 2 of our 4 bands representing the UK - United Vibrations and Yussef Kamaal. To say we’re devastated for the bands and the audiences who will miss seeing them perform live is an understatement. We fought to the very end to get these decisions reversed and although not successful, we are still pursuing the matter, so this is all we can say for now. '
Yussef Kamaal have been nominated for Breakthrough Act of the Year at this year's Jazz FM Awards.