Tag Archives: African music

Dance on the Roof

Afrotysonia – Dance on the Roof

Afrotysonia – Dance on the Roof (NCB, 2017)

Dance on the Roof is the new album by Finnish band Afrotysonia. It’s a trio that combines Finnish traditional music, West African rhythms and melodies, and pop. the highlight is the interaction between the kantele and the percussion intruments. The English-language vocals are the weakest part of the project.

The lineup includes Sonja Korkman on vocals; Aino Kurki on kantele; and Macoumba Ndiaye on percussion. Guest vocalists: Tero Pajunen and Katri Liira.

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Artist Profiles: Kane Mathis

Kane Mathis

Kane Mathis has been making annual trips to The Gambia, West Africa to study the 21-string harp called Kora played by the bards of the Mandinka people. Kane’s teacher is Jeli Ba Malamini Jobarteh who is one of the living legends of the Kora. Recognizing Kane’s seriousness with Kora, Jeli Ba Malamini Jobarteh gave Kane a regimen of Kora training never before undertaken by a non-African.

In addition to his learning with Malamini Jobarteh Kane has studied African music extensively over the past ten years. Kane’s present goal with Kora is to remain with the Mandinka musical tradition and along with the many other players and scholars of this music bring it to further recognition around the world.

Discography:

Songs from the Cedar House

Counterpoints (Nyatoo Music, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: JuJu

JuJu

JuJu is Justin Adams (electric guitar, bendir, backing vocals), Juldeh Camara (lead vocals ritti talking drum),Billy Fuller (bass) and Dave Smith (drums percussion).

JuJu’s successful hybrid sound was evident on their acclaimed 2007 debut ‘Soul Science’ and its equally praised follow up ‘Tell No Lies’. ‘In Trance’ came out in 2011, combining rock, African music, dub reggae and avant-garde jazz.

Justin’s playing gets inside my body and I can hear the music in his head,” said Camara. “Justin plays African style.”

The In Trance recording took place at Real World Studios featuring new band members Dave Smith and Billy Fuller.

Juldeh Camara is a Gambian singer and ritti maestro who was taught to play the single-string West African fiddle by his blind father who himself was taught directly by the jinn. Having lived and worked in traditional Fula society as a griot, the hereditary poets praise singers and musicians who carry the cultural knowledge of their people.

Justin Adams is widely regarded as one of England’s most innovative and original guitarists and a child of punk whose long and varied resume includes producing albums by Saharan desert bluesmen Tinariwen and collaborating with the iconic Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel and Jah Wobble.

Bassist Billy Fuller has collaborated with Massive Attack, triphoppers Malachai and Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation (in which Adams plays lead guitar.

Dave Smith is one of the finest and most versatile young drummers in Britain. He’s influenced by West African percussion and classic jazz drumming.

The whole album evolved in a very fast and spontaneous manner,” says Adams. “We just went into the studio and did five live takes without headphones or overdubbing. We set out to make swing music dance music trance music; we got all those things.”

Discography:

Soul Science (World Village 2007)

Tell No Lies (Real World Records 2009)

In Trance (Real World Records 2011)

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Thrilling Oumou Sangaré with a Modern Twist

Oumou Sangaré – Mogoya (No Format!, 2017)

After nearly 10 years since she recorded her last album, the great world music star Oumou Sangaré has a new album titled Mogoya. Oumou is Mali’s finest female and a leading figure in African and world music. She’s also a songwriter who writes most of her material.

Mogoya is a fabulous recording that combines Malian tradition with western trip hop modernity along with some good humor.

Oumou invited trailblazing Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, one of the pioneers of Afrobeat, who adds his memorable signature drum style on “Yere Faga,” a song that provides support to individuals suffering from depression.

 

 

The lineup includes Oumou Sangaré on vocals; Toni Allen on drums; Kandy Guira on backing vocals; Guimba Kouyaté on guitar; Benogo Diakité on kamele ngoni; and French production collective A.L.B.E.R.T. (Vincent Taurelle, Ludovic Bruni and Vincent Taeger), who added cutting edge electronic keyboards and other instruments tastefully.

 

 

Mogoya is an excellent, beautifully-crafted album by Oumou Sangaré, one of the greatest vocalists in Africa. It was well worth the wait.

Buy Mogoya

Buy Mogoya in Europe

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Oumou Sangaré at the Top of the June 2017 Transglobal World Music Chart

Mogoya (Nø Førmat), the new recording by Malian world music star Oumou Sangaré is the number 1 album this month at the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Oumou Sangaré combines tradition with modernity by using Malian instruments such as the kamele n’goni (harp), karignan (metal scraper) and calabash mixed with electric guitar, bass, keyboards and synthesizres. Afrobeat legend, drummer Tony Allen is one of the guests featured in Mogoya.

For a complete list go to www.transglobalwmc.com

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Artist Profiles: Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe

Toubab Krewe is an instrumental quintet based in Asheville, North Carolina, that fuses West African music with American rock. The five members, who are childhood friends and long-term musical collaborators who joined up in 2005, have spent extended periods studying with musical masters in Mali, Ivory Coast, and Guinea and learning traditional instruments such as the kora (a 21-string harp) and the kamel ngoni (a lute).

Their recording ‘Live At The Orange Peel’ (2008) features eight previously unreleased tracks and continue to mix American rock with the West African musical traditions the band fell in love with on their travels. Along the way, they explore the worlds of surf and zydeco. Live At The Orange Peel features collaborations with legendary spoken word artist Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and fiddler Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl. It was produced by Grammy winning producer Steven Heller, who also produced the band’s debut.

With many friends, teachers, and collaborators living in Mali and affected by the 2012 Malian crisis, the band felt called to do something to help. Inspired by the encouragement of Toumani Diabate, Toubab Krewe’s Luke Quaranta envisioned and launched “Musicians for Mali,” an initiative to increase awareness about the current crisis in Mali, and raise money for refugees.

Teal Brown – drum set
Drew Heller – electric guitar and soku
Justin Perkins – kora, kamelengoni, and electric guitar
David Pransky – electric bass guitar
Luke Quaranta – percussion

Discography

* Toubab Krewe (Upstream Records, 2005)
* Live At The Orange Peel (Upstream Records, 2009)
* TK2 (Nat Geo Music, 2011)

Web sites: www.toubabkrewe.com

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Explosive Drum and Bass from African Amazons

Les Amazones d’Afrique – République Amazone

République Amazone (Amazon Republic) brings together some of West Africa’s best female singers with highly percussive electronic music.

While the women provide the lead and background vocals, Irish producer Liam Farrell, also known as Doctor L, contributes most of the instruments in the form of electronic bass and beats. The focus is on powerful, deep bass sounds, developing a hybrid sound that combines traditional world music vocals and club-style dance beats.

Les Amazones d’Afrique (the African amazons) include Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Mariam Doumbia, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Nneka, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné.

Additional instrumentalists on some of the songs include Mouneissa Tandina on drums, Mamadou Diakité on guitar, Harouna Samaké on kamele ngoni, Vincent Courtois on cello, Patrick Ruffino on bass.

Buy République Amazone

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Transparent Water Voted Number One Album by Transglobal World Music Chart in March 2017

Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita – Transparent Water

Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita’s album Transparent Water (Ota Records, 2017) is the Transglobal World Music Chart’s number one album for March 2017.

Transparent Water elegantly combines world music and jazz. The album features Omar Sosa (Cuba) on piano and Seckou Keita (Senegal) on kora along with traditional Chinese flute player Wu Tong, Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, and Japanese koto player Mieko Miyazaki.

For complete results, visit www.transglobalwmc.com

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Africa Oyé Festival Reveals First Artists for 25th Anniversary Edition

African music festival Africa Oyé has announced the first artists scheduled to perform this year. Headlining the anniversary concerts in June will be festival favorites Dizzy Mandjeku & Odemba OK Jazz All-Stars, Jupiter & Okwess International, and Mokoomba.

Africa Oyé will take place Saturday, June 17th and Sunday, June 18th, 2017 at Sefton Park in Liverpool (UK). Admission is free.

Along with the main stage, the Oyé Village will be providing the public a variety of global foods, workshops, dance classes, merchants and DJs and more. The festival will also provide child-friendly entertainment so festival-goers can bring the whole family.

“It’s amazing to be able to look back at the last 25 years and pick some of our favorites to return for this celebration,” says Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney. “The festival this year will be the centerpiece of a whole year of gigs and events and I couldn’t be happier with the first acts that we’ve announced.”

The festival is funded by Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.

More at http://www.africaoye.com

Headline photo caption: Jupiter Okwess at Africa Oye 2014 – Photo by Mark McNulty

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