The 10th London African Music Festival is still underway
The 10th London African Music Festival began on Friday 14th September and if you haven't yet had a chance to check out any of the performances, you still have time. The following shows are taking place between now and the festival close on Saturday 29th September:
Ancient songs from the Gnawa tradition about mysterious women, men that divide oceans and armies of soul conquerors weave themselves among enormous infectious grooves, analogue effects and warped guitars. Expect inexhaustible energy, moments of soulful calm and pinnacles of ecstatic mayhem, plus some dance moves, you’ve definitely never seen before.
Traditional and contemporary Yoruba music combine in the soulful voice of Funmi Olawumi, the founder of the Yoruba Women Choir, who creates Faaji music from a refreshing mix of influences, from juju, highlife and afrobeat to fuji. Faaji is a Nigerian-Yoruba word for having a good time and Funmi Olawumi and her 12-piece band create hypnotic dance music that galvanizes and uplifts in a remarkable way.
Modeste is an award winning Malagasy singer songwriter and guitarist whose music is rooted in his hometown of Betroka in the Central Southern region of Madagascar. His music is a unique blend of traditional Malagasy sounds influenced by softer South African dance rhythms, creating beautiful melodies & rhythms with hypnotic guitar playing and vocals.
Gospel is the biggest music in Africa and one of the biggest choirs of them all is the mighty Yoruba Women Choir founded by singer Funmi Olawumi in 2006 and featuring 10 female soloists and six piece band to present a show that is bursting with intense soulful passion. This is the music that inspires the mind and uplifts the soul. The choir have married the intricate rhythms and harmonies of their native Nigerian musical traditions to the sounds and sentiments of Christian gospel music. The result is a musical and spiritual alchemy that has touched a worldwide audience representing every corner of the religious, cultural and ethnic landscape.
Tony Dudu, who was born in Bambadinca, Guinea Bissau, West-Africa, is one of the towering figures of ‘palop’ sound which comes from a fusion of West-African and South African rhythms and Jazz driven by Latin grooves. In 2009, Tony formed his new band “Gumbe Jazz” and tonight the band will play special set to mark their festival debut. Expect frenetic dance grooves from all these funky people.
Rise Kagona is a true African music legend. Born in Malawi, Rise Kagona is the founder, lead guitarist and sole remaining member of Zimbabwean rock band Bhundu Boys. The Bhundu Boys were the ambassadors of African music and one of the first African groups to tour the world in the 1980s. Rise Kagona along with the original Bhundu Boys, mixed Zimbabwean styles with rhumba, influences from the Congo and labelled their fast paced music ‘Jit Jive’. They were a ground-breaking force in African music, paving the way for more artists to be successful in Europe and the US. They enjoyed fantastic success – with international hits and stadium tours – and personal tragedy in equal measure. Their story is as compelling as their accomplishments are great and their music infectious unlike any other African groups. Tonight Rise Kagona plays with his band – The Jit Jive Band – and features songs from his legendary career and new songs from his forthcoming album.
Africa’s finest jazz orchestra returns with their blistering big band funk, imaginative jazz solos and irresistible African rhythms. At the helm is Africa’s finest jazz guitarist Lucky Ranku, who leads the hard as nail rhythm section featuring inventive pianist Adam Glasser, power house drummer Babwaku Biasonama, percussionist Siemy Di and deep end bassist Femi Sofela. The stellar cast horn section features high note trumpeter Claude Deppa, bad bone trombonist Trevor Edwards, creative alto saxophonist Tony Kofi, soulful tenor saxophonist Bukky Leo and deep end baritone saxophonist Greg Bonnie. Vocalist Pinise Saul adds her class quality as the featured songstress. Expect an exhilarating and rousing show.
Tickets: £8.00 – £12.00 (£10.00 advance tickets. All details here)
Take a trip to the heart of Hackney to experience Africa’s finest live afrobeat session with pianist Dele Sosimi as he leads his powerful Afrobeat Orchestra with DJ Koichi dropping heavy weight Afrobeat, afro funk and tropical rhythms on the desk. Dele Sosimi is one of the brightest lights in Afrobeat and funk today. His pedigree is unquestionable: he cut his teeth as the keyboard player, musical director and instructor in Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80. He continued with Fela’s son Femi in Positive Force, combining complex funk grooves, traditional Nigerian music, hi-life, African percussion and jazz.