Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra bring their sound to Bristol’s Colston Hall on Sep 16th.
The group led by Armand Diagienda, formed in 1994 in the Democratic Republic of Congo against the backdrop of war and two coups. Twenty years on and 200 members strong, the orchestra will perform in Bristol for the first time on September 16th. Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra will also be performing in Manchester, London Southbank (Sept 14th) and Cardiff. As well as performing classical repertoire, including extracts from Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, the orchestra and choir will perform traditional Congolese music.
Want to learn more about Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra? Then catch the documentary screening this Sunday (14th Sep) at Watershed Cinema. Dig into Katrina Mason’s (of the FT) in depth write up on the importance of music in Congo and the history of the Orchestra here.
Click here to book tickets, and watch the documentary trailer below!
In celebration of their 10th Anniversary, Transgressive Records have been releasing a new track everyday for the last 29 days. Today saw the release of three bonus tracks from Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes produced by the likes of Lil Silva, Jeff Wooton and Two Inch Punch. From the slow burning, atmospheric ‘Maliora’ to the delicately layered ‘Loop (Mali Guitare)‘ these bonus tracks encompass the diversity of Maison Des Jeunes.
Grab your free downloads of the three stunning tracks here – and watch the new video for Gambari feat. Kankou Kouyaté’s ‘Yamore’ below. Maison Des Jeunes is still available on Amazon/Itunes.
The 12th London African Music Festival is nearly upon us. The festival will take place from Friday 19th to Sunday 28th September 2014 across 12 venues, encompassing live performances from artists such as Senegalese Kora player (and old friend of Africa Express ) Diabel Cissokho, and the Gambia’s Sonah Jobarteh. From shows at Rich Mix to Dj sets at Charlie Wrights and performances at the Vortex Jazz Club – London will be alight with sounds from all over Africa.
For the full lineup and details about tickets click here and in the meantime, enjoy the playlist below
Didn’t win tickets to the exclusive screening of Finding Fela? Don’t worry as the documentary by Academy award winning Alex Gibney comes to cinemas across the UK from Sep 5th. Click here to find a screening near you.
A hypnotic portrait of visionary Nigerian musician and social activist, Fela Kuti, the documentary also tells the story of the hit Broadway musical Fela! Sparked by the musical’s arrival to Lagos in 2011, the documentary captures the triumphant reception of the show at the Kuti family’s New Afrika shrine.
‘Finding Fela’, which made the Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, will be in cinemas in the UK from 5 September. The official soundtrack album is out now via Knitting Factory Records. Check out the trailer below.
Knitting Factory Records have chosen Brian Eno to pick seven of his favourite Fela Kuti albums for their third Box Set dedicated to the icon. The collection represents Eno’s 40 year obsession with Fela’s groundbreaking music.
Eno’s seven chosen albums span a ten year gap chronicling Fela’s growth, and include iconic works such as Shakara (1972), Zombie (1976), and of course Afrodisiac (1973). The box set also includes song lyrics, in depth commentaries on all seven albums from Afrobeat historian Chris May and an exclusive A2 poster.
The box set which also features London Scene (1971), Gentleman (1973), Upside Down (1976), and I.T.T. (1980), is released on September 30th and is now available for pre order here. Watch Brian speak about his first encounter with Fela’s music in the video below. Stay tuned for more info of upcoming Finding Fela! screenings in London.
Mali’s original Big Band Les Ambassadeurs (featuring Salif Keita, Amadou Bagayoko and Cheick Tidiane Seck) have reunited for a summer tour. The legendary Bamako-based group who ‘paved the way for the worldbeat explosion of the 80s’ are set to play Barbican on 26th July and WOMAD on July 27th. The Afrobeat Messengers led by Nigerian percussionist (and Fela collaborator) Lekan Babalola will open the show at the Barbican with their special brand of global music. Tickets are still available here.
In the meantime, here’s a video of Les Ambassadeurs in action in Bamako earlier this summer.