Salif Keita and Les Ambassadeurs Reunite at Barbican Centre

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Les Ambassadeurs

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.

 

Tinariwen and Damon Albarn To Play Latitude Fest

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Latitude
Summer’s here, Glastonbury has just opened its gates to streams of music lovers and it’s safe to say the festival season is well and truly upon us.

We’re delighted that Latitude, one of the UK’s best arts festivals, have added Damon Albarn and Tinariwen to their line up. Amongst the theatre workshops, comedy and stellar acts such as Bombay Bicycle Club, we also suggest you catch Soundway Records newcomers Ibibio Sound Machine and Mauritanian beatsmith Mo Kolours.

Latitude runs from 17th- 20th July in Henham Park, Suffolk.  See the full line up here and get a flavour of the festival in the video below.

Jupiter and Okwess International Summer Tour

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Okwess Summer Tour
The super-band hailing from Democratic Republic of Congo, Jupiter and Okwess International have just released details of their summer tour. The group, who were part of the 2012 Africa Express Train tour, will bring their enrapturing sound to countries across the world including France, Japan and Holland.

The tour kicks off on May 28th at La Clef in  St-Germain-Laye, full tour dates here.
We suggest you buy your tickets sooner rather than later, and in the meantime, you can watch Jupiter and Okwess’ acoustic set for BBC Africa below.

Damon Albarn on Toumani Diabate

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Damon Albarn chats to World Circuit Records about Toumani Diabate and the impact of the Malian kora player’s music. Watch the video below.

Toumani and his son Sidiki are now on tour in the UK.

Loud And Quiet Magazine Interview Africa Express

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LoudandquietAE
Africa Express’ Stephen Budd caught up with Paddy Kinsella from Loud and Quiet Magazine to discuss the state of music in Mali today and the making of ‘Maison Des Jeunes’ (now available on CD.)
Read the full interview here and watch out for some hints about Africa Express projects in the pipeline!

Andy Morgan Takes Us Through Mali’s Hip Hop Scene

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mali-rap-title

Writer and member of the Africa Express team,  Andy Morgan goes deep into Malian Hip Hop and Rap in his piece for Red Bull Music Academy. In his article, The Voice of The Voiceless, Morgan explores the political poignance of contemporary hip hop in Mali. Read this insightful look at the country’s changing musical landscape here.