Africa Express Presents Terry Riley’s In C Mali – live at Ruhrtriennale August 29th


On 29th August we are doing a special performance of ‘Africa Express Presents Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ to mark the legendary composer’s 80th birthday at the Jahrhundertalle in Bochum, Germany as part of the Ruhrtriennale Festival 2015.

Africa Express Presents… Terry Riley’s In C Mali (5 min edit)


This live version of ‘In C Mali’ will be headed by André de Ridder, who led the album version recorded in Mali two years ago, and brings together Western and African artists including Cheick Diallo on peul flute, Jeff Wootton (Gorillaz) and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) on guitar, Juldeh Camara on Riti, vocalist Mamani Keita and Olugbenga Adelekan (Metronomy) on bass and vocals.IN C packshot

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Africa Express presents Terry Riley: in C Mali – out now


Following Transgressive Records‘ launch of Africa Express Presents In C Mali at Rough Trade East, you can now buy the vinyl or CD of In C Mali (and of course the Maison des Jeunes album if you haven’t already) here:

here’s the review from The Line Of Best Fit….terry-rileys-in-c-mali

IN C packshot

Reviews for Africa Express Presents Terry Riley: In C Mali


Africa Express Presents Terry Riley: In C Mali – Have you heard it yet?

CD & limited edition vinyl out now on Transgressive Records:

“Hugely” important, with a “Perfect mixture of musicians” – The Sun

“glorious interplay… emphasizes music’s universal power” – The Guardian

“with the gorgeous textures of a range of Malian musicians … pushes Riley’s score to its limit” – Financial Times

“Another intriguing fusion- ****” – The Daily Mail

“Who saw this coming?… full of sublime moments” – Mojo







Africa Express Presents Terry Riley’s In C Mali Released 24th Nov


Tate Modern Live

Photo credit: Manuel Toledo

Marking the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley‘s pioneering masterpiece ‘In C’, we’re releasing the first African version of the minimalist classic, Africa Express presents… Terry Riley’s In C Mali. This new version was recorded at the Maison des Jeunes youth club in Bamako, Mali in 2013, and is led by contemporary conductor André de Ridder. The album features the cream of new artists from Bamako, among them Adama Koita, Bijou, Cheick Diallo, alongside Africa Express stalwarts Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Jeff Wootton and Nick Zinner. Co-produced and mixed by Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars), the album will be released via Transgressive Records on digital formats on 24th November, with a CD and limited edition vinyl following on 26th January 2015. Pre-order the album here.

Earlier this month, we teamed up with  Tate Modern to present a one-off performance of the piece on the Bridge of the Turbine Gallery at Tate Modern. The event was recorded for an interactive film linking minimalist art and music, co-commissioned by The Space. Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space will launch an interactive online film titled ‘Tate Modern and Africa Express present… Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ on on 28th November. The film will feature the live performance of the work, intercut with iconic minimalist works from the Tate Collection.

On 4th November 2014, exactly 50 years to the day from the world premiere* of ‘In C’, Terry Riley said: -“I am overwhelmed and delighted by this CD. I was not quite prepared for such an incredible journey, hearing the soul of Africa in joyous flight over those 53 patterns of ‘In C’. This ensemble feeds the piece with ancient threads of musical wisdom and humanity indicating to me that this work is a vessel ready to receive and be shaped by the spontaneous feelings and colours of the magician/musician.  I could not ask for a greater gift for this daughter’s 50th birthday.”

The album is available to pre-order here now. In the meantime, listen to an excerpt of Africa Express Presents… In C Mali below:

The full list of performers on Africa Express Presents… In C Mali is:

Adama Koita: Kamel N’goni

Alou Coulibaly: Calabash

Andi Toma: Additional Percussion, Kalimba

André de Ridder: Violin, Baritone-guitar, Kalimba

Badou Mbaye: Djembe, Percussion

Brian Eno, Bijou, Olugbenga: Vocals

Cheick Diallo: Flutes

Damon Albarn: Melodica

Defily Sako, Modibo Diawara : Kora

Guindo Sala: Imzad

Kalifa Koné, Mémé Koné: Balafon

Nick Zinner, Jeff Wootton: Guitar




Stream: Gemma Cairney Behind The Scenes with Africa Express at Maison des Jeunes



In October 2013, BBC Radio 6 presenter Gemma Cairney journeyed to Mali to find out how the country’s diverse music scenes were evolving in light of the ban on music. Gemma stopped by the temporary Africa Express Headquarters, the Maison des Jeunes studio in Bamako and spoke to Pauli the PSM, Damon Albarn and many more.

Find out more about ‘Mali Music’ here, and stream parts 1 and 2 of the documentary below.



Review of Maison Des Jeunes album launch


Evening Standard

The young Songhoy Blues band from Timbuktu stole the show at the launch event for the new Africa Express CD, Maison des Jeunes

Right at home: Kankou Kouyaté performing at the launch of Maison des Jeunes (Picture: Rob Ball/Redferns via Getty)
Simon Broughton Critic Rating ****



The songbird of Mali, Oumou Sangaré, and the world’s premier banjo player, Béla Fleck, will share the stage for two nights at the Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia Festival on July 18 and 19, 2012.

Oumou and Béla started their collaboration in 2005 when Béla took the banjo back to its ancestral home of West Africa and collaborated with some of the continent’s greatest musicians, resulting in the multi-award winning documentary and recording‘Throw Down Your Heart’.

Sangaré and Fleck will be joined by an electrifying live band featuring Will Calhounon drums and percussion, ‘Benogo’ Diakite on kamele n’goni, Sekou Bah on bass and Dandio Sidibe on backing vocals.

Watch Oumou and Béla here




Watch as Malian singer Rokia Traoré puts on an elegant show at the Barbican in June 2012; to hear more of her music, please click here:

MO DJ – African House…made in Africa!


Africa Express regular MO DJ from Bamako posted this excellent video on You Tube a few years back.  We like the Sergio Leone touches, and the fact that Mo is sampling his own culture to ignite some truly homemade African 4-to-the-floor flavour.  And you get a pretty good postcard from the Malian capital thrown in, with Roland 808s, donkey carts, and everything in between…