Songhoy Blues hit London ahead of Damon Albarn Royal Albert Hall gig


Songhoy Blues

Songhoy Blues are a young desert blues punk band from Timbuktu, Mali. The band were exiled to Bamako during the recent unrest in Mali, when Africa Express first heard their music and invited them to record at the ‘Maison des Jeunes’ youth club in Mali’s capital in 2013.

The resulting track ‘Soubour was one of the outstanding songs on the ‘Maison des Jeunes‘ album, which we released via Transgressive records later that year. Since then the band have been increasingly in demand on the international touring circuit and this December sees the release of their first single ‘Al Hassidi Terei’. The track has already received plays on BBC Radio 1, XFM and has been playlisted at BBC6 Music. Their debut album, ‘Music in Exile’, produced by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), will be released on Transgressive Records in February 2015. Read more about the upcoming album here.

The band will support Damon Albarn at the Royal Albert Hall this weekend on Saturday 15. Catch them at these warm up gigs in London this week.

Wednesday 12th Nov
King’s Head, Dalston
Tickets available here.
Friday 14th Nov
The Forge Camden (free entry from 11.30pm)

Enjoy the stunning visuals to ‘Al Hassidi Terei’ below.

Tate Modern and Africa Express present Terry Riley’s In C Mali


From far left  - Lansiné Kouyaté (balafon), Aly Keita (balafon), Mamani Keita (voice)  © Alexey Moskvin/Tate

From far left – Lansiné Kouyaté (balafon), Aly Keita (balafon), Mamani Keita (voice)
© Alexey Moskvin/Tate

Marking the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley‘s pioneering masterpiece ‘In C’, Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space will launch an interactive online film “Tate Modern and Africa Express present In C Mali” later this month.

Led by classical conductor André de Ridder, and produced by Africa Express, the first African version of the minimalist classic was recorded in Bamako, Mali in 2013 with local musicians. The film will feature a live performance of the work, intercut with iconic minimalist works from the Tate Collection.

An album ‘Africa Express Presents… Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ will be released by Transgressive Records later this year.



Maison Des Jeunes Bonus Tracks released for #Transgressive10



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 SilvaJeff 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 London African Music Festival 19th-28th Sep


London African Music Festival

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

Finding Fela General Release in UK Cinemas: Sep 5th



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.


Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra Perform at Colston Hall Sep 16th


Kinshasa Symphony

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!