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!
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.
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.
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 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.