Orchestre Poly-Rythmo Album Giveaway

Legendary Benin musicians Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou have released their new album Madjafalao and it’s out now! The album follows the release of Cotonou Club in 2011, their first new record since the early ’80s. The band, founded in Benin in 1968 by bandleader Mélomé Clément, reached popularity across West Africa throughout the 1970s, recording over 50 albums and playing alongside greats such as Fela Kuti. The name “poly-rythmo’ was born out of the plethora of influences and rhythms that inspired the band who brought together sounds from traditional Vodoun rituals to funk, Nigerian Afro-Beat, Ghanaian high-life and more. The 80s saw the band go into indefinite hiatus,  only returning to action following re-releases from labels like Soundway and Analog Africa. The band reformed in 2008 and toured the world to critical acclaim. Despite the death of founder Mélomé Clément in 2012, singer Vincent Ahehehinnou, bass player Gustave Bentho and singer Loko Pierre decided to keep the Poly-Rythmo flame alive and after a few months hiatus they resumed rehearsals and started composing new songs, tracks which would eventually form the basis of Madjafalao.

To celebrate, Africa Express have teamed up with Because Music to bring 4 luck winners a copy of the album. Simply share this post on twitter or facebook to be in with a chance to win! Competition winners will be contacted on Monday 5th Dec at 12pm. Good luck.


Poly-rythmo photo by Florent Mazzoleni

Header photo TP Orchestre Poly Rythmo session at bar Coco Beach, Cotonou, taken by Youri Lenquette 06/2016


Mali's BKO Quintet on UK Tour

BKO Quintet hail from Bamako, Mali and are bringing their self titled brand of ‘World and Roll’ to the UK.  Renowned artists in their own right, the five band members fuse the sounds of their griot heritage to deliver a traditional take on contemporary Mali. With talented percussionist Ibrahima Sarr who has toured with Omou Sangare, vocals from virtuoso Fassara Sacko whose innovation is rooted in the griot tradition, djelingoni master Abdoulaye Kone (who has travelled the world with Salif Keita and Tiken Jah Fakoli),  Nfali Diakité donsongoni player and singer, and Aymeric Krol, this band is not to be missed.

The tour kicks off with a free show on Sunday 27th November at London’s Hootananny in Brixton. If you can’t make it, check out the other dates below and clear your diaries!
27/11 – Hootananny Brixton London – free entry
28/11 – Sound Control Manchester – https://bit.ly/2fcbDkL
29/11 – The Parish, Huddersfield – https://bit.ly/2fdrzTZ
30/11 – student workshop (sold out), Liverpool
01/12 – 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool – https://bit.ly/2eUb6Wn
02/12 – The Canteen, Bristol – free entry
03/12 – The Duke of Cumberland, Whitstable – https://bit.ly/2fce5Yz
04/12 – Norwich Arts Centre Norwich – https://bit.ly/2fuPe5P


Africa Rising, Book Giveaway

Africa Rising showcases some of the diverse artistic and creative talent from across the continent. Covering fashion, design, music, photography, architecture and all in between, Africa Rising presents a contemporary snapshot of African innovation. The book sheds light on a new wave of artists marrying a distinct connection to the traditional with unique visions which speak directly to their contemporary contexts. Whether it be Hamed Ouattara’s innovative use of discarded materials to make furniture or Le Ndomo’s use of ancient Malian textile dyeing as a means to mobilise Malian youths, Nle‘s architectural answers to climate change and rapid urbanisation or Gonçalo Mabunda‘s recycling of weapons to make sculptures and traditional masks,  Africa Rising offers an insight into the steps African creatives are taking, whether or not the wider world is watching.

The volume is co-edited by Design Indaba: a multifaceted design platform that garners worldwide critical acclaim for their annual design conference held in Cape Town.

Africa Express is very pleased to partner with Gestalten, the publishers of Africa Rising to offer one lucky reader a copy of the book. To be in with a chance to win, share this post on your twitter or facebook (making sure to tag @AfricaExpress) so we can get in touch with you. The competition will end 12pm on Tuesday 22nd November. See the stunning photos below for a snapshot of what you could get your hands on!


Le Ndomo, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Le Ndomo, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016


Wangechi Mutu, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Wangechi Mutu, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016


from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016
Nle, from Africa Rising, Copyright, Gestalten 2016