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Doudou Ndiaye Rose, the percussion maestro
Obituary

Doudou Ndiaye Rose, the percussion maestro

The legendary Senegalese percussion maestro Doudou Ndiaye Rose was every bit as much a poet as a musician. An unrivalled virtuoso when it came to drumming techniques, Rose possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of music and appeared to be able to transcribe just about everything he saw, heard and felt into rhythm. Rose, once dubbed “the Jimi Hendrix of the drumskin”, will be remembered as one of the greatest African musicians of the 20th century. This revered and respected percussionist certainly earned his official title of "Chief Drum Major of Senegal."

Sia Tolno’s female take on afrobeat
African music

Sia Tolno’s female take on afrobeat

The call of the groove was so strong and persistent that Sia Tolno finally listened to it. On her fourth album, African Woman, put together with afrobeat veteran Tony Allen, the Guinean winner of RFI’s Prix Découverte 2011 dares to tackle a male musical stronghold.

Bibi Tanga’s magic potion
Afro-funk

Bibi Tanga’s magic potion

Despite being imbued with the influence of current events and their tragic character, Now, the fifth album by the Central African musician Bibi Tanga, is not just a work of circumstance. Nor is it a simple afro-funk album. Beyond words and labels, the Banui-born singer-bass player who now lives in France succeeds in channelling and distilling his influences.

Mamani Keita on acoustic tracks
Malian music

Mamani Keita on acoustic tracks

Up until now, Mamani Keita’s studio work had always involved an Afro-electro twosome that had almost become her trademark. But for her fourth album, Kanou, the Malian singer has taken the driver’s seat and set off in an acoustic direction.

Haitian compas from the days of vinyl
Haitian music

Haitian compas from the days of vinyl

Re-releasing old tunes has been all the rage over the last few years, but the compilation Haïti Direct is the first big project to focus on digging out the groups behind compas music. This zappy 135-minute digest comprises 30 songs dating from 1960 to 1978.

Aminata Wassidjé Traoré, upwards and outwards
Malian music

Aminata Wassidjé Traoré, upwards and outwards

Hailing from the north of Mali, and imbued with the Songhai culture dear to Ali Farka Touré, the singer Aminata Wassidjé Traoré has made a name for herself on the local music scene while attracting the attention of some enlightened foreigners. Her first album Tamala has in fact just been released on the international market.

Mandela tunes
Tribute

Mandela tunes

The death of Nelson Mandela has plunged even the music world into mourning. The South African figurehead was one of the rare personalities to have rallied artists the world over in the name of a cause following his long political imprisonment during apartheid.

Smarty sets an example
RFI Discoveries award 2013

Smarty sets an example

As winner of this year’s RFI Discoveries Award with a first solo album entitled Afrikan Kouleurs, the Burkinabe Smarty has emerged as a key figure in African rap after ten years performing in the duo Yeleen.

Gipsy Kings, the real thing
World music

Gipsy Kings, the real thing

To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of their group made up of two families, the Gipsy Kings have released a new album entitled Savor Flamenco, offering a familiar energetic cocktail of guitar work and vocals.

Deep Forest go African
World music

Deep Forest go African

After giving us a taste of Brazil in 2008, and along with an Indian-inspired collection out now, French group Deep Forest serve up their vision of African world music with a new album, Deep Africa, including participation from artists like Wasis Diop from Senegal and the Congolese, Lokua Kanza.

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