world music / african music
The legendary saxophonist, composer and singer from Cameroon, Manu Dibango, has got together with the peerless English producer and hit-maker Wayne Beckford to create a timeless disk entitled Past-Present-Future
The Congolese singer Maryse Ngalula, who has just won the Institut Français’ Visas pour la Création programme, took advantage of a 5-month residency in the French capital thanks to sponsorship from the Archimusic association run by saxophonist Jean-Rémy Guédon. By the end of her stay, the artist had put together a seven-track demo that displays an array of talent, including an agile, transparent voice, some sharp lyrics and a very personal style that swings between jazz and Congolese tradition.
After crossing the USA from west to east with his show Tales from the Sahel, the Senegalese Baaba Maal is in France to perform a dozen concerts celebrating the 25th anniversary of his group Daande Lenol
After producing three albums as a trio, the Kora Jazz Band has doubled its numbers and taken on Manu Dibango, Andy Narell and Omar Marquez for its latest collection. An album overshadowed by bereavement following the death of kora player Soriba Kouyaté a few days after recording ended.
RFI discoveries award 2011
Sia Tolno and her new album My Life seem to mark the end of the cultural policy for authenticity that Guinea has championed for so long. With a crosscutting style that transcends the Mandinka world and draws from the music of neighbouring Anglophone countries, the recent RFI Découvertes winner cannily crosses multiple borders. She will be playing live at the Alhambra in Paris on 13 October.
A modern-day nomad who came to France to escape repression after the Berber Spring in 1980, Akli D. plays his hyper sensitive music with the careless confidence of a trapeze artist using no net. The singer, a fan of Neil Young and the movies, has just released a third album, Paris Hollywood.
Propel Africa into the future instead of rehashing the past: that’s the principle that Damon Alban has tried to develop with Kinshasa One Two, an album by the DRC Music collective, made up of Western producers and Congolese musicians. The intention is commendable and clearly sincere, but tends to get tangled in its own web.
With an appetite for learning almost as big as her vibrant personality, the Malian Fatoumata Diawara has modestly slipped out of her actress persona to inhabit her new role as a singer. The simplicity of her first album Fatou translates her desire to stand forward unadorned.
Cape Verdean Music
Among those Cape Verdean artists whose career has reached international heights, Tcheka occupies an unusual, almost paradoxical place, both avant-garde and a bit in the shadows. At 38, with his album Dor De Mar, the former winner of the RFI Découvertes Award maintains his position without managing to completely override a frustrating feeling of under-exploited potential.
The jury presided by Richard Bona has elected Sia Tolno from Guinea-Conakry as the winner of this year’s RFI Découvertes Award. The artist topped the final selection, ahead of Bongeziwe Mabandla (South Africa) and Metzo Djatah (Senegal). Djatah took the Internet public’s vote, which counted for one voice in the judging. Tune into RFI and RFI Musique over the next few days to hear Sia Tolno’s music.