world music / african music
RFI Discoveries Award 2011
The singer Afrikkanitha’s striking feature is her velvety voice. The young Angolan offers songs full of sensitivity and vocal virtuosity with her album Ainda Sonho
A crowd of Guineans came to take part in yesterday’s funeral for the singer and guitarist Manfila Kanté, who died in Paris on 20 July at the age of 65 and was buried in Conakry. A longstanding accomplice of Salif Keita, former band leader of the Ambassadeurs, and a reputed arranger, he took his music beyond the borders of the traditional griot world.
When a high-profile Congolese singer decides to interpret a compatriot master musician, it suddenly becomes clear just how many old-style rumba lovers are still around, as shown by the remarkable commercial success of Koffi chante Tabu Ley.
It was back in 2005, in a small Malian town called Aguel’Hoc, that Paul (guitarist) and Nicolas (drummer) first crossed paths with Ibrahim, a Touareg guitarist and singer weaned on the sound of Tinariwen. After countless trips between France and Mali, their partnership has taken hold with a blend of desert blues and jazz-rock, now resulting in a first inspiring album called Azeman.
Lapiro de Mbanga, the bard of Cameroon’s working classes, was freed on 8 April after three years in a Cameroonian gaol. He has chosen the French town of Lille to mark his return to centre stage. The concert, which was organised by Cameroonian ex-patriots in the town, is scheduled for 13 July.
With Songs of Badissa, the Cameroonian singer Erik Aliana and his band Korongo Jam perpetuate the memory of the O’Sananga people: a fragile heritage served up to the world with some superb orchestration and a contemporary slant.
Following kompa crooner Michel Martelly’s election as president of the Republic of Haiti, the singer Bélo delivers his own message on Haïti debout, the third album from the 2006 winner of the RFI Découvertes music award.
On La Nuit à Fébé, which was partly recorded in the studio she built close to Yaoundé in Cameroon, Sally Nyolo shares her discovery of the traditional balafon called the mendzang, which perfectly accompanies her rendition of bikutsi music.
In the space of three decades we’ve got used to looking forward to it like we wait for summer. On this 21 June 2011, the Fête de la Musique is an ultramarine affair, taking on the theme of the Année de l’Outre-mer (French overseas territories year). We look back on a far-sighted initiative that has inspired the globe.
Accompanied by the double-neck mandola that has become his trademark, Algerian singer