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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.

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, like father like son
Malian music

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, like father like son

 

Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep things in the family, especially when it involves kora virtuosos in the shape of Malian master Toumani Diabaté and his talented son Sidiki, the Bamako-based rap star. Their kora kinship, inspired by 72 generations of griots, serves up a superb sound.

Bélo, citizen of the world with firm roots
Haitian music

Bélo, citizen of the world with firm roots

Two years after Haïti debout, the singer-guitarist Bélo, winner of the RFI Découvertes Award 2006, has released a fourth album Natif natal. In Port-au-Prince, RFI Musique met up with a young man who hasn’t lost sight of his artistic ideals.

Kareyce Fotso, gentle force
Cameroonian music

Kareyce Fotso, gentle force

For her third album, Mokte, mostly recorded at the Moto Records studio in Yaoundé, Kareyce Fotso takes on the languages and rhythms of eight regions in Cameroon. From Yaoundé, she champions a deep, cultural revolution to spur individual and collective destinies.

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.

Zachary Richard, for the love of French
World music

Zachary Richard, for the love of French

With his 20th album, Le Fou, "Cajun King" Zachary Richard, creator of the hit Travailler, c’est trop dur, appeals to a French public once again. The spiritual ecologist fervently defends the French spoken in Louisiana, set to a happy groove. RFI Musique met up with a musician keen to perpetuate his ancestors’ language: a militant musician bursting with poetry.

Seun Kuti, afrobeat from the other Kuti heir
Nigerian Music

Seun Kuti, afrobeat from the other Kuti heir

On the cover of A Long Way to the Beginning, his third album, Seun Anikulapo Kuti brandishes a raised fist in a sign of revolt, a fist whose silhouette evokes Africa, two themes dear to his Black President father, who passed away in 1997 from AIDS, two themes he combines in afrobeat’s future.

Angélique Kidjo, standing up for women
African music

Angélique Kidjo, standing up for women

Angélique Kidjo is one of the world’s great voices. The artist with Beninese roots has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats, like Aretha Franklin, Desmond Tutu, Alicia Key, and Obama at his inauguration as President. Her travels for UNICEF, supporting women, inspired her new album, Eve, recorded in Africa and New York with a bunch of unknowns and an eclectic guest list: Asa, Dr. John, Kronos Quartet, and even a philharmonic orchestra. At the same time, she has released her autobiography, Spirit rising.
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.

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