Kamele n’goni making workshop 7th February 2015

For the first time in Ireland we will be conducting a kamele n’goni making workshop.  This is rare opportunity to learn about the instrument and its construction.  Making an instrument is also a traditional course of development for kamele n’goni, donso n’goni and Kora players in Africa.

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This workshop will focus on the construction of 8 and 10 string Kamele n’goni.  The workshop will involve shaping the calabash, skining the calabash, decorating, and placing bridge supports.

Kamele n'goni kamale n'goni

Kamele n’goni kamale n’goni

Secondly we will be creating a hardwood neck and bridge for the n’goni.

Kamele n'goni - Afro-Eire

Finally, we will attach the to the components and to make the finished product.

Kamele n'goni Ireland

Kamele n’goni Ireland

The workshop will be conducted by Paul McElhatton who has been travelling to West Africa for over 15 years to study traditional instruments.  Paul is also the creator and kamele n’goni player in Irelands only Mali music group Manden Express http://www.afroeire.com/mandenexpress/

You can see more about the Kamele n’goni’s here: http://www.afroeire.com/kamele-ngoni-west-african-harp/

And check out some of our online tutorials here: http://www.afroeire.com/kamele-ngoni-lessons/

All materials are included in this workshop, including:

A good quality calabash.

A high quality goat skin

A hardwood neck

Hardwood for the bridge


Playing cords


Metal tuners (Max 10)

Cost of workshop including all material 210 euro.

Date: 7th February  – Venue: TBC (Dublin area).

Advance booking with deposit essential – please contact paul@afroeire.com

Quantic Dj with Manden Express, The Sugar Club, Dublin,. December 28th.


Quantic Dj and Manden Express, 28th December, Sugar Club, Dublin

Quantic Dj and Manden Express, 28th December, Sugar Club, Dublin

Early Birds sold out, €12.50 per tickets ex booking fee €15 on the door

Quantic DJ Set
Manden Express
Brian Cross aka B+
James Keating
& more tba on the night….Doors 9pm

Quantic, aka Will Holland is a British born Musician, Producer & DJ making Soul, Electronic & Latin Music saturated in the tropical soundwaves of the Carribean. Currently working from his Sonido del Valle studio base in the highlands of Bogota, Colombia, Holland has developed a sound that bridges heritage and progression, marrying spontaneous musicianship with deep, exciting tonality.

Manden Express are Ireland’s one and only group focusing on Malian Music and music form the Mande Empire. Since their debut in 2013 they have built a strong following with appearances in festivals such as Bray Jazz Festival, Down with Jazz and Hotter than July. They bring together an international line up of talented musicians with a wide variety in their repertoire.



Habib Koité (Mali). Tuesday 3rd March 2015 – The National Concert Hall, Dublin.


March sees the return of legendary Malian guitarist Habib Koité to the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

Koité was last in Ireland in 2009 with his group Badama.  Then he gave an intimate workshop for musicians sharing his extensive knowledge of both European classical and traditional Malian music. This was followed by a blistering performance which saw the NCH’s ushers quickly surrender their no dancing in the aisles policy.

Since then there have been changes to the group, most notably the retirement in 2009 and the death in 2012 at the age of 81 of ones of Mali’s greatest virtuosos, the Balafonist Keletigui Diabate. Diabate, a founding member of l’Orchestre National de Mali also toured and recorded with artists such as Toumani Diabate and Salif Keita to name a few.

The new five piece section sees introduction of instruments such as the Banjo and Keyboards to the group. Having seen Koité performing several times in both Europe I look forward to his latest offerings.

Habib Koité • Guitar, Lead Vocals

Issa Koné • Guitar, Banjo, Backing Vocals

Abdoul Wahab Berthé • Bass, Kamale Ngoni

Charly Coulibaly • Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Mama Koné • Percussion, Backing Vocals

Tickets €34, €30, €24, €16 (choir balcony)

Organised by Waltons World Masters Series.

Fela Day 2014 – Thursday 16th October – The Button Factory, Dublin

Manden Express

Manden Express

a series of concerts and festivals dedicated to spreading the Afrobeat genre and celebrate the birthday of Fela Kuti, creator of the Afrobeat happens in different cities across the world, is a magical meet called Felabration or Fela Day. A day to remember that the message of unity among peoples and celebration of life through the music and celebrate the Fela´s legacy.

Building a tradition in Ireland, this year we gonna make the third Felabration in Dublin, and this time we catch the great venue Button Factory in the heart of Dublin honouring Fela Kuti’s 75th birthday in an amazing style with live set of Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble and Mandem Express more the specials Dj Set of iZem, Mukambo and Scope all great knowledgeable of roots and modern afrobeat tunes.

Activating the consciousness of lovers of the good sounds that the music is fun but also a powerful weapon of awareness of people about the often cruel reality that the world is. Also, helping to change the world for better with positives and powerfull Afrobeat vibrations. MUSIC IS THE WEAPON!

Line Up!!!!








African Village Drumming – Weekly Wednesday Classes

famoudou-seckou (1)

Rhythm is highly important to life in rural Africa, it breaks up the mundane tasks of the day such as pounding grain and turns it into a rhythmic adventure. All stages of life are accompanied by drumming in certain areas of West Africa. Births, , coming of age, planting, harvesting, marriage…. All have their specific rhythms.

These workshops will explore some of key styles and rhythms of Malian drumming. Mali style has laid back grooves that can explode into high energy dances at a moments notice.

Starting Wednesday 8th October. 7.30-9.30pm

Harvest Moon Centre

24 Baggot Street Lower

Dublin 2

Rhythms include:
Madan (djagbe) – Traditionally played to celebrate the end of Ramadan this rhythm is now popular at all celebrations.
Marakadon (The dance of the Maraka people) – Traditionally played by the Bambara people to welcome guests from Soninke (Maraka in Bambara).
Sunun – Popular at festivities the song praises the ‘Sunu Tigi’ or festival organiser.

Drums can be provided, but please bring your own if you have one.

Cost – 70euro for 6 weeks – 14euro drop in.

About the teacher:
Paul has been studying African percussion for 15 years in Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso and In the Ghanaian drum and Dance Ensemble in SOAS, University of London.

He has toured as Far afield as Mexico and Egypt . He is the founder of the group Manden Express where he plays Malian hunter harp, he is the lead drummer for Ghanaian dancer Godfred Asares’ African Dance Centre and regularly plays lead for Catherine Young African dance classes in Dance Ireland.

Bluefire Streetfest – Saturday 20th September 2014

Expanding the culture night over the weekend sees a great day of entertainment next Saturday in Dublin. It also features a great presence of the City’s African music scene. Bands include Mali/International group Manden Express, 14 piece Afrobeat group The Dublin Afrobeat Ensemble, Afro/Irish group Tig Linn and Ugandan Singer Justine Nantale. Performances on the day also from Ghanaian dancer Godfred Asare accompanied by the Afro-Eire percussion group.

Manden Express

Manden Express

‘Bombino’ – Niger, West Africa – July 17th @ The Twisted Pepper, Dublin.


Omara Moctar aka ‘Bombino’ perhaps represents the next progression of West Africa’s ‘Desert Blues’ phenomena.  He also represents a broadening of our vision Eastward from the Mali heartland to Niger where desert accounts for 80% of the landmass.  Hailing from Agadez in Northen Niger he shares much in common with his Tuareg compatriots Tinariwen whose music has been shaped by political conflict, war, ethnic disenfranchisement, refugee camps and the vast desert expanses of their homeland.

Sterling Carter at Trebuchet magazine writes:

Music has been, at times, a weapon for the Tuareg, a rallying cry. During the last campaign against the Tuareg in 2007, Niger banned guitars from the restive North. Never let anyone tell you that music doesn’t have power. These aren’t war songs, however. Bombino insists that his guitar isn’t a gun. Instead, it is a hammer that he will use to build his people’s homes. Instead of leading men into the brink, they are melodies about the thrill of young love, friendship, patience, and a longing for home. http://www.trebuchet-magazine.com/bombino-magic-hat-live/

His first album Agadez in 2011 won him critical acclaim, he also appeared with a 13 minute live track on the 2012 Songs for Desert Refugees alongside tracks from Tinariwen, Tamikrest and Etran Finatawa in aid of the victims of the vast refugee crisis created following the ill-fated takeover of Northern Mali by The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and their subsequent ousting by Islamist groups.  His latest offering Nomad sees both soulful acoustic offerings accompanied by traditional percussion and leading on to the trademark Stratocaster driven tracks that expose our minds to a higher register and send us driving through the Sahara desert.  I can almost smell the fumes of the ancient Mercedes and my fellow passengers packed in tight with an odd chicken or two for good measure.

Bombino plays Dublin on the 17th July at the Twisted Pepper.  For more information see https://www.facebook.com/events/1440465902875116/?fref=ts

Tickets available at https://entertainment.ie



Tinariwen – Cork 28th June, Westport 29th, Dublin 1st July.

Tinariwen - Afro-Eire

Tinariwen – Afro-Eire

Tinariwen are back in Ireland this week celebrating the release of their latest album – EMMAAR.  Following the continuing political instability in their homeland of Northern Mali and its surrounds, this album was recorded in a desert in California and sees a host of guest appearances without comprimising their guitar driven Sahara desert sound.

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Toumani & Sidiki Diabate – Dublin (7th) & CORK (8th June) 2014

Toumani Diabate is set to return to Ireland this June 7th (Dublin) and 8th (Cork). After wowing audience in recent years with his Symetric Orchestra and the Afrocubism project this Tour marks the first collaboration with his son Sidiki Diabate celebrating their first album together.


Toumani is one of the Jewels of Malian and African music. His mastery of the 21 string Kora reflects 71 generations of musicianship and a capacity to improvise that has seen him collaborate with musicians as diverse as Taj Mahal, Bjork and Ketama.


Waltons World Masters: Toumani & Sidiki Diabate – Dublin – 7th June – The National Concert Hall. 


Toumani & Sidiki Diabate – Cork – 8th June – The Cork Opera House.