Manden Express is an international group of Artists fusing traditional and contemporary styles of West African music from the Mande Empire of what is now known as Mali. Inspired by village, Wassalou (Oumou Sangare) styles and the explosion of new musical influences that merged with African music in the 1960?s it blends Kamele n’goni harp, Kora, djembe, and drums with Electric bass and guitar to produce stomping grooves and hypnotic time patterns. Continue reading →
In 1983 Thomas Sankara at the age of 32 deposed the dictator of Upper Volta, West Africa. One of his first acts was to change the name of the country to Burkina Faso ‘The land of the Upright People’. In the following four years of his rule he attempted to implement some of post-independence Africa’s most radical reform measures, including the emancipation of women, self-sufficiency programs. Sankara shunned the riches of power and continued as a vocal critic of neo-colonialism until his assassination on the 15th October 1987. Continue reading →
Interview with Malian musician, Bassekou Kouyate, at The Sugar Club, Dublin.
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Bassekou Kouyate in concert, playing his ngoni. Photograph taken by Michal Jaskolski in 2009.
As a big fan of Malian music, it is always a pleasure to have an opportunity to meet one of the greats. I have always been humbled by their approachability and the everyday things that they want to talk about, if given the chance. In this sense Bassekou Kouyate was no different. As he lay back in the cupped jazz club style seating of the Sugar Club in Dublin, I greeted him with my one and only Fulani word, ‘Jarama’, to which he replied in a stream of Fula. Continue reading →
The master returns after the launch of a new album. Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso master of the ngoni lute from the Mande area of West Africa. The instrument is one of the oldest of African stringed instrument, predating the Kora harp.
Bassekou has been involved in some amazing African music creations in the recent past. He was an integral part of Toumani Diabates AFROCUBISM project which came and rocked the National Concert Hall in the Summer of 2011.
His third Album ‘Jama Ko’ offers to continue his great contribution to African music.
The concert takes place in The Sugar Club, Dublin. Tickets 20/18 euro
Stories of the Mande Empire: Afro-Eire have a long tradition of providing African music workshops and performances for children. At Africa Day Dublin, they will deliver interactive workshops entitled ‘Stories of the Mande Empire’. This interactive workshop brings to life the ancient tales of the Mande Empire as told by its Griots (Bards). The workshop is delivered by Malian story teller and cultural expert Isa Ballo and leading proponent of West African Kamele n’goni harp and African percussion in Ireland Paul McElhatton and percussionist Brian Lynch.
Ideal for kids, these story sessions will bring to life the famed epics through the medium of song, drums, shakers, bells and African harp music. The workshops will take place throughout the day in the Kids’ Zone.
The Ranelagh Arts Centre, 26 Ranelagh Main St (Beside LUAS stop), Dublin.
Weekly West African Drumming Classes, Dublin
Due to popular demand and after an 18 month absence weekly African drumming workshops are back!!!
These workshops will explore West African percussion music from Guinea, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, the heartland of djembe music. Every rhythm has its purpose and these workshops will provide the context to the music. From the Kassa harvest rhythms of the Malinke to the Zaouli mask dance of the Gouro people each piece is distinctive in its sound and significance.
Workshops taught by Paul McElhatton who has been playing for over twelve years including over twelve months of learning in Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Gambia. Continue reading →