Manden Express kamele n'goni

Manden Express were like a cross between Oumou Sangaré and      drummer Steve Reid’s Daxaar ensemble. Rhythmic mantras guided the pulsating set closer “Safo Safo,” which ebbed and flowed to allow guitar, kamele ngoni, percussion and drums to really stretch out.

4 Star Review by Ian Patterson of AllAboutJazz

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Manden Express EP now available on bandcamp

Manden Express is a thrillingly explosive Dublin-based international band, fusing traditional and contemporary styles of West African music from the Mande Empire of what is now known as Mali, alongside infectious Afrobeat rhyhms. 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, djembe, and drums with Electric bass and guitar to produce stomping grooves and hypnotic time patterns.

The septet is the only group of it’s type in Ireland, charged with rhythmic energy and weaving together a wealth of experience in African music and other styles like flamenco, jazz, funk and rock, with band members hailing from Sierra Leone, Spain, Peru and Ireland. Manden Express have appeared at Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, Bray Jazz Festival, Down With Jazz Festival, The Big Bang Festival, Love live music 2013, Body and Soul Festival and the Drogheda Samba Festival, Sweeney’s Carnival, Whelanslive Dublin, Culture Night Dublin, Dublin Tropical – Africa V’s Brazil @ The Grand Social amongst others. They have also supported international acts such as Quantic, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and The Souljazz Orchestra.

Nene Mansaré – Vocals

Paul McElhatton – Kamele n’goni harp

Orlando Molina – Guitar

Tommy Moore – Bass

Jose Minguez – Guitar

Brian Lynch – Djembe/Percussion

Cote Calmet – Drums


‘If Ireland has become a melting pot, Manden Express might be the band to provide its soundtrack. African, Latin and Irish musicians convene here in service of the good groove, predominantly West African as the name suggests, but sociable in its embrace of flamenco, jazz and funk too. They’re festival fit too, with previous shows at Body & Soul and Drogheda Samba Fest, and a dance friendly formula that is winning admirers at venues across Dublin from Sweeney’s to the Grand Social. Paul McElhatton introduces you to the Kamele n’goni, cousin to the West African kora, percussionist Brian Lynch has the djembe chops, and also inviting you to shake it are vocalist Emma Garnett, bassist Manuel Oliviencia, drummer Cote Calmet, guitarists Paddy Groenland and Jose Dominguez’. Down With Jazz Festival, Dublin

“Manden did an amazing set at Dublin Tropical. Their electric funky African sound warmed-up the night nicely and at the end of the set every single person in the venue was dancing.”  Jeremie MK, Director of Dublin Tropical.

‘Bursting into Station at full speed and searching to a halt is Manden Express.
Made up of a group of international Musicians, Manden express blends traditional Malian melody with bass grooves and deep hypnotic percussion.
Leading the melody is the Ngoni, a small African harp. As the melody unfolds its simplicity and beauty takes us into a slow trance. The melody swirls round and round. Suddenly we are introduced to the bass and percussion, giving the music depth and pace. It kicks into a raw African groove, impossible not to move to, instantaneously taking us to dance.
The beat is organic, raw and heavy with a sharp Djembe leading the way. The Dun Dun takes the counter beat, balancing the rhythm as it echoes the deep notes of the bass guitar.
The guitar takes us by surprise as beat grows, it slowly amplifies it presence, jerking in and out or the music, adding the funk to the mix. By this time the Manden Express have transported us to their world, melodic funky trance.
Manden are a refreshing and exciting band, bring depth and beauty back into the Irish Music scene.’…  Rossa Cassidy, The Fusion Tent, Body and Soul Festival 2013

Hotter Than July Festival 2017

Photos by Dublin Jazz Photography

Manden Express @ Electric Picnic 2015 

Photos by Eduardo Calvo Photography

trailer park

Manden Express @ Knockanstockan 2015

Photos by Eduardo Calvo Photography

manden knockanstock

Manden Express @ Down With Jazz Festival, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar

Photos by Eduardo Calvo Photography

Manden Express Mali music Ireland

Manden Express @ Down with jazz festival

Manden Express – Supporting ‘The Souljazz Orchestra’, The Sugar Club, Dublin

Photos by Eduardo Calvo Photography

Manden Express Mali music Ireland

Manden Express and the Souljazz Orchestra

Manden Express Live @ The Jameson International Film Festival

Manden Express Mali Ireland

Manden Express – Jameson International film festival

 Manden Express Live @ Granby Park

Manden Express @ Grnaby Park

Manden Express @ Granby Park

Manden Express Live @ Dublin Tropical

Manden Express @ Dublin Tropical

Manden Express @ Dublin Tropical

Manden Express Live @ Bello Bar, Dublin

Manden Express @ Jazz Sundays, the Bello Bar, Dublin

Manden Express @ Jazz Sundays, the Bello Bar, Dublin

Manden Express @ Love Live Music 2013

Manden Express

Manden Express @ Heuston Station. Love Live Music 2013


Sligo Jazz Festival              Sligo                        2016                                         2016

Longitude                            Marlay Park, Dublin                                                     2016

Global Grooves                  Drogheda                                                                     2016

Howth Jazz & Blues Festival                                                                                  2016

Electric Picnic                     Stradbally                                                                    2015

Body & Soul Festival           BallinloUgh Castle                                                      2015

Manden Express EP launch  The Sugar Club, Dublin                                            2015

Bray Jazz Festival                Town Hall, Bray, Co Wicklow                                   2014

Africa Day (Main Stage)     Farmleigh House, Pheonix Park, Dublin                     2014

Shake Fest                            Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co Offaly                  2014

Down With Jazz                   Meeting House Sq, Temple Bar, Dublin                    2014

Hotter Than July                  Meeting House Sq, Temple Bar, Dublin                     2014

Becks Rhythm Series ‘Souljazz Orchestra’  The Sugar Club, Dublin                    2014

Fela Day 2014                      The Button Factory, Temple Bar, Dublin                    2014

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival       Smithfield Sq, Dublin                     2014

Quantic Dj (Support)           The Sugar Club, Dublin                                                2014

Bluefire Streetfest                Smithfield Sq, Dublin                                                   2014

Love live music                    Heuston Station, Dublin                                              2013

Body & Soul festival            Ballinlough Castle                                                       2013

Drogheda Samba festival   Drogheda                                                                     2013

Granby Park                          Dublin                                                                        2013

Whelans live                                     Whelans, Dublin                                             2013

Dublin Tropical                     The Grand Social, Dublin                                            2013