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. AllAboutJazz.com
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Manden Express EP now available on bandcamp https://mandenexpressband.bandcamp.com/album/manden-express-2
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.
Emma Garnett – Vocals
Paul McElhatton – Kamele n’goni harp
Paddy Groenland – Guitar
Tommy Moore – Bass
Jose Minguez – Guitar
Brian Lynch – Djembe/Percussion
Cote Calmet – Drums
WHAT CONCERT PROMOTERS HAD TO SAY ABOUT MANDEN EXPRESS
‘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
Photos by Eduardo Calvo Photography
Manden Express @ Electric Picnic 2015
Manden Express @ Knockanstockan 2015
Manden Express @ Down With Jazz Festival, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar
Manden Express – Supporting ‘The Souljazz Orchestra’, The Sugar Club, Dublin
Manden Express Live @ The Jameson International Film Festival
Manden Express Live @ Granby Park
Manden Express Live @ Dublin Tropical
Manden Express Live @ Bello Bar, Dublin
Manden Express @ Love Live Music 2013
Sligo Jazz Festival Sligo 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