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Artists on this page:

- Manu Dibango
- Fela Kuti
- Femi Kuti
- Youssou N'Dour
- Zap Mama
- Les Nubians
- Baaba Maal
- Mory Kante
- Ismael Lo
- Khaled
- Kofi Olomidé
- Remmy Ongala
- Papa Wemba
- Zaiko Langa Langa


Shop now!

New CD from Zap Mama: Ancestry in progress
New CD from Zap Mama:
Ancestry in Progress
European order

Shopping info


More African music:

Petit Pays & Les Sans Visas

'Malaika' performed by Kizingo Arts Troupe + videoclip

Photos: Tchando

African music on video/DVD

Music links

- Africa Music Encyclop.
- Womex
- RealWorld
- Foreningen for verdensmusik i Danmark
- MotorDenmark (in Danish)
- Freemuse: Freedom of Musical Expression

 

 

 

 

Music of Africa

This page could be a good place to start your knowledge of African rhythms. Below you find a little info on selected musicians from the huge and varied musical continent.

DrummingA beginners guide to world music

The music of Africa includes a broad variety of styles: Soukous, Lingala, Ndombolo, Makossa, Afrobeat, Afropop, Mbalax, Benga, Morna, Highlife, Jazz, Zouk, Raï and many more. A few of the best African artists are presented below.


Selected Artist presentations:

CoverManu Dibango

Jazzy rhythms mixed with Makossa and other African sounds -from the grand old man of Cameroon (born 1933). Singer and saxophonist Dibango has been a hit-maker for nearly 40 years and is still going strong. Manu Dibango left Africa in 1949 and has had a great influence on western music. A good start could be the live-abum LIVE '91, Wakafrika or the Very Best of Manu DiBango.

From the Amazon review: The Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango made a splash on the world charts back in 1973 with a propulsive, saxophone-driven instrumental called "Soul Makossa," which sprinkled bits of American funk and soul into the dance music of West Africa. Much of his later work gave playful expression to this fusion of African and Western styles, sometimes with odd but always danceable results--as when he recruited rapper MC Mello and P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins to add their touches to his swinging sound.

Click the Amazon button below for a full list of available Dibango CD's. Order CD's or listen to music samples.

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CoverFela Kuti

Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a Nigerian legend: rebel, politician and creator of great jazzy "Afrobeat". He was born in 1938 and passed away in 1997 after a lifetime of music and problems with the Nigerian police and military. To honour his African roots he changed his name, married twenty or thirty women and finally died of AIDS. His son Femi Kuti is taking the musical tradition into the new century.

Review from Amazon: There is nothing subtle in the roiling Afro-funk of the late, great Fela Kuti. His twitchy, stomping rhythms are up in your face, his brass section sounds ready to skirmish with the JB Horns, and his confrontational, politically charged lyrics make modern punk or hip-hop sound like parlor chatter.

Click the Amazon button below for a list of available CD's. Order CD's or listen to music samples. A lot of Fela Kuti music has recently been re-released.

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Femi KutiFemi Kuti

Femi Kuti is not quite as political as his father. But with his first album Shoki Shoki (2000) he already proved worthy to carry on the funky musical traditions. The rhythms are ready for the dance-halls in Africa as well as Europe and the US.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Youssou N'DourYoussou N'Dour

The Senegalese singer (born 1959) has now become an international star. The "talking" Tama-drums are typical of music from Senegal and the fine voice of Youssou N'Dour brings songs about everything from love to social issues. Youssou N'Dour sings in English, French and Wolof.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Zap MamaZap Mama

The Congolese/Belgian Marie Daulne IS Zap Mama. Marie and the band has recorded 4 excellent albums so far. The first two albums are almost entirely a capella. The last album A Ma Zone is a great African/western pop album. Sally Nyolo, who was part of the band on the early CD's, has continued a solo carrier of her own. Don't miss Zap Mama on CD and live. The female voices sing in French, English, Lingala and Swahili. A new album "Ancestry in Progress" is released in 2004.

Check out the official Zap Mama homepage.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


coverLes Nubians

Les Nubians are the French/Cameroonian sisters Hèléne and Célia Faussart. They live in Bordeaux, France and recorded the excellent album Princesses Nubiennes in 1999. Their music is a mix of western hip hop, R&B, soul with the rhythms of Africa. If you like Zap Mama you will probably like this CD too.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Baaba Maal

The small Senegalese singer Baaba Maal has gained worldwide respect for his albums. He is today a player on the Western pop-scene but never leaving behind his musical roots.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Mory Kante

Mory Kante is born in Guinea in 1951. He sings in Mandinka and also plays the Kora string instrument. He had his big international breakthrough with the song Yeké Yeké in 1988.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


CoverIsmael Lo

"Global" soul music from Senegalese singer Ismael Lo. Ismael Lo has also been acting in several good films from Senegal.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


coverKhaled

Cheb Khaled is the big star of the Algerian Raï music. Rai is "sinnfull" music and the lyrics of Khaled are rather provocative for the Arab world. Khaled has been forced to live in France where he can drink, smoke, live with his girlfriend and produce an endless number of hits.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


CoverKoffi Olomidé

Arrogant and apparently madly in love with himself, but Koffi is still one of the most popular artists of the Congolese Soukous and Ndombolo music. Koffi was born in the so-called "Democratic Republic of Congo" in 1958. Almost all of his songs are in the language Lingala. On most albums Koffi performs together with the band Quartier Latin.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


CoverRemmy Ongala

The Tanzanian Remmy Ongala is probably the biggest star of East Africa. He is born in Zaire in 1947 -and he music style is also influenced with the Soukous music. He is very popular in Tanzania and sings his often politically influenced songs in Swahili.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Papa Wemba

Papa Wemba is one of the most popular musicians from the Democratic Republic Of Congo. He sells out concerts worldwide.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Zaiko Langa Langa

ZLL is one of the oldest still performing bands from D.R. Congo. The group was founded in 1969 and since then they have entertained their audience with several recordings and live performances of the Rumba Lingala.

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Click the Amazon button to Order CD's or listen to music samples.


Links to other great artists you should definitely consider for your collection:

More info on these artists later.

 

 

 

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