Saturday, July 21, 2012

Music of Africa

The International Collection is not just books, it's also music!  ABC Libraries' music selectors have added a plethora of international titles to the catalog recently, including increasing the selection of music from Africa.  I can't claim any expertise on the wide & varied array of music coming out of Africa, but here are some artists & genres represented in the catalog:


King Sunny Adé and his African Beats: they play "spacey, jamming sort of Juju, characterized by tight vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, backed by traditional talking drums, percussion instruments, and even adding the unusual pedal steel guitar and accordian", according to the African Music Encyclopedia,

Musiques métisses: Le mandingue, empire de la musique - Mandingo music of Mali and Guinea

In the Heart of the Moon, Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté (Mali)

Soro, Salif Keita (Mali)

Angélique Kidjo: deemed "Africa's premier diva" by Time Magazine

Hugh Masekela: performed with Paul Simon on Graceland

Jive & Soul: The Best of Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens: South African mbaqanga supergroup in the 1960s-1990s

Danger, Lijadu Sisters:
The Lijadu Sisters, Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu, are identical twin sisters from Nigeria who were an important music duet from the mid-1960s to the 1980s. They achieved success in Nigeria and had modest influence in the United States and Europe

Amadou & Mariam: musical duo from Mali

Desert Crossroads, Etran Finatawa: nomad's blues from Niger

Cesaria Evora: queen of the morna, a soulful genre sung in Creole-Portuguese

Rendez-vóus Barbès, Orchestre national de Barbès: a French group which plays a fusion of several genres from the Maghreb, such as the chaâbi, the raï, & the music of Gnawa.

Au Racines de la Mémoire, Kaluwo:  "Blues from the Sahel, African rumba, Congolese soukous… Aux Racines de la Memoire from Kaluwo takes us , taking us from the West Africa of Christophe Bégaud to the Central Africa of Marlène N’Garo, presents music that lively and full of warmth, on the border between traditional and modern," according to their press release.

Stars of Afropop: includes tracks by Zap Mama, Manu Dibango, Esther Wahome, Franco, Ricardo Lemvo and his group Makina Loca, and Hanitra.

Aksil, Élage Diouf - the artist was born in Senegal, but now lives in Canada.  His music reflects both his African heritage & his Canadian roots.
Afrobeat is a combination of traditional Yoruba music, jazz, highlife, funk and chanted vocals, fused with percussion and vocal styles, popularised in Africa in the 1970s.  Its main creator was the Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti, who gave it its name.  His son Femi Kuti continues to perform in this genre.

Chimurenga music is a Zimbabwean popular music genre coined and popularised by Thomas Mapfumo. Chimurenga is a Shona language word for struggle.

Mbalax (or Mbalakh) is the national popular dance music of Senegal and The Gambia. Mbalax is a fusion of popular Western music and dance such as jazz, soul, Latin, and rock blended with sabar, the traditional drumming and dance music of SenegalYoussou N'Dour helped to develop this style.


African Music: A People's Art by Francis Bebey

For children:


1 comment:

Scott, ABCLS Staff Member said...

Amadou & Mariam are wonderful! I have recommended them to many, and given their CDs as gifts. They have won many honors, including having top musicians from around the world clamor to perform with them. I look forward to trying some of these other groups.