Recommended Reading

AMP home
Special features
Recommended CDs
Various photos
contact AMP
Relevant links
 Detailed profiles section

Text and photos, except where otherwise credited, © African Musicians Profiles, 2001-2004. Graphics created by Spitfire-Design. Backgrounds by coolnotions. PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY TEXT OR PHOTOS WITHOUT CONTACTING AFRICAN MUSICIANS PROFILES FOR PERMISSION BY EMAIL!!!

Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre Afropop! An Illustrated Guide to Contemporary African Music Saraband 1995 Website www.afropop.org  Extremely attractively designed, informative and very colourful with a glossary too! Stunning photos by Jack Vartoogian. Comprehensive information on the musicians and their music presented by region (southern, central & east, west and northern), then by specific country. Has a list of suppliers of recorded music, music festivals, bibliography and index. 
Buy now!
The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa and Middle East Rough Guides 2006
The most excellent reference book available on the subject, fully updated! New additions: Botswana and Namibia. Descriptions of the music and musicians arranged in alphabetical order by country including discographies, with playlists as a new feature. Excellent photos. Written  by authorities including Graeme Ewens and Lucy Duran interspersed with detailed sections on prominent musicians or genres, such as Baaba Maal, Fela Kuti and High Life. 
   Buy now!

Amadou & Mariam with Idrissa Keita, translated by Ann Wright Away from the Light of Day Route 2010
Originally published in French, the translation is great and this is a highly readable autobiography. Amadou describes his family, growing up and living with blindness, his career in music and meeting Mariam. In a few places his story is punctuated with vivid details of Malian traditions. Amadou also tells how he and Mariam became the internationally popular duo that they now are.
The book also features an interview with both Mariam and Amadou.
Buy now!

Gary Stewart rumba on the river A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos Verso 2000
An indepth history with rare photos and details of the origins of this unique music. The author researched the subject over 10 years and carried out extensive interviews. The book is very well indexed so serves as an excellent reference. Gives biographies of Franco, Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, Pepe Kalle, Kanda Bongo Man, Abeti Masikini, Mpongo Love, Mbilia Bel, Faya Tess and others.
Buy now!
Graeme Ewens Congo Colossus: the Life and Legacy of Franco and OK Jazz Buku Press 1994.
This is Graeme Ewens' second book on Franco, the first having been published in 1986, three years before Franco's death. A very readable account of the life of the awesome  composer/musician.  Part 2 of the book provides 20 pages of lyrics (in English) of 10 songs, including Attention na Sida (Beware of Aids),  a discography over 30 pages dating back to 1953, and a chronology. Anyone who enjoys Franco's music should definitely read this to enhance their understanding of his  music. 
Buy now!
Manu Dibango with Danielle Rouard Translated by Beth G Raps Three Kilos of Coffee University of Chicago Press 1994 Manu Dibango's autobiography with archive photos of his family, friends and other musicians.  Starting with his birth in 1933 in Cameroon, the book details this great musician's experiences, and it has certainly not been plain sailing, especially to begin with. Vital for understanding the contribution Manu Dibango has made to the world of music, as well as his outlook on life. Excellent for an insight into Manu Dibango's achievements and all that has influenced him. An exciting and absorbing read. Buy now!
Frank Tenaille Music is the Weapon of the Future - Fifty Years of African Music Lawrence Hill Books 2002, with photos by Akwa Betote. Originally in French. A most valuable and readable history of African music given via the stories of people like Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Franco, Salif Keita, M'Pongo Love, Cesaria Evora. Packed with fascinating details, a pleasure to read with its wonderful photos and a useful glossary at the back. All in all definitely a reference book to be treasured. Buy now!
Celebrating Sanctuary: Conversations with Refugee Artists in the UK.  Max Reinhardt interviews musicians, including Claude Deppa (South Africa) and Koko Kanyinda (Congo), a chef and a medical practitioner. Introduction and reflections by Yasmin Alibhai Brown and photos by Julia Martin. Published by London Arts, order by phone 020 7608 6116. It makes very important statements for today's society and will be  a lasting memory of the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival in London.  The stories are split up on each page but  colour-coded by arrows so you can follow individual ones.
Songlines: The World Music Magazine published 6 times a year in new A4 format. Packed with features, info on the world music scene, competitions and reviews of latest releases in categories Africa, Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East, North America, Europe and Fusion. Subscriptions available. Web site http://www.songlines.co.uk
 FRoots: the world's leading roots, folk and world music magazine contains charts and lists, CD reviews, feature articles on music and musicans, info on gigs, festivals and tours. Two issues per year have a free cover-mounted CD. Subscriptions available. Web site http://www.frootsmag.com
The Beat published every 2 months by Bongo Productions. America's only magazine devoted to reggae, African and Caribbean music. Subscriptions and back issues available. For sale in Britain from Stern's and Borders. Regular columnist on the Congolese scene is Martin Sinnock.  CD and book  reviews. 
Email: GETTHEBEAT@aol.com