Rokia Traoré, Band on the Wall, Manchester, Monday
20th May; Cargo, London, Thursday 23rd May
Malian singer and guitarist Rokia Traoré defies categorisation,
producing music that is both contemporary yet distinctively African.
A truly adventurous artist who is celebrated for her stunning
Terakaft, Electrowerkz, London, Wednesday 29th May
in 2001 and hailing from Kidal, Mali, Terakaft are a genuine Tuareg
desert rock band Through droning guitars, pulsating rhythms, and
powerful, mournful vocals, Terakaft – ‘Caravan’
in their mother tongue – tell tales of a nomadic people,
of families displaced, of violence, loss, sadness and defiance.
Mokoomba, Jazz Café, London, Wednesday 5th June
are an exciting group from Zimbabwe who bring an electrifying
blend of Afro-fusion and tantalizing traditional Tonga rhythms.
The name Mokoomba stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people
have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings
to their unique music and culture.
Olawumi tour dates: Midland Arts Centre. Birmingham,
Saturday 8th June; Jazz Cafe, London, Friday 21st June; Arts Centre,
Colchester, Friday 12th July
Finatawa, Momos, London, Monday 10th June
nomadic tribes, Tuaregs and Wodaabes, unite to produce a hypnotic
and powerful desert groove.
Taha & Souad Massi, Barbican, London, Saturday 22nd June
Shubbak festival celebrates contemporary Arab art and culture
and opens with a double bill with 2 of Algeria’s most outspoken
Rachid Taha is a rocking dervish whose rebel spirit is always
tinged with oriental sensuality - he's a rock’n’raï
icon. Soulful yet steely singer-songwriter Souad Massi fuses everything
from chaâbi to American folk rock and Portuguese fado, while
mixing electric and acoustic instruments with her haunting vocals.
Her melancholic ballads bear the imprint of Algeria's troubled
Atongo Zimba, Green Note, London, Friday 28th June
Atongo Zimba is from Ghana and his grandfather taught him how
to build and play his koliko, a two-stringed calabash lute, and
the first songs he learned were rooted firmly in tradition. He
also heard African popular music on the radio, and was enthralled
by the sounds of Fela Kuti's afrobeat. He decided to explore the
musical idioms of the surrounding regions, and his wanderings
brought him to Lagos. Atongo was playing at a market, when some
of Fela's disciples noticed him and brought him to the master
himself, and for the next 2 years he was the opening act at the
Shrine club shows.