Main focuses of the festival 2012 are the Cape Verde Islands and Senegal – two neighbours, which have developed very different cultures (for further information go to page 32). Adequately, the university tent will give an overview of the historical development and cultural diversity of both African republics. Also the ARTE movie tent will offer a daily selection of movies about the Cape Verde and Senegal. Furthermore, the Senegalese fashion designer Madame Rama Diaw NʼDiaye will present her fashion line “made in Africa” in line with a daily fashion show at the bazaar. She will also intro duce her praiseworthy social project “Aissatou” which is supported by the Africa Festival as well.
Besides the music of both theme countries, various music groups, amongst others from Aruba, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mali / Cuba and North Africa will perform this year at the festival. Along with these musicians are interesting new discoveries like YʼAkoto from Ghana/Germany, Sona Jobarteh, the first female Kora virtuoso from Gambia and Aurélio Martinez with his Garifuna Soul Band. Aurélio Martinez is not only a musician but also Member of Parliament and fights for the rights of the Garifuna, the descendants of African slaves who now live in Belize and Honduras.
Once again the TV station ARTE is media partner of the Africa Festival. Just like last year all evening concerts of the festival will be recorded and will be available to view at “ARTE Live Web” online at concert.arte.tv.
This year the Africa Festival will provide regional initiatives with a forum to present their activities and projects in Africa to a wider audience. For instance, the Bavarian football association, district of lower Franconia, will offer goal wall shooting in order to support their social project in Mozambique.
We highly recommend visiting our photo exhibition “Sons & Daughters of the Wind” by the renowned photographer Mario Gerth. The exhibition is about the last nomads of Africa and breathtaking pictures will be displayed. An unmissable tribute to Africa and its peoples!
We invite you to join us to a colourful journey though the music and cultures of Africa and the Caribbean and wish you all and ourselves a peaceful festival with many interesting and exciting encounters.
Your Afro Project Team
24th International Africa Festival
Friday, May 25TH 2012
Stars from Cape Verde and Senegal
Mbalax Legend from Senegal
The singer and composer Omar Pene was born in 1956 in Dakar and is one of the most important Mbalax singers in his home country Senegal. He is seen as a legend and his voice is considered to be one of the most beautiful ones of the entire world music scene. In 1974 he founded his band Super Diamono de Dakar. Omar Pene influenced west – African pop music at least as heavily as Youssou NʼDour. It is also NʼDour who, jokingly, described him as his ʻrivalʼ, but also calls him a living legend of African music. Omar Pene mixes the classical Mbalax style with elements of jazz, reggae and salsa, which makes his music sound quite divers.
The Voice of Cape Verdean Islands
Sara Tavares is a discovery of the Africa Festival. She had one of her first bigger performances in 2001 in Würzburg, where she always enjoys returning to. The musical roots of the in Portugal living singer are placed on the Cape Verdean Islands, the native country of her parents. The islands also play a major role in the inspiration of her music. Besides the Morna, the blues of Cape Verde, and the Fado, the blues of Portugal, Sara Tavares works with elements of pop, soul, jazz and African rhythms to create a unique and distinctive style of music. Her most recent album “Xinti” is a proof of how well she has perfected this style mixture.
SATURDAY, MAY 26TH 2012
Strong Women’s Voices
Musical Globetrotter from Germany and Ghana
YʼAkoto, the daughter of a Ghanaian father and a German mother is a true cosmopolitan. Born in Hamburg, raised in Ghana and after a few stopovers in Cameroon, Togo and Chad, she now calls Hamburg her home again but still remains a restless wanderer between cultures. For her first album called “Babyblues”, which despite the title has a very grown up sound, the singer has composed all the songs by herself. On her album YʼAkoto reveals what moves her, for instance, her touching song “Tamba” in which she sings about the fate of an African child soldier. The music of the 23 year old gets under ones skin. This year’s insider tip of the festival!
HOMMAGE AN MIRIAM MAKEBA
For many Angélique Kidjo from Benin is considered to be the new “Mama Africa” since Miriam Makebas death. After all, with her current stage show she is keeping the great musical heritage of the charismatic Grande Dame of African music alive. Her performance “Tribute to Miriam Makeba” was a major success at the world – famous Montreux Jazz Festival in 2010, where she celebrated the songs of Makeba with numerous guest performers. One of these guests was the South African songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, whom in addition to the members of the Makeba-Band Angélique Kidjo will bring along to the Africa Festival. Other surprise guest performers may be expected.
SUNDAY, MAY 27TH 2012
CUBA AND WEST AFRICA
KORA-VIRTUOSIN FROM GAMBIA
Sona Jobarteh from Gambia is the first female African virtuoso on the kora, an instrument which is usually only played by men. Sona Jobarteh is the grandchild of a well known griot and the cousin of Toumani Diabaté. Diabaté is the world wide most well known kora player and will perform at the 24th Africa Festival with “Afro Cubism”. Jobarteh studied at the Royal College of Music in London and was part of many orchestra projects. She is also a member of the African Classical Music Ensemble. In 2008 her debut album “Afro Acoustic Soul” was released and recently, her new CD “Fasiya” has hit the stores. On her new album she not only plays the kora, but also guitar, bass, percussions and the calabash and of course she sings as well.
THE ORIGINAL BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
The 13-member all-star band “AfroCubism” consists of superstars from the African and Cuban music scene. Actually, the kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté from Mali and the Cuban singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa should have been the basis for what caused a worldwide sensation in 1996 as Buena Vista Social Club. But the recordings planned in Cuba failed at that time due to visa problems of the African musicians. In 2010, 14 years later, the transatlantic meeting between Mali and Cuba finally took place and the actual Buena Vista Social Club has since conquered the stages as “AfroCubism”. Fiery Rumba and Son meet filigree sound paintings from Mali.
MONDAY, MAY 28TH 2012
MODERN ROOTS REGGAE FROM GERMANY
Sebastian Sturm took the reggae scene by surprise in 2006 with his debut album “This Change is nice”. Since then a lot has changed for Sebastian Sturm who is originally from Aachen and has a German-Indonesian background. He has remained true to his roots reggae background for his current album “Get up and get going”, but has also opened up to new influences. This is also due to his band “Exile Airline”, whose musicians have given the tone of the album a notable new distinction. The album title will also be the theme of the evening: Get up and get going!
REGGAE-ALLROUNDER FROM JAMAICA
After Bob Marleyʼs wife Rita and his sons Julian and Damian another offspring of the reggae icon will perform at the Africa Festival. Born in 1972 Stephen Marley is a musical all-rounder. He is not only a musician and composer, but has also contributed as a producer to important and successful records like the Grammy awarded cooperation between his brother Damian and rapper Nas. In 2007 Stephen released his first solo album called “Mind Control”, on which he combines roots – reggae with modern ragga sound. His second album “Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life” followed in 2011.
24th International Africa Festival
FRIDAY, MA 25TH 2012
Traditional music from Senegal
Modou Seck has been taught the art of playing Sabar drums by the master percussionst Doudou NʼDaye Rose and even accompanied him at his tours. Seck was born in Dakar / Senegal into the caste of Griots. He was a member of the national ballet and teacher for rhythmic education for children and teenagers. Since 1989 he has been successfully on tour with various music formations like Tam Tam Magic. Moudou Seck and Tam Tam Magic will perform together at the 24th Africa Festival.
SINGER-SONGWRITER FROM CAPE VERDE
Manuel Lopes Andrade was born in 1973 and belongs to the upcoming Cape Verdean musicians who are going back to the Afro roots of the island inhabitants. Already as a young man he started to revive the traditional music by grounding and experimenting with it at the same time. His trademark is the Batuque music of former slaves. He is also an excellent guitar player. His current album “Dor de Mar” was highly recommended by the British world music magazine “Songlines”.
Saturday, 26th May 2012
KORA JAZZ TRIO
AFRO-JAZZ FROM SENEGAL
The Trio uses African Mandingo sounds and combines them with the freedom of Jazz. The Senegalese pianist Abdoulaye Diabaté, the percussionist Moussa Cissoko and the Kora player Djeli Moussa Diawara from Guinea, a half brother of Mory Kanté, are leading the Jazz back to its African roots and let their musical passion lead the way.
ROMAN BUNKA & THE SHAMANDURA PROJECT
OUD VIRTUOSO MEETS MASTER DRUMMER OF NORTH AFRICA
“Shamandura” are the marks at the Nile banks, named by Nubian skippers who use them to navigate through dangerous currents of the Nubian Cataracts. North African rhythms, played by the drummers Rhani Krija from Morocco and Lassad Hosni from Tunisia, are the musical marks at the project of the oud-virtuoso Roman Bunka. The project is complemented by saxophonist Roland Schäffer.
THE NEW VOICE FROM GUINEA
It is no coincidence that the jury from Radio France International, chaired by Richard Bona, has awarded the singer Sia Tolno as the best musical Newcomer from Africa. The singer with a strong and warm voice says about herself: “I am a rock nature”. Nevertheless, she uses traditional African instruments in her music. Sia Tolno is known for her power on stage, which she uses to interpret songs with elements of Rumba, Reggae, Soukous and Afrobeat.
SUNDAY, MAY 27TH 2012:
MAMADOU DIABATÉ’S PERCUSSION MANIA
TRADITIONAL MUSIC FROM BURKINA FASO
As buzzing as the activities on a West African market place is the music of Mamadou Diabaté and his Percussion Mania. Melodic playing of the balafon, powerful rhythms and African vocals will create a great atmosphere on stage and among the audience. Balafon virtuoso Mamadou Diabaté from Burkina Faso will be accompanied by five fellow countrymen who master various percussion instruments.
THE DIVA OF CAPE VERDEAN MUSIC
The singer Fantcha is from Mindelo, the Cape Verdean islands and grew up in a family which was very much into music. Instead of playing with dolls, like other girls, she preferred making music with her brothers. Already in her early years she was very active at the Cape Verdean Carneval. Later on she met Cesária Évora, the recently deceased Grande Dame of the Cape Verdean scene. Fantcha pursues the tradition of the music of the Cape Verde with the influences of Africa, Cuba and Portugal.
BEBEY PRINCE BISSONGO
GUITAR GENIUS FROM BURKINA FASO
Raised with the music traditions of Burkina Faso the charismatic guitarist and singer Bebey Prince Bissongo broadens the rhythms of his childhood by adding jazz, blues, rock and funk into his music. It proofs him to be a worthy successor of his father the “emperor bissongo” who made many audiences dance back in the seventies and eighties.
MONDAY, MAY 28TH 2012:
CALYPSO, REGGAE AND SOUL FROM ARUBA
The reggae singer Wally Warning is from the small Caribbean island Aruba. He feels at home on many stages around the world and in 2007 he created the summer hit “No Monkey”. It is the mix that makes him special: Whenever Wall Warning, singer, guitarist and bassist hits the stage he manages to carry his passion for music over to the audience. Wall Warning is not only a dedicated wanderer between worlds; he has created a “world music” which does not fit into any categories.
20 YEARS OF REGGAE FROM WÜRZBURG
It has been a long time since the original Leo members have met in a small basement room to produce their reggae. Many musicians came and went but the original core of the band knew from the beginning what kind of reggae they wanted to play! This is how the Leoʼs family came together and inspired the audiences in Germany and abroad. Through their originality and passion they touch the heart and nourish souls! Just true roots reggae…
AURÉLIO & THE GARIFUNA SOUL BAND
GARIFUNA MUSIC FROM HONDURAS
Aurélio Martinez is the musical heir of the too early deceased Andy Palacio. For many years he has devoted himself to the Garifuna music of former African slaves. Martinez is not only a musician, but also political active and the first black member of the parliament in Honduras. His recent album, to which also Youssou NʼDour contributed, was voted into the top ten of the best world music records in 2011 by the world music magazine Songlines.