“Magic moments” From the music archive

According to the statutes of the non-profit association Afro Project e.V., the promotion and dissemination of African music and culture in Germany and Europe is very close to our hearts. The association is committed to the motto “musical and cultural development aid for Germany”. Especially the music styles from the countries of origin of the artists performing at the Africa Festival, which are not so well known in Germany, are of special interest to the association. Therefore we have started to open our archives for our longtime visitors. Travel with us once again to the magical moments of the International Africa Festival. From our large archive of over 30 years of music from Africa we have selected some of the most beautiful highlights.

The Afro Project Team wishes you a lot of fun.

The recordings were made in cooperation with Recording Studio Nassau, Bauer-Oberland Studio Ludwigsburg, Heinen Mobil Studio Siegen and Afro Project Mobil Studio. Mixed and mastered by Volker Heller, Recording Studio Nassau. Lyrics by Karl Georg Rötter and Bugs Steffen. We would also like to thank 3Cafés production, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Arte for their cooperation.



© Bugs Steffen

The legendary South African singer, celebrated worldwide as “Mama Africa,” first came to the Africa Festival in 1996. Miriam, born in Johannesburg in 1932, began her career as a singer with the “Manhattan Brothers.” Her appearance in the film “Come Back Africa” earned her invitations to Europe and America, where she sang with Harry Bellafonte, among others. Because of her involvement in the anti-apartheid movement, she was expelled from South Africa in 1960 and had to live in exile for 30 years. She went to America, where she married the black activist Stokely Carmichael. There she recorded her world hit “Pata Pata” in 1967.

In 1969, she went to Guinea at the invitation of President Sekou Touré and continued her international career. As a delegate of Guinea, she spoke several times at the General Assembly of the United Nations against the evils of apartheid. Although she always considered herself a singer and not a politician, she won numerous awards for her commitment. “I’m a singer, not a politician or a diplomat, but since I was exiled from South Africa, I’ve been singing about the hope and longing of my people.” When Nelson Mandela became president, she returned to South Africa to live in her homeland.

Musicians: Miriam Makeba (lead vocals); Georges Makinto (piano); Zens Lee, Elisa Domingos S. Jamisse, Cleo Dorcas Goodwin, Zamokuhle R. Mbutho (Backing Vocals); Bangukwazi C. Shange (drums); Raymond Moulonge Doumbe (bass); Solo Razafindrakoto (guitar)

Soweto Blues – 8th International Africa Festival 1996
Hit Medley – 8th International Africa Festival 1996

CDs: “Makeba!”, WEA/1968; “African Convention”, Pläne/1980; “A Promise”, Pläne/1980; “Sangoma”, Warner Bros. Records/1988; “Live in Paris”, Sono Disc/1989; “Live in Conakry”, Sono Disc/1990; “Sing me a Song”, BMG/1994; “Best of Miriam Makeba”, BMG/1996

Masabane – 10th International Africa Festival 1998
Nginani Na – 10th International Africa Festival 1998
Angilalanga – 10. Internationales Africa Festival 1998

Miriam Makeba Live @ 16. International Africa Festival



© Mario Gerth

Angélique Kidjo – the black angel from Benin – is one of the biggest female stars of the African music scene today. Since her first appearance in Germany (4th Africa Festival) she has had an international career. No wonder, given her extraordinary voice and her musical collaborations with well-known artists such as Manu Dibango, Branford Marsalis and Ray Lema. She began her musical career at the age of six, singing and dancing in the Benin theater group. In 1988 she recorded her first LP. In the same year, she performed on stage with Miriam Makeba at the Olympic in Paris. Makeba refers to Angélique as her spiritual heir. Angélique sings in her native language ‘Fon’ and in Nigerian Yoruba. She presented her new CD, on which she explores various trance rhythms of her homeland.

Her Afro-Swing gets the body moving and ignites.

Le Figaro

Angélique Kidjo, like Miriam Makeba, is a long-time companion and supporter of the International Africa Festival. Her energetic performances in 1992, 1996, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2018 remain unforgettable.

Musicians: Angélique Kidjo (lead vocals); Jean Hebrail (bass); David Fall (drums); David Mirandon (percussions); Olivier Ajavon (guitar); Munuera Serge (keybords); Sylvia Laube, Michael Robinson (backing vocals); Merlin Nyakam (dancer).

Wombo Lombo – 8th International Africa Festival 1996

CDs: “Parakou”, Island Records/1988; “Logozo”, Island Records/1991; “Ayé”, Island Records/1994; “Fifa”, Island Records/1996



© Bugs Steffen

Youssou N’Dour is one of the most admired African stars internationally. His biggest success so far was his concert at the opening of the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, where he played in front of 60,000 visitors. This performance was broadcast live by satellite and could be seen all over the world. Youssou N’Dour was born in 1959 in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Already as a teenager he sang regularly in the band “Star”, the most successful Senegalese group at that time. In 1979, he formed his own band “Étoile de Dakar,” which changed its name to “Super Étoile” in 1981. Over the years, he developed his own very rhythmic style, which he called Mbalay music. The dances and rhythms of his music were derived from ancient traditions, especially that of wrestling (Mbalax). The lyrics of his music contained ancient wise sayings and important messages critical of society. Youssou N’Dour was already a star in Africa when Peter Gabriel hired him and his band for a world tour. On this occasion, he made himself known internationally. In 1988 he appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel and Sting during the Amnesty International tour “Human Rights Now”. In 1989 he released his first international album “Lion”, produced by Peter Gabriel. “Set” (1990), “Eyes Open” (1992) and “The Guide” (1994) followed.

The concert itself was, as Youssou N’Dour himself says, “extraordinary”, and those who have seen the concert will know what he means.

Musicians: Youssou N´Dour (lead vocals); Assan Thiam (talking drum); Papa Oumar Ngom (rhythm guitar); Habib Faye (Keys/Bass); Mamadou Mbaye (guitar); Babacar Faye (percussion); Victoria Chidid (vocals); Ibrahima Cisse (keybords); Madou Diabate (keybords); Seydou Norou Koite (saxophone); Falilou Amadou Niang (drums).

Live- 10th International Africa Festival 1998

CDs: u. a. “Immigrés” Virgin/1988; “The Lion” Virgrin/1990; “Eyes Open” Sony Music/1992, “The Guide” Sony Music/1994

Birma – 10th International Africa Festival 1998

Live auf dem 10. Africa Festival Würzburg 1998

Festival Teaser Kuba

The focus in 2016 was the Caribbean island of Cuba. Cuba was represented musically with 6 multifaceted bands, first and foremost with the internationally known Raul Paz. Cuba is still closely connected with the black continent. In the 16th century, more than 850,000 slaves, mainly from today’s Congo and Nigeria were brought to Cuba. These slaves left a lasting mark on the culture in Cuba.

The trailer was shot by filmmaker Steffen Boseckert in Havana. The film team received support from the German ambassador and especially from the ambassador Mr. Thomas Neisinger, many thanks.