African Music

Eze Wendtoin: "one day our fight will have some fruit for us"

Burkinabe musician has a message for the next generation
Eze Wendtoin is a musician from Burkina Faso in West Africa. He's currently working at an educational centre called “Fondation Warc-enciel” in the capital, Ouagadougou, which aims to increase access of arts and education to young people who are economically disadvantaged.

He's also dedicated his work as a musician to increase understanding of different cultures and fight against racism and xenophobia. Eze has been telling Newsday what he makes of the situation in his home country right now, as it has seen a big increase in attacks by Islamist militants on civilians. But first, how did he become a musician?

(Photo: Eze Wendtoin. Credit: Eze Wendtoin)

Margate singer from Guinea

The musician bringing a rare African language to a small British seaside town
Falle Nioke sings in Coniagui – a language from west Africa listed as having ‘threatened’ status. Surprisingly he is actually based in the quiet English seaside town of Margate where he’s become something of a local celebrity playing traditional African music on his equally traditional instrument, a gongoma. Falle sings in nine languages that he learnt during a childhood spent in an army camp and has just released an album ‘Salia’ with the BIWI Collective - a music agency co-founded by renowned Senegalese singer Baaba Maal. So why has Falle brought the sounds of his childhood to the UK?

(Pic: Falle Nioke in Margate. Credit: Falls Nioke)
Sounds of Sasaab: Bringing traditional music to a global audience
Sounds sampled from the remote Samburu community are the basis for a new electronic music album.

A Taste of Africa & The Caribbean

Ellice joins Steph to talk about her African and Carribean Charity event this saturday.

Ethiopia's godfather of jazz honoured by France

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring

Mulatu Astatke
Getty Images
Known for playing the vibraphone and conga drums, the 75-year-old musician has performed around the world

Mulatu Astatke, the godfather of Ethiopian jazz music, has been awarded France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters).

He was honoured at a ceremony, presided over by French Culture Minister Franck Riester, in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

"Few artists are able to embody in the eyes of the world a musical genre so strongly rooted in a national culture. Mulatu Astatke is one of them,” Mr Riester tweeted in French.

He later posted a clip of Mulatu playing with French jazz violinist Théo Ceccaldi in Addis Ababa:

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Born in the southern town of Jimma in 1943, Mulatu received his musical training in London, New York and Boston, where he fused jazz and Latin sounds with traditional Ethiopian music.

Ethiopian scales have five notes and in Western music there are 12 - Mulatu combined the two to create Ethio-jazz

Known for playing the vibraphone and conga drums, he has performed around the world.

The 75-year-old musician has worked with Ethio-jazz groups such as the Walias Band and the Australia-based Black Jesus Experience. He has also collaborated with English collective The Heliocentrics.

The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres was established in 1957 in France to recognise of significant contributions to the arts and literature.