Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

African Music Village Attracts Musicians

Over one hundred traditional and contemporary African musicians visit London this summer to take part in a unique presentation of African music - music as it should be heard in the open air. The exciting programme which begins on Monday 16 July to 4 August.

Following the success of last year's World Music Village, the Commonwealth Institute and the Greater London Council have again collaborated to organise the AFRICAN MUSIC VILLAGE, with Capital Radio sponsoring the first week as part of the Capital Music Festival '84.

The AFRICAN MUSIC VILLAGE takes place in the secluded Yucca Lawn in the heart of Holland Park and features free daytime activities, background talks, informal concerts, workshops, videos and evening performances in Holland Park's open air theatre.

Musicians appearing include three groups from Nigeria, a Gambian Kora and xylophone trio, fifteen Tanzanian musicians and dancers, 'Bikita Chin Yambera' from Zimbabwe, and "Heartbeat of Africa", Uganda's thirty member national ensemble. Notable speakers include Cameroonian Francis Bebey, Professor John Blacking, Jean Jenkins and Professor Nketia from Ghana.

Although the emphasis is on traditional African music, the VILLAGE also features concerts by prominent Black British musicians including African Dawn, Orchestre Jazira, Jazz Africa and Abacush, a reggae band whose female vocalist is featured on the right.

Sunsum Band hits the hi-life trail

IT would be surprising if Africans, particularly Ghanaians in London who have had the opportunity to listen to Smart Nkansah's Sunsum Band at their first gig last weekend on arrival in London have not sworn to make another date with the band throughout the next few weeks.

Sunsum Band's repertoire, much as it is wide as well as diversified, their speciality which is hi-life and Soukous has been amply demonstrated on their best-selling album "Gye Wani, Mbaa Bekum Mmarima" and their latest, "Broken Heart".

As Entertainment Critics Association of Ghana's 1983/84 award winner as best band of the year, the group has hit the top of the ladder - which is not surprising considering the fact that the leaders Nkansah and Agyaaku - have chalked incredibly impressive experience in the entertainment field with the Sweet Talks Band, Yamoah's Band and Black Hustlers.

Their heavy London programme continues on July 6 Mecca Empire Rooms, Tottenham Court Road; July 7 Dougie's Nite Club, Hackney; July 13 100 Club; July 14 - The Asanteman Association's Family Summer Dance 1984 in aid of Ghana ian Arts and Cultural project, at the Assembly Hall, Gladesmore Road, South Tottenham.

The rest are July 20-21 Tropical Palace; July 22 Battersea Arts

Centre; July 27 - Africa Centre; July 28 - Mecca Empire Rooms and August 1 The Fridge, Brixton.

Check it out.

talking drums 1984-07-09 Kojo Tsikata the myth and the man - African music in London