Posts Tagged ‘songlines music awards 2013’

Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners, Best Artist: Angélique Kidjo

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Beninese musical superstar and human rights activist Angélique Kidjo was awarded Best Artist in the Songlines Music Awards 2013. This Friday (December 13), Angélique will perform at London’s Barbican Centre as part this year’s Songlines Music Awards Winners’ concert. 

“An activist, using music for pleasure and power,” is how Jude Kelly, artistic director of London’s Southbank Centre, succinctly described Angélique Kidjo when she introduced the Women of the World concert last month. Although petite, Angélique is a bundle of energy and packs a mighty punch on stage. She’s made songs like ‘Malaika’ and ‘Redemption Song’ her own, while her songs ‘Agolo’ and ‘Batonga’ have become signature pieces.

Angélique was born in Cotonou, Benin. She started singing at an early age, but was forced to move to Paris in 1983 when Benin became a Marxist dictatorship. In Paris her career took off, and she was discovered by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records. It was Logozo (1991), her first album for the label, which brought her to an international audience. Since then she’s won a Grammy for Djin Djin (2007), become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and co-founded the Batonga Foundation for girls’ education in Africa.

As a youth in Benin, Angélique was inspired by South African singer Miriam Makeba at a time when social opinion of singers was low. “Miriam Makeba was the African role model I needed.” In a way, since Makeba’s death in 2008 Kidjo has stepped into her shoes – almost literally in the film Mama Africa, a celebration of Makeba’s life.

She has received many accolades, including being described by Time magazine as ‘Africa’s premier diva,’ yet hearing of her Songlines Music Award her reaction was “Woah! I’m so proud!”

Click here to book your tickets for the Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners concert

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Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners, Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Dub Colossus

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


After a number of nominations, Nick Page and Co’s Dub Me Tender: Vols 1+2 finally won the group this year’s award. The collective will be performing as the Dub Colossus Dub Band this Friday (December 13) at London’s Barbican Centre as part of this year’s Songlines Music Awards Winners’ concert.

The mighty collective that is Dub Colossus are no strangers to the Songlines Music Awards, having been nominated last year. This time it’s finally their turn in the spotlight, with a well-deserved win for the powerful grooves of their latest release. Nick Page is the man who put Dub Colossus together. A former member of Transglobal Underground, he first travelled to Addis Ababa in 2006 to collaborate with Ethiopian musicians, and immersed himself in traditional azmari styles, Ethiopian pop and jazz.

He met up with the female vocalist Tsedenia Gebremarkos, a highly successful African pop star, and Sintayehu ‘Mimi’ Zenebe who’s been described as ‘Ethiopia’s Édith Piaf.’ Also key to Dub Colossus’ sound are the pianist Samuel Yirga, learned jazz saxophonist Feleke Hailu and the azmari folk singer Teremage Woretaw, who also plays the one-stringed mesenqo violin. Their debut album, 2008’s A Town Called Addis, mixed their many Ethiopian influences with heady dub bass and beats, while its follow-up, Addis Through the Looking Glass, refined their sound. Dub Me Tender Vol 1+2, as the name suggests, heard Page giving his passion for dub free rein, re-imagining Dub Colossus’ finest moments with help from singer Mykaell Riley of the legendary 70s group Steel Pulse. Their storming concerts last year, where they performed these versions live, attest to how well the album worked, with their traditional Ethiopian roots enriched by the authentic reggae of Riley’s vocals and the sublime Horns of Negus brass section.

Click here to book your tickets for the Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners concert

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Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners, Newcomer: Mokoomba

Posted on December 10th, 2013 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


This young Zimbabwean group continue to take the live music scene by storm with their energy, charisma and musicianship. This Friday (December 13), Mokoomba will perform at London’s Barbican Centre as part of this year’s Songlines Music Awards Winners’ concert.

This has been Mokoomba’s year. The funky six-piece from Zimbabwe have impressed crowds everywhere they’ve played and it’s impossible to resist the danceable charm of their international debut Rising Tide. The sheer number of ‘Best of 2012’ lists they have appeared on is a testament to that. From the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe, the members of Mokoomba are childhood friends who grew up making music together. The area is home to the Tonga ethnic group, which has its own distinct musical styles. Much of Mokoomba’s music draws on this but their influences also stretch further afield – Afro-salsa, Congolese rumba, reggae and more – creating a truly pan-African sound that is bursting with raw energy.

Frontman Mathias Muzaza’s incredible voice is the band’s secret weapon. Equally able to growl over funky guitar riffs or powerfully belt it out, Muzaza lends the band their signature sound. On Rising Tide, the whole band – Muzaza, Trustworth Samende on guitar, Abundance Mutori on bass, Donald Moyo on keyboards, Costa Ndaba Moyo on drums and Miti Mugande on percussion – are tied beautifully together by the slick production of Ivorian bassist Manou Gallo of Zap Mama.

With European tours and several festivals – including the Essaouira Gnawa & World Music Festival, Africa Oyé and WOMAD Charlton Park – under their belt, it looks like their upwards momentum won’t be stopping anytime soon. A rising tide indeed!

Click here to book your tickets for the Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners concert

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Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners, Best Group: Lo’Jo

Posted on December 9th, 2013 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Photograph by Michael Putland

With 30 years under their belt, Lo’Jo’s tenth studio album Cinéma El Mundo topped many Best Of lists last year, confirming their position as one of the world’s leading musical outfits. This Friday (December 13), Lo’Jo will perform at London’s Barbican Centre as part of this year’s Songlines Music Awards Winners’ concert.

The collective of musicians from the south-west of France known as Lo’Jo has been going strong for 30 years now. Their tenth album, Cinéma el Mundo, betrays no sign at all that they intend to slow down, and features prestigious musical guests such as the legendary Robert Wyatt (who opens the album intoning in French) and Ibrahim Ag Alhabib from Tinariwen.

Back in 1982, Lo’Jo’s lead singer Denis Péan and his violinist friend Richard Bourreau started playing and recording together. Both were studying classical music, but were just as interested in the music of Léo Ferré, John Coltrane and punk. They were invited to contribute music to performances by a local street-theatre company called Jo Bithune, and toured the world with them as part of a show called Décrocher La Lune (Unhook the Moon). It exposed them to many different genres of music, and they returned home from their travels with a collection of new instruments and influences from Mali, Turkey, Egypt and Cambodia.

Péan and Bourreau have remained the core of Lo’Jo over several line-up changes across the years. The band is currently a six-piece, with Middle Eastern harmonies provided by the singing sisters Nadia and Yasmina Nid el Mourid, bass from Nicolas ‘Kham’ Meslien and drums by Baptiste Brondy. Lo’Jo have embraced French chanson and musette, jaunty reggae, African, Arabic and Gypsy flavours; they are a world music institution that remains stylishly, quintessentially French.

Click here to book your tickets for the Songlines Music Awards 2013 Winners concert

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