Africa Express // Gilles in Cardiff
September 3, 2012
Hailed as the most revolutionary force in popular music for two decades, Africa Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer a new perspective on Africa and its music.
Africa Express began in 2006 with a trip to Mali, when co-founder Damon Albarn took the likes of Fatboy Slim, Martha Wainwright and Jamie T to work with African legends such as Toumani Diabate,Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam and Bassekou Kouyate. This was followed by a trial London event, then the now-legendary Glastonbury 2007 show, followed by trips to Nigeria, the Congo, Ethiopia and shows at the BBC Electric Proms, for 25,000 people in Paris town centre and with 50,000 people on a Spanish beach show.
Each event is unique, based upon on-the-spot collaboration and filled with one-off moments of magic. Past events have included Baaba Maal singing ‘Take Me Out’ with Franz Ferdinand; Rokia Traoreperforming a Gorillaz hit with Damon Albarn; Johnny Marr duelling guitars with Amadou and Mariam;and Mick Jones and John Paul Jones among the stars backing Rachid Taha on ‘Rock el Casbah’.
“…it’s as if music is just rising up out of the ground. It’s unstoppable, it’s everywhere, and people are very generous about sharing it with you. African music is the future of music” ~ Damon Albarn
Here’s a little clip.. of the story so far..