Streams from Africa is a new concert streaming series celebrating the inspiring new sounds from the continent with a fresh take and brought to online audiences to commit to an exciting new vision for opening the path to future collaborations.
Monday 24 May - Elida Almeida, 8pm
Tuesday 25 May – Yugen Blakrok, 8 pm
Wednesday 26 May – Thandi Ntuli, 8 pm
Wednesday 26 May – The Brother Moves On, 9 pm
Thursday 27 May – Amosi Just a Label, 8 pm
Friday 28 May - Umlilo & LaliBoi, 8 pm
Friday 28 May - Azu Tiwaline, 9 pm
All the streams are free.
Information on all shows: serious.org.uk/StreamsFromAfrica
Following on from their successful streaming collaboration with Carnegie Hall this month, Serious’s digital offering around bespoke work continues with Streams from Africa.
The series focuses on contemporary and innovative sounds presenting the young and emerging voices from several countries within the continent. A truly global project, the series comprises six new showcases co-curated with Cultural Connections Africa and Serious and a selection of shows from the INDIBA IS take-over produced in Joburg Theatre in South Africa, curated by Thandi Ntuli and Siyabonga Mthembu.
With Streams from Africa, Serious with partner Cultural Connections Africa share the inspiration coming from new artists, the excitement for discovering new sounds, and we underpin our commitment to exploring more interaction with them in the future, in live settings.
London Jazz News spoke last week about Cultural Connections Africa to one of the prime movers behind the project, Music Works International’s very own, Katherine McVicker. The discussion revolved around CCA’s aims to support African music and culture across the globe, paving the way to make touring more viable for African countries and how they have developed momentum over the last year. The network in which people can share knowledge, resources, and experience currently includes over 30 stakeholders across 15 countries in Africa, and the website invites more people to join it. As McVicker told us: “We started this in 2019 – pre-pandemic, but the pandemic has provided us more time to develop this cooperation.”
These streams will first be broadcast at times listed above. After the premiere of these shows, the Thandi Ntuli and The Brother Moves on concerts will be available seven days after the premiere. After that, the remaining videos will be available to watch on serious.org.uk/StreamsFromAfrica for 12 months.
All streams are free.
Powerful songs and rhythms from Cabo Verde
Elida Almeida already stands out at 27, with her honeyed smile and solar energy, as youthful as she is mature, as the muse of Cape Verde’s new musical generation. Together with her fellow musicians, Elida, whose roots lie on the island of Santiago, is helping to explode the codes of Cape Verdean music: a tradition illuminated by the guardian figure of Cesaria Evora.
The wandering songs on her new album, Gerasonobu, were composed worldwide, during tours, in the semi-awakened dream of an airplane trip to Lisbon where she lives, or to Abidjan… “Each time, my creations, in the heart of Cape Verde, were impregnated with the vibrations and music of the territories in which I wrote them,” she smiles.
Female hip-hop revelation!
Influenced by the political/militant and spiritual aspects of hip-hop, her music is firmly rooted in the mindset of the ’90s, a deeply lyrical and audio odyssey into the world around us, both seen and unseen. Her sound is a mix of sci-fi soundscapes, hard drums, and meditative melodies, over which Blakrok’s words command vivid attention. She has performed alongside names such as Public Enemy, Pete Rock, and CL Smooth, and Jeru the Damaja.
The Brother Moves On & Thandi Ntuli
Two inspiring artists from the New School of Jazz in South Africa.
Streams from Africa brings two inspiring sets from the INDABA IS take-over produced in Joburg Theatre.
With this concert, we also celebrate the release of the ‘Indaba Is’ album – a compilation of current South African improvised music and jazz – released by Brownswood Records. The project is a collaboration with two luminaries of the South African music scene; pianist and songwriter Thandi Ntuli and The Brother Moves On’s Siyabonga Mthembu, who act as musical directors on the project.
Thandi Ntuli is a multi-award-winning pianist, singer-songwriter and composer, who hails from a lineage of rich musical heritage. With her first two albums, she’s made an imprint on the global jazz community as one of the leading voices of modern South African music and jazz. Her latest project involvement with Brownswood Recordings as both artistic contributor and co-curator for their release ‘Indaba Is’ (2021) highlights another of the many hats Ntuli wears in the arts.
Thandi’s set is followed by a performance by The Brother Moves On. Taking a cue from that other “Brother From Another Planet,” Sun Ra, they embrace a multi-genre, multimedia aesthetic, re-challenging hip-hop’s five pillars (MCing, DJing, B-boying, and graffiti writing) into a performance art project that incorporates historical, political, and sociological perspectives. These concerts were premiered for limited screening at PDX Jazz Festival in February 2021, and Streams from Africa offers a special rerun of these shows.
A’mosi Just a Label
Konono Soul, a journey from tradition to avant-garde
A’Mosi Just A Label thrives with a powerful connection with tradition, nature , and innovation. His intuitive trust in nature, the source of his mother tongue Kikongo, together with English and Portuguese, creates Konono Soul, a set of rhythms, melodies , and harmonies, inspired from Konono and other contemporary urban influences, creating an avant-garde sound with texts and poetry based on human intuition, emphasizing the general and essential goodness of nature.
A unique blend of hip-hop and South African tribal music
LaliBoi is a multi-talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who recently released Siyangaph – one of the most exciting hip-hop releases of recent years. In collaboration with renowned producer Spoek Mathambo, the album fuses his rural Xhosa roots with streetwise township flavour to create a unique and vital blend of hip-hop, jazz, and traditional South African tribal music.
A highly skilled and technical MC, LaliBoi’s bouncy raps launch you into the full beauty of the Xhosa language. Whether as a first-time hearer or language connoisseur, you are sure to adore his highly musical, vocal approach. As well as playing guitar and trumpet, LaliBoi uses his lyrics and voice as one more instrument to add to Mathambo’s diverse array of beats.
Genre and gender-bending alt-pop
Umlilo is a genre and gender-bending multi-disciplinary artist. The queer performer/music producer’s signature sound dubbed ‘future kwaai’ explores and pushes the boundaries of electronic kwaito, alt-pop music in contemporary South Africa and has been a regular fixture in the international music community. Umlilo merges an avant-garde aesthetic with technology, visual art, dance, film, and fashion design and has given two TED talks titled “Technology resuscitates art.”
Electronic sounds of the Tunisian Sahara
Azu Tiwaline is a producer inspired by the need to explore her origins, rooted in the Tunisian Sahara. Hence, the call to a different sound, organic and raw, vibrating in the great spaces of the African desert where trance music resonates, as an ecstatic ritual.
Uniting the bonds that connect Berber music, dub culture, and techno hypnosis, Azu Tiwaline invites us to refocus on our senses and our Nature. She knows how to use contrasts between light and the invisible, exploring the complexity of our emotions and the mystery that emanates from them in a polyrhythmic chiaroscuro that runs through each of her tracks. In this concert, Azu will be performing with Paris-based Iranian percussionist and sound artist Cinna Peyghmamy.