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KathBC Feb 20th, 2011 06:52 PM

Music from Africa for ipod
Would like to have some African music on my ipod for those times when lazing around the pool.

What are some of your favorites?

pixelpower Feb 20th, 2011 10:20 PM

As an audiophile, I think I have some good stuff to share. But I'm hoping to get an equal amount of good tips from others, as I must admit African music is still mostly a "blind spot" for me.

Here's some really good stuff I found:

1) Hugh Masakela / Hope (South Africa).


A great jazz trumpet player and singer, but this live CD has got THE best version of "Stimela". If that song does not send shivers down your spine, then there's no point reading on.

2) Tutu Pouane / Quiet now (South Africa).


Tutu has an incredible voice. She married a Belgian pianist, Ewaut Pierreux. A suberb pianist, I might add. Together they tour South Africa an Belgium (+ surrounding countries) regularly, so I was able to see here live. This is food for the soul. When she sings in her home language... no words to describe it.

3) Ayub Ogada / En Mana Kuoyo (Kenya)


A guy with a very special voice. Contains my favorite African song; "Kothbiro".

4) Baaba Maal / Djam Leelii (Senegal)


I'f you're not into voices but more into instruments, then this may be the CD for you. Apart from Baaba's voice also great guitar by Mansour Seck. The opening track (Lam Tooro) transport you straight to Africa's open plains and dusty roads. "An atmospheric masterpiece" I read on Amazon. I cannot disagree with that.

Anyone got more of these?



wildlifepainter Feb 21st, 2011 10:48 AM

I have several favorites

And these I love too, but...

Idnas71 Feb 21st, 2011 11:11 AM

My safari guide liked to play a certain cassette tape of music when we were driving between parks or just back to the lodges after our game drives. I really enjoyed it and asked him who the artist was. It was "Holy Cross Choir". They have a few selections on iTunes.

GreenDrake Feb 21st, 2011 11:36 AM

This will get your foot tapping and will put you instantly into a good mood:

Album name is Gati Bongno on Itunes and below is the Amazon link and description

Back in 1992 Martin Cradick & Su Hart travelled to Cameroon to discover more about the music of the Baka, hunter-gatherer Pygmies living in the rainforest. To their surprise they discovered that some of them were great guitar players.

The music that they discovered inspired them to form the band Baka Beyond in order to share the music that they had heard. The desire was always to get people to hear the music played by the Baka themselves, but it was not until 2004 that technology had moved on enough to enable Martin to set up a multi-track studio portable enough to get deep into the rainforest.

In 2004 & 2005 Martin Cradick recorded several sessions, powered by a solar panel & car battery. With mic stands built from branches and a traditional mongolu shelter to protect the recording equipment from rain, he recorded the album, Gati Bongo.

Using guitars, percussion, voices and dance Baka Gbine play modern songs heavily influenced by both their traditional music and the Congolese music they hear on the radio.

In 2006 Martin invited 7 of the musicians to Britain to tour with Baka Beyond. Recordings of this tour resulted in the album Baka Live.

KathBC Feb 21st, 2011 05:25 PM

Fantastic! I'm drawn to the sound of the African male chorus Paul Simon had at the beginning of his "Diamonds on the Souls of Their Shoes" song.

Some of the nature shows from Africa have had fantastic orchestral music with the odd bit of male singing thrown in. I google the composer and don't seem to come up with anything.

I'm off to listen to your suggestions. Keep them coming!

Cateyes555 Feb 21st, 2011 11:56 PM

I love Miriam Makeba, but this one is my all time favorite...

tockoloshe Feb 22nd, 2011 01:55 AM

Johnny Clegg & Savuka:
In My African Dream
Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World
Third World Child

Lillipets Feb 22nd, 2011 02:47 AM

I love Johnny Clegg too.
I will be checking out all the links above.
A favorite of mine is Hennie Bekker. His music is instrumental
with the sounds of the environment. So you get music combined with the sounds of Africa. A perfect combination in my book!

DonTopaz Feb 22nd, 2011 04:18 AM

The harmonies that come from sub-saharan Africa are amazing, and
the album "Abayudaya: Music From Jewish People of Uganda" is wonderful (and surprising) example. A sample:

The group that KathBC alluded to (the ones who sang w/Paul Simon) are Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They are indeed terrific, and they've got several CDs out.

Another wonderful group is the Soweto Gospel Choir. Great harmonies and enormous amount of energy. Some of their albums can be a bit over-produced, but most are soaring delights.

ShayTay Feb 22nd, 2011 09:20 AM

All good suggestions! I'll dig out my iPod and see what I have. Ayub Ogada and the song "Kothbiri" is a good one. That song was used in the movie, "The Constant Gardener", as I recall. He's from Kenya, too. Since you're going to East Africa, here are some suggestions from that region.

My favorite is Geoffrey Oryema, from Uganda. He has several albums, but two of my favorites are "Exile" (favorite song from that album is "Makambo") and "Beat the Border" (favorite song of all time is "The River"!)

Another Ugandan singer is Samite. He has several albums out, too, including "Kambu Angels", "Stars to Share", and "Tunula Eno".

The Safari Sound Band's "The Best of African Songs" has some classics such as "Jambo Jambo" and "Malaika" that you might hear on your safari. The guides seem to like to sing the "Jambo" song a lot.

Of course, you gotta have the soundtrack to "Out of Africa"! The late John Barry's themes are beautiful and when you're riding over the plains of the Masai Mara with that music playing in your ear, your heart will soar!

Tanzania... hmmm, how about Zawose and Brook's, "Assembly"? Zawose passed away a few years ago, but this collaboration with Michael Brook is excellent.

Some more of my favorites besides those mentioned above are:

Anything by Zap Mama
"Still Moment" by Tunde Jegede
"Ma Ya" by Habib Koite'
Any number of African music compilations such as "Easy Over Africa", "African Lullaby", "African Tranquility", "African Travels", etc.

I've only got a portion of my African music collection on my iPod, but these are some of my favorites.

MyriamC Feb 22nd, 2011 12:51 PM

Youssou N'Dour (Senegalese) is one of my favourites.
So is Khadja Nin (from Burundi).

Gritty Feb 22nd, 2011 03:34 PM

Cool topic. I started to really get into African music about a year ago, and I like many of the artists that have been mentioned.

My favorite is Oliver Mtukudzi (from Zimbabwe). Another favorite is Vusi Mahlasela (South Africa).

Freshlyground is another easy-to-listen-to group.

KathBC Feb 22nd, 2011 06:28 PM

Amazing! Aaaah Miriam her!

Don't stop now...still have a few gigs left!!\:D/

BillonSafari Feb 23rd, 2011 01:58 PM

You should also check out Amadou and Miriam whose Malian blues influenced music is great and is now very popular in North America see:


ShayTay Feb 25th, 2011 06:16 AM

Speaking of music that your guides might play... We were in Tanzania and had just finished hunting with the Hadzabe. They proceeded to have their mongoose breakfast while we dug in to our boxed breakfasts from the Farmhouse. Our guide popped in his favorite cassette and we listened to Dolly Parton sing "Jolene, Jolene", a strange juxiposition of cultures, to say the least!

KathBC Feb 25th, 2011 02:22 PM

Dolly Parton in Africa???!! Who would have thought??

ShayTay Feb 26th, 2011 06:48 AM

Yeah, it was one of those surreal "only in Africa" moments!

bluesphee Feb 26th, 2011 08:34 AM

I highly recommend a band called "The Very Best"!!!! Amazing music though not exactly traditional African music. More pop combined with heavy African influence.

KathBC Feb 26th, 2011 05:39 PM

Lillipets, am loving Hennie Bekker!

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