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The 5th London African Music Festival
Published April 18, 2007

To be held May 18th-30th, The London African Music Festival (LAMF) goes from strength to strength. Due to its popularity, three new venues have been added. Highlights include Lionel Loueke (pictured).

The London African Music Festival (LAMF) goes from strength to strength. Due to its popularity we have added three new venues to the established venues at the Southbank Centre to make it a truly London wide festival. Three of Africa's top sellers in Congo's Koffi Olomide, Nigeria's King Wasiu Ayinde and Senegal's Africando as well as American jazz legend Roy Ayers and the African Jazz Allstars bring their all conquering music to the Coronet for four steaming dance nights. Brilliant instrumentalists like the oud virtuoso Anour Brahem from Tunisia, guitarist Lionel Loueke from Benin, South African trumpeter Claude Deppa, kora virtuoso Ba Cissoko, Senegalese adventurer Nuru Kane and percussion master Lekan Babalola all present new projects for this year's festival.

The LAMF proudly presents some brilliant divas from the four corners of Africa. Egyptian diva Natacha Atlas leads a brilliant band that creates world dance grooves of immense power. Making their London debut and showing the depth, variety and creativity in African music today are divas Najat Aatabou from Morocco, Simphiwe Dana from South Africa, Cape Verde's young diva Mayra Andrade and Nigeria's Chidinma Okafor. We close the festival with a unique project powered by the first lady of Nigerian faaji music Funmi Olawumi. The former lead singer of The Queens of Lagos and Yoruba Women Choir leads a 15-piece big band that features praise singers, dancers and musicians for a show that is called "Lagos For Show" slang for "expect the unexpected".

Concert 1
Friday 18 May / Southbank Centre / 7.45pm / £15.00 (£12.50)
CHIDINMA OKAFOR (Nigeria)
Making her London debut is Chidinma Okafor, one of the new stars of Nigerian music. Known as "the special one" for her unique ability to sing in Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa and English. With passion and soul she fuses secular and non-secular songs with modern rhythms and has quickly become a star all across Nigeria. Her first 3 cds on G29 Music have gone gold and sold to all ethnic tribes of Nigeria.  Tonight she appears with her full Nigerian band.

Concert 2
Friday 18 May / The Coronet Theatre / 9.00pm / £20.00 (£17.50)
ROY AYERS AND THE AFRICAN JAZZ ALLSTARS
+ Ayinke Martins
American jazz legend Roy Ayers joins forces with the African Jazz Allstars for an exclusive UK show of their acclaimed collaboration, "Under The African Sun". Roy Ayers's jazz and funk sensibilities are effortlessly fused with the infectious African rhythms of the African Jazz Allstars, arguably Africa's greatest jazz orchestra. Together they take a spectacular journey to the heart of African cultures, mixing township rhythms, soukous, mbalax and afrobeat with jazz solos. With the likes of Lucky Ranku, Pinise Saul, Claude Deppa, Fayyaz Virji, Bukky Leo, Tony Kofi, Greg Bonnie, Patrick Bebey, Joseph Hlengetwa, Siemy Di and Lekan Babalola joining Roy Ayers on stage expect something wonderful and explosive tonight.
Concert 3
Saturday 19 May / Southbank Centre / 3.00pm / £12.50 (£10.00)
SECKOU KEITA (Mali)
Kora master Seckou Keita is a griot from a fantastic musical family, descending from the famous founder and ruler of Mali, Sundiata Keita. Seckou Keita and his band create West African soul music with the hypnotic sound of the kora blending effortlessly with Egyptian violinist Samy Bishai, Italian double bassist Davide Mantovani and Gambian percussionist Surahata Susso and Seckou's warm vocals. This is a captivating music that comes from the past and looks to the future. Tonight the group features songs from their new cd "Afro-Mandinka Soul" (Arc Music)

Concert 4
Saturday 19 May / Southbank Centre / 7.45pm / £15.00 (£12.50)
LIONEL LOUEKE (Benin)
Guitarist Lionel Loueke plays with the very best like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Santana and Terence Blanchar