The fifth London African Music Festival takes place this month featuring a whole range of musical styles that represent the estimated one million Africans who live in London. The festival runs from 18-30 May at venues including the Southbank Centre, the ICA, The Coronet and Cargo. Below is a rundown on who’s playing in this year’s festival and where.
18 May Chidinma Okafor Known as the ‘special one’, not because she’s a great football coach but because of her ability to sing in Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa and English. Makes her London debut at the Southbank Centre at 7.45pm, tickets are £15.
18 May Roy Ayers and The African Jazz Allstars perform at the Coronet Theatre near the Elephant and Castle at 9pm, tickets are £20.
19 May Seckou Keita is a Kora master from Mali whose band play West African soul music. Playing the Southbank Centre at 3pm with tickets £12.50.
19 May Lionel Loueke from Benin is Herbie Hancock’s current guitarist and mixes West African music with jazz as well as singing. His show is at the Southbank Centre at 7.45pm and tickets cost £15.
19 May King Wasiu Ayinde and Wale Thompson King Wasiu Ayinde, the top man in Nigeria’s fuji music, brings his 15 piece band to the Coronet Theatre and guitarist Wale Thompson and his 10 piece band are also performing there. The show starts at 9pm, tickets are £20.
20 May Mayra Andrade A good looking 20 year old, born in Cuba to parents from the Cape Verde islands, she makes her London debut with her band at 7.30pm at the Southbank Centre, tickets are £15.
21 May Anouar Brahem A Tunisian oud master who mixes Arab-Andalous fusion, jazz, slow tango and stylised French classical music and performs at the Southbank Centre at 7.30pm, tickets are £20.
21 May Brice Wassy One of the world’s greatest kit drummers brings his group to Cargo in Shoreditch for a 9pm show, tickets are £12.50.
22 May Kekele and Derito Kekele music play a classic Rumba Congolese sound and Angolan Derito plays guitar-based dance music. The show starts at 7.30pm at the Southbank Centre, tickets £20.
22 May Claude Deppa South African trumpeter Deppa plays Cargo at 9.30pm, tickets at £12.50.
23 May Natacha Atlas and Muntu Valdo Egyptian diva Natacha Atlas sings world beat music in Arabic, English and French while Cameroonian guitarist Muntu Valdo makes his London debut on the same bill at the Southbank Centre. Starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £20.
23 May Nuru Kane Senegalese musician plays Cargo at 9pm, tickets are £12.50.
24 May Netsayi Chigwendere Zimbabwean singer combines soul, African folk, gospel and reggae in a 7.45pm show at the Southbank Centre, tickets are £15.
25 May Najat Aatabou Morocco’s top singer who’s made 25 albums, makes her London debut at the Southbank Centre. Starts at 7pm with tickets £20.
25 May Omar Pene Pene and his group Le Super Diamono De Dakar are meant to be one of the best live bands in Africa. Find out at 10pm at the Southbank Centre, tickets £20.
26 May Pinise Saul and Lucky Ranku Vocalist Pinise Saul joins guitarist Lucky Ranku to perform their project the South African Songbook at 3pm at the Southbank Centre, tickets are £15.
26 May Paulina Oduro and Kari Bannerman perform classic Ghanian hi-life songs from the 60s and 70s at the Southbank Centre at 7.45pm, tickets £15.
26 May Koffi Olomide fuses deep funk and reggae with Congolese soukous music at the Coronet Theatre in a 9pm show, tickets £25.
27 May Ibrahima Sylla In Conversation The greatest record producer in Africa today his methods, his influences and the future of African music at the ICA at 3pm, tickets £12.
27 May Les Orientales Marseille based Algerian group featuring three female singers and a 10 piece band play Algerian Music Hall songs from the 40s-60s. On at 8pm at the ICA, tickets are £15.
27 May Africando and Ibrahima Sylla DJ Set A 12 piece Afro-Salsa band with 6 vocalists perform at 9pm at the Coronet Theatre, tickets are £25.
28 May Lekan Babalola Nigerian Babalola fuses afrobeat with jazz at the ICA. Show starts at 3pm, tickets are £12.50.
28 May Simphiwe Dana South African female singer mixes African rhythms, jazz and choral music in her London debut at 8pm at the ICA, tickets are £15.
29 May Ba Cissoko Ba Cissoko and his group from Guinea combine an acoustic kora and re-enforced kora at 8pm at the ICA, tickets £15.
30 May Funmi Olawumi Nigeria’s first lady of faaji music closes the festival with a three hour show at the Southbank Centre starting at 7.30pm, tickets are £20.