Seckou's track Hino will be appearing on the latest Jazz FM limited edition compilation available from Jan. The CD entitled "A world of Discovery" will also be carried on all BA planes in flight entertainment systems,on both short and long haul.
This album, which is the third in the series, consists of a unique selection of largely undiscovered tracks from many of the less known corners of the musical globe
Have a listen as you fly...
Songlines Jan Issue 2012
Seckou Keita Miro Astar (48 mins)
Well-travelled griot keeps the home fires burning
Seckou Keita is representative of a new breed of African musician for whom the world really has become a global village. Born into a griot family in the Casamance region of Senegal, he now lives in Nottingham, and recorded this album in six countries across three continents, from Dakar to Havana and from Seville to Bogota. The opening track ‘Rewmi’ (Country) was a popular anthem calling for unity during the Senegalese elections earlier this year, with Keita’s rippling kora work and sturdy voice underpinned by female backing vocals, calabash and the throbbing pulse of Cuban bass player Michel ‘Pata’ Salazar. ‘Hino’ finds the Spanish singer Inma ‘La Carbonera’ delivering a characteristically passionate flamenco vocal in duet with the soulful, Arabic-tinged voice of Mohamed Diaby over Keita’s lovely solo kora. Salazar returns again on ‘Kouma’, a tour de force on which he’s joined by Colombian percussion, flute and balafon. Yet the album is far from being a global mishmash of styles. Rather it beats strongly with a sense of unity of purpose, rooted in both Mandinka and Wolof traditions, so that however far Keita’s musical travels take him, his proud griot heritage journeys with him.
TRACK TO TRY: Kouma
Seckou Keita was a guest on BBC World Service's The Strand arts programme. He also played Distance live in the studio.
You can listen to the whole programme by going to http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0104j6m
or you can listen to the interview here.
[audio:http://www.astarmusic.co.uk/BBCWSseckou.mp3]BBC World Service with Seckou Keita
The Guardian, Thursday 4 October 2012 22.30 BST
Following the debut set by those rousing London-based Ethiopians, Krar Collective, here's another reminder of the great African music currently to be found in the UK. Seckou Keita lives in Nottingham, but was born into a griot family in Casamance, in the south of Senegal, where he was taught kora and percussion by his grandfather and uncles. He's a fine instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, and his distinctive, gently driving style is influenced both by his West African roots and international travels. So on the opening track Rewmi (Country), his fluid, rippling kora work is matched by sturdy backing from the Cuban bass player Michel "Pata" Salazar, guitars and calabash, and insistent vocals from Keita, Mariama Kouyate and his sister Binta Suso, while the song itself is a call for unity that was popular in Senegal during the elections earlier this year. Elsewhere, he shows off his instrumental work on the drifting instrumental Distance, and is joined by flamenco singer Inma "La Carbonera" for the passionate flamenco-kora workout, Hino. A classy, often gently mesmeric set.
We are very proud to announce that Seckou Keita's brand new album "Miro" is now available on iTunes and all other digital retailers. The actual CD will be available in the shops and on Amazon from the 8th October (although anyone going to the live shows will be able to get their's a little bit early... and get it signed too!). Please use the player to listen to previews of all the tracks and press the links below it to buy the album from your favourite store..
Seckou delivers a one-off spectacular featuring artists from 8 West African nations.
In the Mandinka language Bantamba is a tree around and under which the community gathers,
a meeting place where people can communicate, listen to each other, settle conflicts and discuss important matters ….
SECKOU KEITA Senegal KORA, VOICE, DJEMBE
ADAMA BILOROU DEMBELE Burkina Faso BALAFON, CONGAS, DJEMBE
ALFRED BANNERMAN Ghana ELECTRIC & ACOUSTIC GUITARS
BINTA SUSO Gambia VOICE
DRAMANE DEMBELE Burkina Faso FLUTE
FANTA YAYO Guinea Conakry VOICE
GUIMBA KOUYATE Mali NGONI
MANECAS COSTA Guinea Bissau VOICE & ACOUSTIC GUITAR
MARIAMA KOUYATE Senegal VOICE
MICHEL PADRON Cuba TRUMPET
MICHEL 'PATA' SALAZAR Cuba BASS
NII BOYE OWOO Ghana VOICE
SUNTOU SUSSO Gambia CALABASH, HI-HAT, DUN DUNS
TAPHA GAYE Senegal ELECTRIC GUITAR
TAPHA N'DIONGUE Senegal DRUM KIT
THOMAS OLA Ivory Coast SAXOPHONE & KEYBOARDS
Seckou will appear as one of the featured artists in a new Radio 4 show on Griots in West Africa. It will air Saturday June 9th at 3.30pm. Be sure not to miss it.
For more information check out the BBC Radio 4 page:
Last week the kora-harp collaboration with Toumani Diabate and Catrin Finch received standing ovations at sold-out shows in Wales.
Due to the Coup D'etat in Mali Toumani had to make a tremendous effort to come and difficulties en route meant that he and Catrin only met four hours before the first performance. It is a tribute to the awesome talent of these musicians that they were able to take this show onto a sublime level from day one and build across the five shows creating a unique sonic experience between these instruments. We have all agreed to now take this show to the world and develop the project. Thanks to them and to a great production team for an amazing week, also to Seckou Keita who came at short notice to help Catrin and the Astar-Mwldan producers prepare the show whilst they were waiting for Toumani's arrival, Seckou also appeared as special guest at two of the performances. Special indeed!
A taster EP taken from Seckou's new album "Miro" (due for release in the autumn) will be available from June 4th.
To hear excerpts from the tracks or to buy, please use the player below.
PHOTOGRAPHER JOSH PULMAN IN SENEGAL
In association with Band on the Wall, we’re delighted to present a free concert by Seckou Keita and his new band on the Printworks Indoor Stage for the We Face Forward Olympic Torch Relay Party taking place after the Olympic torch passes through Manchester.
Seckou Keita June 23rd Doors open: 7pm Free event.
Seckou will be performing with his new band and special guests representing 8 West African nations as part of the BT River of Music event - A spectacular global summit of rhythm and song, the two-day free event will act as a curtain-raiser for the sporting celebrations to follow and will feature artists representing all Olympic and Paralympic nations, from the largest nations to the tiniest ocean island speck. Arguably the most ambitious musical event ever staged in the capital, BT River of Music will present the city's residents and visitors with a unique opportunity to sample a kaleidoscope of the world's most vibrant contemporary music. Established, award-winning and emerging artists from every part of the globe will be performing on stages at six iconic sites along the length of the River Thames each hosting music from a different continent. Seckou will be performing on the Africa stage at The London Pleasure Gardens. www.btriverofmusic.com
Seckou released a video for Senegalese TV which was played on all the 5 main channels over the election weekend and continues to pick up plenty of interest.The lyric of Rewmi appeals for peace and unity to tackle together the problems facing us all and demands we take responsibility as individuals, families, communities, governments and corporations. We may think we are clean but we should think again and wash our hands.