Grands Ensembles Africains

Featuring Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou . Se Ba Ho . Orchestra Baobab . Jiin Ma Jiin Ma . Les Ambassadeurs . N’Toman . Bembeya Jazz . N’gnamakoro . Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux . Mandjou . Syli Orchestre National . Sara . Gangbe Brass Band . Sofada . Madma . Tout Puissant Poly Rythmo . Orchestra Baobab . Cabral . Syli Orchestre National . Bembeya Jazz . Molière Brussel.

Analog Africa : Given the size of the tiny country one could think that Poly-Rythmo must have been too big a fish for such a small pond, but the more one understands Benin’s culture and traditions the more it appears that a phenomenon such as Orchestre Poly-Rythmo couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

AfricaSounds : At the height of the bands career, Bembeya Jazz performed at the 1965 gatherings of the ”Tricontinentale of Cuba”, as well as at the Pan-African festival of Alger in 1969 and at FESTAC (Festival for Black Arts and Culture) at Lagos in 1977. Participation in these events further increased Bembeya’s fame throughout the African continent and beyond.

Telegraph : In 1981, when Etoile de Dakar’s song Jalo appeared on Island Records’ pioneering compilation Sound d’Afrique, most people in Britain – even those at the vanguard of the capital’s music scene – had barely heard of Senegal. The idea that the country’s music might have some bearing on the global future of music would have seemed risible.

Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe : Theophile Do Rego, which most people know as El Rego: “At that time the talk of the town fr, Dahomey (Republic of Benin today) was Los Panchos of Gnonnas Pedro and La Sondas of the Belair Hotel. I decided toy and soon bought some musical equipment, including an amazing Contra-Bass, an instrument I had learned to play in Niger. I formed Daho Jazz in 1962. We used to play at the Black & White Club, if I remember correctly. The owner wouldn’t let us tour; which was so important to promote the music, so I left the group and joined Gnonnas Pedro’s Los Panchos. “

worldservice : In 1962 the Syli Orchestre National was disbanded, as they were too many musicians, though the orchestra were reformed for special occasions for many years to come. At the Premier Festival Culturel Panafricain held in Algiers in 1969 the Syli Orchestre Nationale performed “Regard sur le passé”, by Bembeya Jazz, “Sara”, by Balla et ses Balladins, and other material from Guinean orchestras. They were rewarded with a silver medal in the “Orchestre moderne” section.

Orchestra Baobab on Myspace : By 1970, Sidibe and Gomis had graduated through the Standard Orchestra to the country’s leading ensemble – the Star Band of the Miami Nightclub. Founded by the club’s owner, Ibra ‘Le Grand’ Kasse, to celebrate Senegalese independence in 1960, the Star Band had become a school through which every musician of any worth passed, and the crucibile for the gradual Africanisation of Senegalese music.Plus d’infos: http://www.myspace.com/orchestrabaobabofficial#ixzz0r2jluspt

independent.co.uk : But it was his early and abiding penchant for Latin sounds which eventually brought Gnonnas Pedro wider recognition in the twilight of his career. Having recorded a single with the French crooner Charles Aznavour in 1964, Pedro spent the Sixties leading his group Pedro y Sus Panchos. They exploited the vogue for Latin music in West Africa at the time, combining it with folklore from the Fon and Yoruba peoples in styles such as agbadja.

World Music Central : While their roots remain in the traditional mbalax rhythms of Senegal, Pene and Super Diamano blend a global range of influences, including reggae and jazz, into their turbo-charged dance music.

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