Saturday, 29 September 2018

Thomas Mapfumo 1998-2002 BBC Sessions

Thomas with Guitar
gallery at
Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo, born in 1945 in Marondera, Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe, began his musical career playing covers of American rock and soul music before joining Hallelujah Chicken Run Band, where he began adapting traditional music of the Shona to modern instrumentation and techniques. This process included transcribing the scales and sounds of the mbira to electric guitar.
He invented and popularized Chimurenga music - literally "struggle" in Shona - which was often overtly political. In addition to his modern incarnation of traditional music, his lyrics were sung in Shona. In the late 1970s singing in Shona instead of English was a political statement in and of itself. In Mapfumo's case, it was specifically critical of the white ruling class of Rhodesia. The government, underestimating his popularity, eventually banned his records and imprisoned Mapfumo without charges in 1979. After a series of large protests demanding his release, he was set free three months later.
Though he initially celebrated the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, he became increasingly disillusioned with the regime of Robert Mugabe. This was, again, reflected in the music he produced throughout the 1980s; mostly as Thomas Mapfumo And The Blacks Unlimited. His lyrics often addressed issues of poverty and social development. After a campaign of government-sponsored harassment, he emigrated to the United States, where he continues to live. In 2018.April he returned for the first time since 2005 to Zimbabwe to perform a concert.
Wanna know more? Read at thomas-mapfumorealworldrecords and wiki

Listen to Chiruzevha Chapera of the 2002 Kershaw Session:

MAPFUMO-THOMAS-1998-2002_BBC Sessions

1998.Jul.07 - Radio 1 Peel Session - bc.1998.Aug.11
tracklist: 1.Dai Pasina Satani / 2.Chickende* / 3.Mukadzi Wemukoma* / 4.Usatambe Nenyoka
*two tracks only from rpt.2017.Dec.04, BBC 6music Gideon Coe; tracks 1 and 4 missing
bonus: Buko Tiende* (from Hondo, 1991) played by Peel in his 1993.Dec.10 show at BFBS, about Mapfumo concert in Zimbabwe

2002.Dec.13 - BBC Radio3 Andy Kershaw - Thomas Mapfumo in session
note: date is of broadcast, recording date unknown
tracklist: intro* / 1.Mukadzi Wamukoma* / interview* / 2.Pfumvu Pa Ruzeva* / band members* // intro* / 3.Chiruzevha Chapera* / outro*

Other known sessions for BBC Radio:
-bc.1990.Aug.12, BBC Radio 1 - Andy Kershaw with Thomas Mapfumo (no audio, nor tracklist, yet)

More music by Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited:
Background information about and with Thomas Thomas Mapfumo at:
  • 1985.April: Thomas Mapfumo - Lion of Zimbabwe - interview in The (Reggae & African) Beat magazine
  • 2015.Mar.15: Thomas Mapfumo interview BBC Africa soundclound
    Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo speaks to Fred Dove about his unique approach to tackling music piracy.
  • 2015.Sep.11: The life and music of Thomas Mapfumo - Radio WBEZ Worldview
  • 2015.May.02: Letter from Africa - Thomas Mapfumo, Zimbabwe's lion, roars for his fans - BBC News article
    In the series of letters from Africa, journalist-turned-barrister Brian Hungwe reflects on the return from exile of Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo four months after Robert Mugabe's resignation as president.
  • 2018.Aug.26: The Art of Now - True Jit - BBC Radio 4
    Tayo Popoola looks at the changing face of the Zimbabwean music scene since the fall of Robert Mugabe, incl.interview with Thomas Mapfumo.


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Rachid Taha 2001.Nov.13 in London

NEWS: "Rachid Taha, the singer who blended Arabic music with rock and techno, died at the age of 59 after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs."

Was planning something different this week, but the sad news about Rachid Taha earlier this week made me change my mind and post one of his live/session recordings I have.
2001.Jul.07: Solidays Music Festival - Rachid Taha on stage
(photo by Julien Hekimian/Sygma/Corbis/Sygma via Getty Images)
The recording was made some months after above picture, 2001.Nov.13 at the London Jazz Festival held in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, recorded and later broadcasted (in two parts) on BBC Radio 3 by Andy Kershaw.
From the info about the concert:
"Rachid Taha a charismatic performer who mixes Algerian Rai street music with techno, funk and reggae rhythms to create a hybrid sound so good that it was banned from French radio."

TAHA-RACHID-20011113_London BBC

1st part - bc.2001.Nov.16 BBC Radio 3 Andy Kershaw
setlist: a1.Ya Rayah / a2.?? / a3.Barra Barra / a4.??
2nd part - bc.2002.May.17 BBC Radio 3 Andy Kershaw
setlist: b1.Nokta / b2.Foqt Foqt / b3.Habina / (DJ outro with songtitles)

Some good (old) info about Rachid Taha:
  • Nuclear fusion - 2001.May.28, The Guardian 
  • Andy Morgan writes... about Rachid Taha:  pt.1 (2009) /  pt.2 (2009) / pt.3 (2011)
  • Rachid Taha 2000.April at Banán klub, Budapest - youtube *

*this is in special honour of the MEPs in the EU parliament, who this week at last took a clear stand against the anti-democratic government of Hungary!
Thank You All - And Please Continue To Stop Them!!!

remember Rachid Taha, Khaira Arby and Pap Djah together

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Stella Chiweshe 1988-91 - Peel Sessions

"When I first heard the Sound of the mbira, I wanted to hear more of it everyday. I got sick and tired of making trips in search of mbira players to play for me to such an extend it caused me to learn the mbira so that I could play for myself. There were no mbira players in Masembura near Bindura where I lived". -- Stella Chiweshe

Stella Rimbisai Chiweshe born 1946 July 08 in Mujumhi, a village in Mhondoro Zimbabwe, the woman now known by her people as Ambuya Chinyakare (Grandmother of Traditional Music) has had to struggle hard every step of the way to becoming her true self, the Queen of Mbira. The colonial power, Britain, had banned the mbira, a traditional instrument of the Shona people. The Church told her that it was the work of the Devil and even her own people told her that it was taboo, an instrument that a woman could never play.
Yet by the mid-sixties, she had become recognised as a gifted maridzambira (mbiraplayer), playing at healing ceremonies, funerals, concerts and important parties and her debut single, "Kasahwa", had gone gold. After Zimbabwean independence in 1980, she was asked to join the National Dance Company (NDC) and toured throughout Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Australia, India, China, Korea and Europe. She left the NDC in 1985 when requests for her to play solo had expanded.
Since 1987 she has been on a continual tour of Europe, North America and Oceania, she participated in the WOMAD festivals (1994 in the United States, 1995 in Australia, and 2006 in Spain). In 2004 she toured England with her daughter. In addition to performing as a soloist, Chiweshe often performs in combination with guitars. She has also organized an international women's music festival in Zimbabwe.
So far she has recorded 22 local singles and 7 international albums. She become the first Zimbabwean female mbira player to gain international recognition, been awarded an MA from Harare University in 2003, won two ZIMA Awards in 2005 and healed countless troubled souls.
biographical info from and piranhashop
For a full chronology see the wiki page about Stella Chiweshe

CHIWESHE-STELLA-1988-91_Peel Sessions

Peel Session #1 - rec.1988.Mar.06 [bc.1988.Mar.14 / rpt.1988.Apr.06 and 1988.Dec.20]
tracks: 1.Kachembere / 2.Kana Ndikafa / Chapfudzapasi [missing]# / 4.Vana Vako Vapera
#tracknr.3 missing from these radio recordings, but listenable at youtube
notes: released in 1988 on
Ndizvozvo (12" EP, Piranha #pir.21)
line-up: Stella Chiweshe - vocals, mbira. ngoma, clapping / Virginia M´Kwesha - mbira, hosho, clapping, chorus / Leonard Ngwenya - soprano marimba / David Tapfuma - baritone marimba / Joshua Areketa - drum kit / Tonderai Zinyau - bass guitar

Peel Session #2 - rec.1991.Jun.06 [bc.1991.Jul.20 / rpt.1991.Dec.20]
tracks: 1.Chimbochababa / 2.Serewende / 3.Guarangu / 4.Shungu
line-up: Stella Chiweshe - vocals, mbira, marimba / Gordon Mapika - drums / Eric Makakora - bass / Ephraim Saturday - guitar / Chinembira Chidodo - mbira / Leonard Ngwenya - marimba / Gilson Magoma - marimba

Bonus: John Peel playing in 1989 the song Katchembere with his in- and outros explaining some of "it's meaning"

Discographies see stellachiweshe / piranhashop / asahi-net  / musiques-afrique
There's music available directly from Stella's official bandcamp

PS: Stella was featured more than 2 years ago here in the Tour of Africa 2 (from Nigeria to Ethiopia)


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Tinariwen 2017.Mar.07 - Liverpool BBC Radio 3

As promised more than a year ago, and later requested by several followers of my blog (who I kept waiting for so long, sorry), herewith the complete BBC recordings of the concert Tinariwen gave on 2017.March.07 in Liverpool.
picture made at concert by David J.Colbran

It's the whole broadcast, cut into music and talking parts, so didn't come to cutting it into individual tracks (splitting m4a-files is really a too long drag for me now).
At the end a bonus, broadcasted in the same radio show after the concert recordings, and as it is directly related to my previous post (about Khaira Arby) makes it pretty neat!!!

TINARIWEN-20170307_Liverpool BBC

concert recorded 2017.Mar.07 by the BBC and broadcasted 2017.Apr.21 Radio 3 in World on 3 (recently renamed to Music Planet)

setlist: (DJ intro) / [concert pt.1] 1.Tinde / 2.Nizzagh Ijbal / (interview Abdallah) / [concert pt.2] 3.Issekad / 4.Tifawt / 5.Tamiditin Tan Ufrawan / 6.Kel Tinawen / 7.Ténéré Tàqqàl / 8.Chabiba / (talk with Andy Morgan) / [concert pt.3] 9.Ittus / 10.Tamatent / 11.Talyat / 12.Assawt / 13.Sastanàqqàm / 14.Nannuflay / 15.Tiwayyen / 16.Imidiwan Winakalin / (DJ talk) / [concert pt.4] 17.Cler Achel / 18.Ourshan / 19.Chaghaybou / (DJ talk)
bonus: Khaira Arby - Assa Dakmar (Festival au Desert 2003 - BBC World Music Archive) / (DJ outro)

*more details about timing etc.on BBC page and in textfile in downlaod
*pictures of concert found on internet shortly after broadcast are included in download (incl.sources)

Remember Khaira Arby next to Pap Djah

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Khaira Arby 2011.Jul.02 Festival Hertme

After a much longer hiatus than planned back on the blog.
What made me to make time for posted is the sad news of the death of Khaira Arby on Aug.18 in a hospital in Bamako. As I was very much occupied with a lot of work, the news reached me only a few days ago, but it immediately did me decide to dig into the archive for a special post in remembrance of the "Nightingale of Timbuktu".
Khaira Arby 2014 April in Bamako, Mali - photo source: The Independent
(photo credit: Sebastien Rieussec/AFP/Getty Images)
What I have for you is the concert of Khaira Arby at the 2011 Afrikafestival Hertme, broadcasted shortly afterwards on (unfortunaltely deleted) Dutch Radio 6. Don't have songtitles, nor ever came to splitting the audio, so one file for you to remember Khaira Arby with enjoying an inspired concert by her and her band.

ARBY-KHAIRA-20110702_Afrikafestival Hertme R6

as bonustracks are included some recordings by Andy Kershaw of her, then named Haira Arby, in 1989 in Timbuktu and in 2003 at the Festival au Desert [all done for and broadcasted on BBC Radio]

Other media about Khaira Arby:
  • APWW remembers Khaira Arby - Afropop (incl.videos of 2003 Festival in the Desert and 2010 International Tour)
  • Obituary 2018.Aug.31 in The Independent 
  • videos on Afrikafestival Hertme's own youtube channel - from AFH337 till AFH345
  • Khaira, as Haira, Arby featured in my post about the 2004 Festival au Desert
  • Unreleased Ali Farka Toure & Khaira Arby recordings made mid 1980s, available at VoA (note: posted by Matthew Lavoie currently of Wallahi Le Zein!)

Khaira Arby 2011.Jul.02 Afrikafstival Hertme
(source: afrikafestival.hertme )

Remember Khaira Arby next to Pap Djah