Serge Aimé Coulibaly est né à Bobo Dioulasso le 12 mars 1972. Depuis 2002, il travaille en Europe et dans le monde entier par le biais de la compagnie de danse Faso Danse Théâtre, dont il est le fondateur et directeur artistique . Il fondera également ANKATA, un laboratoire de recherche, création et production des arts de la scène situé à Bobo Dioulasso.
Serge Aimé Coulibaly fait ses débuts au sein de la compagnie Feeren au Burkina Faso, sous la direction d'Amadou Bourou, en tant que comédien, danseur et musicien. Cette première expérience lui permettra de partir en tournée en Afrique et en Europe. En 1998, il est choisi pour chorégraphier le spectacle d’ouverture de la Coupe d'Afrique des Nations, et en 1999 celle de l'ouverture du Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO).
Depuis la création de sa compagnie Faso Danse en 2002, Serge Aimé travaille sur des thèmes complexes et tente de donner une véritable impulsion positive aux jeunes générations Son africanité est la source de son inspiration et avec son art, il veut créer une danse contemporaine puissante qui part du sentiment mais qui porte aussi réflexion et espoir. La puissance de son expressivité rend son travail universel et compréhensible sur tous les continents. Les pièces en date, produites sur différentes scènes européennes et africaines (festivals), en commençant par la plus récente sont Kirina (2018), Kalakuta Republik (2016), Nuit Blanche à Ouagadougou (2014), Fadjiri (2013), Khokuma 7° Sud (2011), Babemba (2008), Solitude d'un Homme Intègre (2007), A Benguer (2006), Minimini (2002).
Cliquez ci-dessous pour l'interview complet de Serge Aimé Coulibaly sur son parcours et son engagement politique lors de la 100ème représentation de sa pièce Kalakuta Republik, au Barbican Center, à Londres.
Omar Christopher Lye-Fook, known professionally as Omar, is an internationally acclaimed and exceptional soul singer, songwriter and musician, who has been praised by the likes of Maxwell, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder actually wrote him a song which they recorded together as a duet 15 years later.
Omar was born on 14th October 1968 in London. His father, Byron Lye-Fook was a studio musician and drummer who worked with reggae legends Bob Marley and Horace Andy, as well as the Rolling Stones. At age five, Omar was already learning how to play the drums. During his school years, he completed formal training in piano, trumpet/coronet, and other percussion instruments. He also spent two years at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and the Guildhall School of Music in London. Recording for his father's Kongo label, Omar debuted in 1985 with the single "Mr. Postman" at age 16. He shot to fame in 1991 with his single "There’s Nothing Like This". It reached number 14 in the UK Singles Chart.
In the 1990s, He recorded the albums There's Nothig Like This, Music, For Pleasure and This is Not a Love Song in and towards the end of that decade moved on to major-label RCA. When he parted ways with the label, Omar constructed his own studio and established the record label Blunt Music. He released Sing (If you want it) in 2006. Omar received the Best Neo-soul Act and Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Urban Music Awards, which acknowledges urban music artists around the globe. He was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2012. The next year, he released The Man and in 2017 Love In Beats on the Freestyle label, which took three years to make with the collaboration of his baby brother, known professionaly as Scratch Professor (aka Roland). Roland is a Grammy Winning producer, remixer and DJ.
Omar's voice is extra soulful and distinctive although he hated the sound of his voice when he first started performing. He is now described by some as the father of British Neo soul. However, Omar knows no musical boundaries.His influences are wide and varied, including ragga, hip-hop, funk, jazz-pop, rock, and Latin/Caribbean music.
More recently, before the pandemic, Omar was awarded the Music Honour at the Black Magic Awards 2019 at the Criterion Theatre in the heart of London.
Watch his interview and his word of advice for upcoming artists.
C’est au prestigieux lycée Behanzin de Porto Novo que sa carrière prend un tournant décisif quand il a l’opportunité de se rendre en Côte d’Ivoire, la plaque tournante de la musique en Afrique de l’Ouest. Il y rencontre le doyen Mamadou Doumbia auprès duquel il perfectionnera son apprentissage et s'initiera au trombone, qui deviendra plus tard son instrument de prédilection.
Sa collaboration avec Mamadou Doumbia porte ses fruits. Michel Pineihro accompagnera quelques années plus tard de grandes stars ivoiriennes comme Nayanka Bell ou Gadji Celi. En 1996, son chemin croise, cette fois-ci, celui d’un jeune reggaeman : Tiken Jah Fakoly. Michel Pinheiro lui suggère alors d’introduire des cuivres dans ses compositions. Une proposition qu’accepte Tiken Jah Fakoly. Michel Pinheiro devient donc le chef d’orchestre des « Djelys », le groupe qui l'accompagnera lors de ses tournées jusqu'en 2012.
Mais le tromboniste est avant tout un salsero. Faire de la salsa équivaut pour lui à se rapproprier une musique née sur le continent, dont la rythmique est inspirée des rythmes vaudou du Bénin.
Le premier album solo de Michel Pinheiro sort en 1999 et s'intitule Espoir. Suivront Agoh (2006), Bénin (2009), ainsi qu'un album hommage à son père spirituel Mamadou Doumbia en 2010.
En 2014, il monte le groupe African Salsa Orchestra avec lequel il continue à se produire sur des scènes internationales. Ils produiront ensemble un album du même nom. Michel Pineihro fait revivre au Bénin et sur le continent la musique de sa jeunesse et de ses aieux.
In this edition of 'Black Legacy', we will be presenting the charming and powerful singer, Beverley Knight.
Beverley Knight is an English recording artist and musical theatre actress who released her first album The B-Funk in 1995. Heavily influenced by American soul music icons such as Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin, Beverley Knight has released eight studio albums. Widely labelled as one of Britain's greatest soul singers, she is best known for her hit singles "Greatest Day", "Get Up", "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" and "Come as You Are".
After more than a decade in the music industry, she was appointed a MBE in 2006 in recognition of her contribution to British music. In September 2005, Knight was made an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Wolverhampton. After receiving a host of awards, including three MOBO Awards Beverley Knight was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 at the Urban Music Award in London. Beverley Knight supported Prince during his residency at the O2 Arena and also performed at the concert after parties. As a result of this, she was flown to perform at his Oscars party in front of A-list stars and received a standing ovation from stars such as Quincy Jones.
In 2019, Knight celebrated 25 years in music with the release of the live album BK25.
Click on the video below to see Beverley Knight's interview by our cultural mediator Caro Sika at the Black Magic Awards Ceremony in London at the Criterion Theatre, as she received her Music Honour.
Dans cette édition de la rubrique 'Patrimoine Culturel', un coup de coeur pour Richard Bona, artiste et musicien accompli.
Bona Pinder Yayumaytalolo, alias Richard Bona, est né en 1967 de parents musiciens à Minta, au Cameroun. Il se fait d’abord connaître en tant que bassiste avant de mener une carrière de chanteur auteur-compositeur-interprète par laquelle il fait rayonner sa langue maternelle le douala et son héritage culturel.
Après avoir émigré en Allemagne à 22 ans, il emménage en France afin de suivre des études de musique. Il joue alors dans divers clubs de jazz aux côtés de Jacques Higelin, Didier Lockwood, Manu Dibango ou encore Salif keita.
N'ayant pas obtenu la possibilité de résider en France, il part à la découverte de New-York et choisi de s'y installer en 1995. Il y rencontre le claviériste de Weather Report Joe Zawinul et accèdent à la scène internationale en jouant avec des artistes mondialement réputés tels qu'Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea ou Harry Connick Jr.
Cliquez ci-dessous pour visionner son interview avec notre médiatrice culturelle Caro Sika au Jazz Café à Londres.
We Cannot Call Anywhere Our Home
We cannot call anywhere our home!!
Here is the plea of so many African Americans, who proudly consider Africa to be the land of their ancestry and ancestors.
As I was checking out the bold launch of The State of the Diaspora last week in Paris, which pegged itself to the official entity that is the 6th region of the African Union, I met two beautiful African American sisters who have repatriated to Ghana and encourage others to do so.
The 6th region has an important role in their view, as it is meant to be the official entity representing all the Historic Unique African Diasporas as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade such as Black people of African Descent in South America, North America and the Caribbean… which account for 170 million people according to the African Union (AU). These groups, despite their African descent are not granted African Citizenships, even though a proportion of them would happily repatriate to Africa should they have the opportunity and legal right to do so. Hence, the importance for these unique groups to be constituted into a State attached to the African Union to be accounted for and eventually granted citizenships. Whilst the 6th region has full legitimacy, the auto-proclaimed creation of a State of the Diaspora is regrettable in my view.
I believe that the alleged Prime Minister would have gained much more credibility as a Head of Project aiming to constitute a State represented by a Government democratically elected. Additionally, it must be said that this project of a State has only received the backing of 3 countries, so far, that are part of the African Union. It would need far more than a 5th of African States supporting the initiative to have a legitimate existence.
As a result, this meeting was vehemently boycotted by a number of Pan African groups. I do understand their stance although I deeply dislike the manner in which some of these groups came to the press conference to publicly humiliate those involved not considering that the Caribbean and South American dignitaries who were present had a different status. There are ways of expressing disagreement, even to condemn actions but, disrespecting flesh and blood will never take us very far as a people. In my view, it simply demonstrates very little respect for oneself and others.
Coming back to my two precious sistahs, both retirees in their seventies; they had flown over from Ghana, connected flights at Addis Ababa to arrive in Paris to see what they could learn from their brothers and sisters in Europe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be so and after hate speeches broke out at the press conference, one of our precious Mamas fell ill and was urgently taken to hospital in an ambulance due to high blood pressure. I am so grateful that both my friend Mohamadou and myself were there at the time it happened and were able to support as it was out of the question that they should be left on their own, knowing that they couldn’t speak French.
As for me, the value of attending this event was meeting with them and what I found out about their plea.
Auntie Earna is a beautiful sistah from Detroit who repatriated to Ghana when she retired from her teaching job. Auntie Earna’s first encounter with the continent of her ancestors was at 8 years old when she met a first African national. At 11 years old, she was given her first National Geographic magazine by her dad which had he found on a bus. She read all about different places in Africa and knew then that’s where she wanted to go. Her dad admonished her to have a good education as this would be her passport to go anywhere in the world. When she was 15, a secondary school teacher introduced her class to African History in which they were taught about the different African countries and their capitals. As a young adult, Earna started to meet a variety of African Nationals such as Ethiopians, Ghanaian and more and she started working 2 to 3 jobs so one day she could go to Africa. This she eventually did, going back and forth to 18 African countries taking students and teachers with her. Then in June 2000 after a key encounter, she bought a piece of land in Ghana, built her house in 2002 and retired there from teaching. However, it took almost 15 years for her to be granted citizenship. Auntie Earna would say “So many of us are interested in going back. Quite a few of us ended up going to Ghana”. However, once they arrive in Ghana, many African Americans who currently amount to 7,000 people in Ghana alone, pensioners contributing to a minimum of 63 million dollars a year, often have a tourist visa and become illegal once the tourist visa has run out, as there is no swift procedure to recognise this Historical Unique diaspora as lawful Africans.
Mama Imakhus Okofu also known as “One Africa” decided to repatriate to Ghana in 1989 with her husband. They own a health resort which serves as a retreat. Mama Imakhus believes that the mission given to her by the ancestors is “to help as many people as possible to escape from the US.”
To her, The United States remains a land of exploitation of the Black race, the only place in the world where Black citizens are an amendment to the constitution (3/5th of a man), who have eventually been bonified as full humans and granted citizenships. Up to today, she will explain that the Voters Rights Bill still determines every 25 years if Black people can continue voting. Black people, who are undeniably, the builders of America, the farming land, are the only ethnic group this applies to.
However, for these Africans born in America who have been called “negros, coloured, black, Afro-American, African-American”, the reality is bleak when it comes to being recognised on the African continent. Many retirees arrive in Africa with the will and the desire to contribute to the development of the country only to be looked upon as outsiders.
As Ghana was publicly declaring “the year of return”, both Earna and Imakhus attended the Homecoming Summit only to realise that this call to the diaspora was for Ghanaians leaving abroad. Yet, they are hopeful that the message is more than a touristic plot and this year, 250 African Americans who have lived in the country for over 25 years have applied for citizenship and are awaiting a conclusive outcome.
One Africa has also championed a petition in Ghana, click below for more information on the work of these two beautiful sistahs and mamas, as well as for more info on the 6th region of the AU.
Provoking and non-conformist, Serge Aimé Coulibaly is transporting us in a world where Fela Kuti, the revolutionary icon that inspired the piece Kalakuta Republik, is displayed in 3D through his musical greatness, his murky and superstitious genius, his enduring creativity pushing off boundaries and his unwavering defiance. Kalakuta Republik offers no escape to facing the crude realities of revolutionary acts : the sublime and the chaos.
Part 1 " Without a story we would go mad" peaks away from codes, from what is predictable into continuous individual movements that take us into a disjointed trance. The dancers are dressed in black and white as if presenting a manichaean view and isolated experience of the world. Yet Serge Coulibaly through his appearances on stage becomes a conductor who connects with the dancers.
In Part 2 « You always need a poet », we are firstly confronted with moral decadence and the absurd. Sexual depravity, drugs, madness punctuate the sounds of jazz-infused Afrobeat. One dancer is hurt, heavyloaded while others are intoxicated, used, hurt, abused. The colours remind us of Fela Kuti’s Shrine which was both a temple and a night club. Yet, the poignant and enduring message of hope and political resistance clearly resonates throughout the piece.
The dancers keep on marching, clenched-fists in the air. And the fight goes on !!!
Kalakuta Republik will show one more night at the Barbican on 1st June and at the Edinburgh International Festival from 8th to 11th August 2019. See links below to book your tickets now.
Des afro-descendants parcoureront Londres - Paris en vélo en 3 jours pour une collecte de fonds pour leur association Origin
Au départ de Londres Stockwell vendredi 31 mai 2019, 10 bénévoles de l'association panafricaine 'Origin', qui travaille avec des groupes de jeunes afro-caribéens et leurs parents chaque année pour une préparation à un rite de passage basé sur les traditions africaines afin de guider les adolescents de l'enfance au passage à la vie adulte, parcoureront plus de 300km en vélo jusqu'à Paris, entrainés par leur capitaine Adisa Stephen-Ezeocha.
Pablo Reid et deux autres collègues fondèrent il y a 20 ans Origin, désillusionnés par les contraintes du travail social avec les jeunes, oeuvrant trop souvent en isolation de leurs familles. Le programme permet d'équiper parents et enfants à transcender les barrières mentales et psychologiques dressées par leur propre éducation ou leur environnement et à s'engager positivement à contribuer à l'essor de leurs communautés. Pour ce faire, ils lèvent des fonds chaque année en relevant un défi qui témoigne de leur détermination à s'investir auprès des jeunes et à les inspirer. L'année dernière par exemple, ces hommes se sont entrainés intensivement six mois pour une compétition de boxe "White Collar Boxing" qui consiste à combattre des inconnus sur le ring.
Cette année, ils se sont inspirés du cycliste "Major" Taylor, un coureur cycliste américain qui remporte le championnat du monde professionnel de vitesse à Montréal en 1899 et qui détient sept records du monde en 1899 et fait figure de 1899 à 1904 de cycliste sur piste le plus rapide du monde. Il participera notamment à plusieurs compétitions au Parc des Princes et le groupe "Origin" s'y rendra lorsque les 10 bénévoles arriveront à Paris pour lui rendre hommage.
Continuer à lire ci-dessous
Le groupe "Origin" s'est fixé le montant de £6000 sterling à collecter et a déjà réuni £7,521. Pour les soutenir et les voir de passage à Paris, cliquer les liens ci-dessous:
What an inspiring launch night listening to renowned international speakers sharing their passion and endorsing the YBBA's initiative to celebrate, reward and financially invest in our upcoming generation of young black innovative, creative and fierceless entrepreneurs, both men and women alike.
Donna Wilson in charge of YBBA project management and Viv Ahmun in charge of the Strategic vision shared in turn how crucial it was to push a different narrative about young black people and young black people in business.
This project was created to ensure that our next generation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, city builders, leaders and creatives are firmly located in the driver's seat of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It intends to spark one million black led 21st century startups and they are on a mission to get as many organisations, givers and policy makers as possible involved with the project.
The nominations for 2019 are now open. For more info, please click on their website below!
Singers from Aswad and Steel Pulse, namely Brinsley Forde and David Hinds, join forces on the first single of the upcoming Brinsley Forde album "The Tuff Gong Sessions".
The song takes us back to the experience of enslaved deported Africans and their search for identity. The generation that has been told the story and experienced the aftermath of the transatlantic tragedy seems to echo back to this young generation what took place centuries ago!!
Yet the story is still being told and so relevant - we are looking at a grey bearded rastafari man painting sea waves with people voyaging through in the presence of a child who could be his grandson!! And today Black Africans are still dying at sea every day and slavery is still happening as we speak - the alienation from their continent is still real - the children of Africa are still searching for a better tomorrow!!
Executive Producer: Ras Denco. Produced by Ras Denco and Marc Baronner. Mixed by Marc Baronner @ Bass Galore Productions (Leiden, NL). Recorded @ Tuff Gong (Kingston, JM) and Mixing Lab (Kingston, JM), Brinsley Forde Studio (Tenerife, ESP), Coyote's Hideout (Belgrade, RS). Engineer @ Tuff Gong: Roland Mc Dermot. Video by Romain 'Sherkhan' Chiffre.