Pat Thomas at London Rich Mix

by Feferity

Bethnal Green E2. Friday 29th September. London music lovers get the electrifying stage presence of the ‘Golden Voice of Africa’ and Ghana’s ‘first rock star’, the legendary Pat Thomas. A befitting countdown to the closure of the Joyful Noise produced 15th London African Music Festival (LAMF), Pappy as he’s fondly called by many, performed with the Kwashibu Area Band led by multi-instrumentalist Kwame Yeboah (Cat Stevens, Patrice) and saxophonist Ben Abarbanel-Wolff (Ebo Taylor, Poets of Rhythm).

Kick-started on Sunday 17th with a free-to-attend launch party which featured the incredibly talented Wiyaala, the 10-day music fest billed legendary names like Tony Allen and Pat Thomas, and emerging artists like Femi & The Inrhythms and Yolanda Eyama & The Afro World Grooves.

New band Kokoroko makes their festival debut with new sounds of Afrobeat and Festival Commission, the African Funk Orchestra, directed by Muntu Valdo plays some of the classic African funk songs like Soul Makosa by Manu Dibango.

The festival continues to push the boundaries of what is known as African music. Artists like Grammy winner percussionist, Lekan Babalola, virtuoso Cuban violinist Omar Puente, kora master Jally Kebba Susso & His Trio, singer Busi Mhlanga from South Africa, singer Mim Suleiman from Zanzibar and Haymanot Tesfa from Ethiopia present original music that cannot be put in a genre basket.

Closing the festival with a workshop and concert on Saturday 30th September is Gino Sitson whose incredible music blurs the boundaries between vocal improvisation and jazz.


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