Tag Archives: Tony Allen

Mali’s Musical Life (P.1): The Present Music Scene

Festival Acoustic de Bamako

Photo by Banning Eyre

Text by Banning Eyre

In January and February, I made my fifth visit to Bamako, Mali. It was the first time back in ten years, and I was there with Sean Barlow to research new programs for Afropop Worldwide. We were especially interested to see how musicians’ lives had been affected in the aftermath of tumultuous events in 2012 and 2013 – namely, a rebellion in the north, eight months of sharia law under which music was banned in northern cities like Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal, a coup d’etat in Bamako, French military action to restore the nation’s sovereignty, and fraught elections bringing a new, fragile civilian government to power.

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An introduction to the Godfather of Afrobeat drumming – Tony Allen.

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Fela Kuti once stated that, “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.” Which is very true! After watching the two videos below you will find out why.

Nigeria’s most famous and respected drummer, composer and songwriter  Tony Oladipo Allen (born1940 in Lagos, Nigeria), who was one of the co-founders of the music genre called  Afrobeat (music), was the musical director of Fela’s band Africa ’70. He recorded over 30 albums with Fela and Africa ’70!!!

About this video: rare early footage (shot by Ginger Baker) featuring Fela & Afrika 70 performing in the rainy southeastern town of Calabar, shortly after the the Nigerian civil war!!

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