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African Music

Music is a very important part of African culture. Wherever you travel in Africa you'll hear live music, from a band performing in your hotel, or the sound of village drums in rural areas. Here are links and articles to introduce you to the many rhythms of Africa.
  1. Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Africa's Best Music Festivals
My selection of Africa's best music festivals includes the Festival au Desert in Mali, the World Sacred music festival in Fez (Morocco), Sauti za Busara Music Festival in Zanzibar and many more. Planning your trip around a music festival is a great excuse to travel to some of Africa's most exciting destinations and enjoy a fantastic cultural...

Top African Music Starter CDs
When first starting to explore the music of Africa, it can be quite overwhelming. Here are some CDs from different cultures and regions of Africa to get you started from About.com's World Music Guide.

African Tunes on My Playlist
A sample of African tunes on my playlist one fine week in October, 2009. New bands from Kenya and Malawi, and some oldies but goldies.

African Rap Music
A brief overview of African rap, a blog inspired by some Presidents choosing to send their political message to the African youth, in the form of some rather bad rap.

Top Five Jeli Kora Players
The art of the kora is an ancient one, and among the Manding people of Western Africa, the group of people designated to carry it on are called the Jeli, or griot. About.com's world music guide introduces the top 5 players.

Rai Music
Rai music is a popular genre of world music from the Northern African country of Algeria. Rai is pronounced "rye" or "rah-AY" and translates as "opinion". Rai music began in the early 1900s as a combination of popular music and traditional Bedouin desert music. This is an introduction to Rai from About.com's World Music guide.

African Music Encyclopedia
The African Music Encyclopedia is a wonderful resource for African music from the traditional to the post-modern. You can look up individual artists, search music by country and much more.

Afropop Worldwide
Launched by NPR, Afropop is a radio program, a web site, a searchable database, an international musical archive, and just an amazing resource for anyone interested in African popular music.

Afromix
A portal for African culture, Afromix has a music section that includes over 2000 artists and more than 5000 albums referenced, organized by musical styles, country, instruments, labels and years.

AfricMusic
Afric Music broadcasts live African and Caribbean pop music. You can also buy CD's from the web site.

Rhythms of the Continent
Rhythms of the Continent is a series of programs from the BBC World Service which looks at the role of music in Africa today. Countries covered include South Africa, Malawi, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

African Hip Hop
Africanhiphop.com is a web site dedicated to African Hip Hop and rap music. There's a lively discussion board and an interactive map of Africa you can use to research the latest hip hop artists and music from around the continent.

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