Words Lara Akinnawo
Eleven years young and still going strong, the annual London African Music Festival is back again this year from 14 to 29 September. London highlife band Yaaba Funk and jazz singer Jumoke Fashola are both opening the festival at the Africa Centre and The Vortex Jazz Club respectively.
The festival is renowned forits mix of forward thinking music originating from and influenced by the continent with the 2012 line-up also featuring The Congo All Stars, Dele Sosimi, Gary Crosby, Bukky Leo and Black Egypt, The Yoruba Women Choir and The African Jazz All Stars.
Richmond, lead singer of Yaaba Funk says: “We are definitely getting more recognition. Fela! the musical has helped a lot in raising the profile of London African music and hopefully we will continue to gain the exposure the music deserves.”
Jumoke Fashola, who uses African chants, drums and rhythms in her music, is excited to be part of such a varied festival. “The joy is experiencing something you wouldn’t necessarily have seen before,” she says. “London African Music Festival offers diversity, something different, and is a reflection of the fact that the diaspora can bring together many different influences.”
London African Music Festival returns 14-29 September