This summer, Africa Oyé will be celebrating a fantastic 25 years of showcasing music and culture from Africa and the Diaspora. To mark the occasion, Oyé have invited festival favourites from over the years to lead in the celebration – Jupiter Okwess International, Mokoomba and Dizzy Mandjeku & Odemba OK Allstars.
Kinshasa pioneers Jupiter & Okwess International swiftly return to the festival following their stunning performance in 2014. Frontman Jupiter Bokondji strives to reactivate forgotten rhythms of Congolese tradition; incorporating western rock when inspired to after spending his formative years in Berlin. The group have gained traction touring over the past ten years – participating in the Kinshasa One Two project curated by Damon Albarn and a show stopping performance at the 2012 Africa Express tour.
After an acclaimed headline set back in 2013, Mokoomba bring their melting pot of influences back to Sefton Park. Dubbed by the guardian as ‘one of the finest young bands in Africa’, the Zimbabwean group blends world music into their local tradition. Mathias Muzaza’s powerful Tongon vocals combined with fluid bass and Afro-salsa beats make for a masterful pan-African blend sure to keep the party going.
Led and conducted by guitarist and living legend Dizzy Mandjeku (former member of Franco’s OK Jazz), the magnificent 12-piece Odemba OK Allstars are the original exponents of smooth big band ‘Franco style’ Congolese Rumba. Other greats in the All-Star line up include Malage De Lugendo, Nana and Baniel, Dele Pedro, and veteran Seigneur Lokombe; all legends in their own right. Gaining huge popularity during the 60s and 70s, Odemba embody a timeless quality that keeps them relevant and engaging to this day. After first gracing the Oyé stage back in 2007, Odemba are an unmissable act guaranteed to get you dancing.
Alongside the main stage, the Oyé Village will be providing the public with a variety of world foods, workshops, dance classes, traders and DJs and more. Lots of child-friendly entertainment will once again be on-site so festival-goers can bring the whole family along.
Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney is excited about what’s in store for Oyé’s milestone year. “It’s amazing to be able to look back at the last 25 years and pick some of our favourites to return for this celebration. The festival this year will be the centrepiece of a whole year of gigs and events and I couldn’t be happier with the first acts that we’ve announced.”
Africa Oyé will take place on 17th and 18th June in Sefton Park, from 12:30pm till 9:30pm on both days and entry is FREE. For more information on Oyé and its associated events, please visit africaoye.com.