NEWS: Africa Oyé Line Up Revealed

This year’s festival is Oyé’s 21st Anniversary celebration and has already been nominated by Songlines Magazine in their top ten for 2013. With acts hailing from Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cuba, DR Congo and Nigeria, Oyé 2013 is set to be a feast for the ears. Below is the confirmed line-up for this year’s event in Sefton Park, Liverpool

Mokoomba (Zimbabwe)

Recently being called ‘Africa’s most internationally successful young band’ by The Guardian and fresh from a UK tour last year after receiving global acclaim for their international debut album ‘Rising Tide’, Mokoomba –‘the most impressive band Zimbabwe have produced in recent memory’ – return to Liverpool to play Oyé 2013. Mokoomba will bring their strong and modern take on the music of their roots with hints of reggae, soukou, Latin and other influences to excite and entertain.

Musically distinct, Mokoomba combines traditional and modern instruments with a rich blend of rhythms, creating a vibrant sound consisting of not only traditional Tonga music but embracing the diverse cultures of southern Africa.



Osibisa (Ghana)

Formed in London in 1969 by three Ghanaian and three Caribbean musicians, Osibisa played a central role in developing an awareness of African music among European and North American audiences in the 70s and were probably the first artists to be labelled a ‘World Music’ band. The Ghanaian founder members of Osibisa – Teddy Osei (saxophone), Sol Amarfio (drums) and Mac Tontoh, Teddy’s brother (trumpet) – were seasoned members of the Accra highlife scene before they moved to London to launch their attack on the world stage.

Contrary to popular belief, this legendary band are still in existence, still touring and still recording. Their latest release AKA KAKRA is an absolute triumph mixing their familiar rock tinged cross-rhythms with some fantastic improvised jazz leanings.



Atongo Zimba (Ghana)

Atongo Zimba’s relationship with music began as a young boy on the farms in Ghana, where music was a strong tradition amongst the cowboys and used to motivate the farmworkers. He mastered the koliko, a two-stringed lute which is used widely throughout the deserts and savannahs of West Africa, which has been his instrument of choice since. As an adult, Zimba played in Lagos, Nigeria and released four albums in Ghana, becoming a star in his own right.

Later in his career he moved to the UK and has since been touring and supporting his two international albums (the latest of which being 2007’s ‘Barefoot in the Sand’, a collaboration with Dutch guitarist Niels Brouwer). No stranger to the festival scene, he will likely bring with him his Ghanian music companions to perform his songs about romance, spirituality and contemporary issues in Ghana.



Son Yambu (Cuba)

Son Yambu play authentic Cuban son – the essential Afro-Cuban sound that originated on the streets of eastern Cuba and gave rise to modern salsa.

This music is an intoxicating fusion of Spanish and African rhythms and, coming from Santiago De Cuba (the birthplace of son), the band are passionate about maintaining the traditions of the genre. The band members all have a lifetime’s experience playing son, both as recording artists and in live performances at venues around the world. The band are guaranteed to turn any event into a fiesta. 



Black Prophet (Ghana)

Black Prophet is an African-Reggae artist from Ghana and is among one of the first musicians who made conscious reggae from Ghana internationally known. His unique, harmonious reggae beat combined with a glamorous African cadence offers a very distinctive sound to his rhythm.

His performances are described as a dynamic, intoxicating and uplifting experience. Like many great reggae performers he is deeply committed to his art and believes in the spiritual power of music: “The industry lives in me and I live in it. My music is to educate and elevate people from their sleep and slumber.”



Zong Zing All Stars (DR Congo)

Hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zong Zing All Stars describe their music as ‘perfect’ for a sunny day at a festival. Infectious and energetic, their soukous music is a blend of vocal harmonies, guitar picking and rhythms.

This nine-piece are about the dancing as much as the music and wield a wealth of stage experience, having played with the likes of the Orchestra Virunga of Samba Mapangala and OK Jazz of Franco Makiadi. In their own words, “this is music to play on a sunny day at a festival; this music will get everybody dancing and in a happy mood”.



Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Vibration (Nigeria) 

Dele began his career when he joined Fela Kuti’s Egypt 80. He then created the Positive Force band with Femi Kuti, with whom he performed from 1986 to 1994. In both bands he was keyboard player, also musical director taking care of re-orchestrating and arranging music as well as handling the recruiting and training of new musicians.

Based on Afrobeat, Dele’s music is a blend of complex funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing. With a 15 strong line up featuring a brass section and some amazing dancers, this is one live show not to be missed!



Yaaba Funk (Ghana/UK)

The band was born in Brixton in 2006. The core members of Yaaba Funk met on the south London African scene in the late 1990s when, as well as studying African music, many wild nights were spent jamming together at house parties, drumming, dancing and djing ’til dawn. The name Yaaba Funk comes from an album called Yaba Funk Roots, the only album ever released outside of Africa by Captain Yaba, a musician from northern Ghana and exponent of the 2-string ‘guitar’ called the koliko.

Yaaba Funk have gigged extensively around London and the UK, building up a loyal fan base with their exuberant live shows, and have also performed in Europe and Africa. A floor-filling extravaganza combining the tightest rhythm section this side of Accra, fat analogue bass lines, blazing horns, sparkling African and gritty rock guitars. YF are considered to be one of the best live acts on the circuit.



Africa Oyé isn’t just about the wonderful live music. The ‘Oyé Village’ features over 80 stalls of arts and crafts, food and drink from around the world, as well as children’s entertainment. The festival also features the ‘Oyé Active Zone’, which included African and Caribbean dance Workshops, drumming and percussion workshops, capoeira performances and demonstrations, holistic therapies and more.


In 2013, Oyé will be teaming up with Just Giving by Vodafone to allow the festival’s supporters to donate money via text, with all proceeds going towards ensuring the event remains free for everyone for years to come.

Text ‘DYYV03’ then the amount you wish to donate to 70070

eg. ‘DYYV03 £1’ to 70070

Network charges may apply








Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.