African Guitar Legends

It would be hard to find a musical instrument that has done more to shape the music of the planet than the guitar. What we now know as the modern European guitar, and the creation of styles such as the American blues or the Cuban son can be traced directly to Africa. 

This album presents a range of dynamic finger-picking legends. Renowned Malian guitarists Djelimady Tounkara and Ali Farka Touré, whose music is based on a host of West African folk traditions, are each featured with a song. Also featured here are Nigeria's juju music innovator King Sunny Adé, Zimbabwe’s electrifying performer Oliver Mtukudzi, as well as Franco & OK Jazz, one of the key figures of Congolese music and African rumba. The captivating song by Syran Mbenza & Ensemble Rumba Kongo, ‘Tour A Tour’, is a tribute to Franco.

Eric Agyeman first gained notoriety as guitarist whilst pioneering highlife, an infectious dance music that is one of the century's first fusions of African roots and Western music. Shiyani Ngcobo has long been considered one of South Africal’s top maskanda maestros (a form of Zulu troubadour music), and adds some rich vocal harmonies, and minimal percussion to his songs, best exemplified here by ‘Yekanini’. Tinariwen’s music deals with common Tuareg themes such as homesickness, longing, exile and a new political awakening, which can be heard in ‘Imidiwaren’. Jean Bosco Mwenda was a pioneer of Congolese finger-style acoustic guitar music and developed a swift technique of picking by using both thumb and forefinger, and Henry Makobi became one of Kenya’s most prominent guitarists by incorporating elements of the rumba, along with adapting the rhythms of the litungu (a traditional lute), into a style called sutuki.

The Rough Guide To African Guitar Legends comprises songs by guitar legends who have shaped generations of young musicians, and have essentially become royalty in their home countries. 

African Guitar Legends Videos