Posted: Jul 9, 2017 by Amani Creatives in Amani Festival

Amani festWelcome to our second newsletter, keeping you updated about the Amani Festival 2017.

We have a wide array of live performances on the day, so we thought we would use this issue to tell you more about them. Here is a reminder of the schedule.



Traditional Opening Ceremony


Live Music: Amani Creatives Community Choir


Drumming Workshop: Jamtan


Live Music: Koranimbalafo 


Storytelling: Mama Joyce 


Live Music: Discovery


Live Music: Zamani


Dance Performance: Sens Sagna 


Live Music: Golty Farabeau & Ruff Trade 


Live Music: Amani Collective


Traditional Closing Ceremony



The cuisines of different parts of African vary immensely.  Each has their own favoured dishes using distinctive ingredients and specific preparation techniques. The Amani Festival will give you the opportunity to sample some of the most popular dishes from several regions of our vast continent.




 The Amani Creatives Community Choir was created only six weeks ago, and since then singers from all different backgrounds have been learning songs in two venues in Manchester in order to perform at the festival. Some people are new to singing and others have been singing for a long time. The choir will continue beyond the festival, so if you would like to join, come and speak to one of the Amani team during the event and they will tell you how to go about it.



 The Amani Collective is an ensemble of professional musicians who gather together to perform and celebrate a wide variety of traditional and contemporary African genres, including Soukous, Intore. Bikusi, Afro-Jazz, Gospel and New Afrobeat.



 Face painter Rachel Clementine will be sharing some traditional African designs at the festival. Children (and adults if they feel so inclined) can take advantage of Rachel’s skills!



 Discovery are a band of young musicians led by Congolese-born Job Kayembe, a young bass player who has been mentored by Amani Creatives. The band presents intense and joyful African Gospel music, a genre which incorporates elements of RnB, Hip Hop, Pop Music and Soft Rock.  The band will also be leading a jam for young musicians during the festival.



Seychellois Reggae superstar, Golty Farabeau, has teamed up with Ruff Trade, the UK’s youngest Reggae sensation to bring you music from his acclaimed back catalogue of albums. Golty’s songs, in English and Creole, transmit powerful messages around emotions, politics and human nature. Despite only forming in 2015, teenage musicians, Ruff Trade, have already worked with several established reggae artists, including Trevor Roots and Don Hartley.



Jamtan is an African drumming group based in Manchester, whose music originates from Guinea Conakry in West Africa, although the same beats are also played in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mali. The group plays a Fula/Malinka interpretation of the music which is traditionally played at coming of age ceremonies, weddings and general celebratory events. Jamtan’s Adama Kante will announce the opening of the festival with a special drum call on the djembe.



Koranimbalafo are Andy Garvey and Jonny Hodgkinson, both of whom are passionate about showcasing the traditional instruments and songs of West Africa. Both Andy and Jonny trained in West Africa, Andy plays the Balafon as his main instrument and Jonny, the Kora, although the latter’s interest began with lessons in Djembe drumming and dance. Both musicians are active in the local world music scene and Johnny also plays rhythm guitar in UK-based African bands, The Kajamor Family and Kalakuta.



Sens is an experienced and inspirational dancer, singer, musician and teacher from the Cassamance region of Senegal in West Africa. Cassamance has a strong history in maintaining culture through rhythm, song and dance. Sens comes from the Jolla tribe and performs and teaches both choreographed and freestyle dance, to rhythms from Jolla, Mandinka and Olof cultures.



Congolese singer-songwriter and performer, Mama Joyce, sang as a child with the Salvation Army, but her real artistic career began in 2007, when she moved to Manchester. A regular at open mic night, Speakeasy, she later joined the acclaimed Manchester International Roots Orchestra and appeared in “Lisapo”, a musical about Congolese Independence.  Mama Joyce is an all-round artist who uses song, dance and spoken word to communicate a message of peace, love and harmony.



Zamani is a collective of Manchester who fuse elements of jazz, classical and southern African music. Led by guitarist, Hugh Peters, who has composed much of Zamani’s highly danceable Afropop, developed a keen interest in African music as result of time spent in Zimbabwe. The line-up also includes Helena Summerfield on saxes and flute, Tagne Tebu on percussion, and session bassist Bo Lee.  Zamani is a Swahili word translating roughly as ‘long ago’, and the band’s repertoire unites many different musical traditions.



There will also be a variety of stalls selling African crafts and other items. If you have an African product to sell and would like a stall, contact Emmanuela on 07868 591 070.



You may have heard us being interviewed about the festival on various media around Manchester, such as on DJ Hot Pepper’s show on Legacy. Our next planned outing is on The Peoples Show on the BBC Manchester on Sunday, 16 July when Serge Tagne Tebu will be talking to Karen Gabay.


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