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The London Astrobeat Orchestra

London Astrobeat Orchestra

The London Astrobeat Orchestra have ignited a movement where cult western band repertoires are blended with African influences and have made quite an impact in doing so.

The band bring together the finest West African session musicians in the UK with legendary band leader & bassist Edd Bateman hosting rhythmic influences from Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Cameroon and Congo. Featuring members from Kanda Bongo Man’s touring line-up with Belangeni Jeannot Musumbu on guitar, Felix Ngindu Kasanganyi on drums, blues rock and astropheric soundscaping guitarist and vocalist Londoner Julian Burdock, and renowned Guinean Master Griot kora player ‘Mosi Conde’.

THE SHOWS

“Stop Making Sense” Talking Heads
Selling out their first 4 debut shows at The Jazz Café, London, the band were affectionately nicknamed the ‘African Talking Heads’. When you consider the afrobeat vibes, that run through all the best Talking Heads albums, it’s both appropriate & correct that this collective of musicians, from West Africa, Europe & beyond should offer this completely unique take, on the finest of Mr David Byrne & Co’s timeless compositions and has received critical acclaim.

50 Years of Abbey Road
September marked the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ last ever recorded studio album Abbey Road so London Astrobeat Orchestra have prepared a West African re-enactment to celebrate this chart topping classic. The Fab Four took great inspiration from the American Rock ‘n’ Roll icons like Elvis and Chuck Berry who’s sound was influenced by the Blues created in the Southern states of the US. These origins travel back to West Africa and predominantly to the Bambara ethnic group from Mali who made up most of the enslaved population arriving in Louisiana and Mississippi. Intending to finally take these sounds back home to their roots

The London Astrobeat Orchestra pay tribute to these treasured classics over a backbeat of Afro-Mandingue grooves embellished with intricate Malian Kora. This is AfroBeatleMania!!!

THE MUSICIANS

Edd Bateman (Bass) – Band leader and founder. A highly versatile songwriter, composer and a world class bass player. His music influences are varied and broad, his music knowledge and skills are deeply rooted into West African music and he has spent more than 15 years collaborating with African musicians throughout the world.

Mosi Conde (Kora) – Mosi is well known for his creative and sparkling Kora and lightening force intuitive Djembe. To this solid foundation he adds Bolon Bata – a goatskin covered calabash which in his expert hands more than equals major double bass players, Donso Ngoni (round – bass), Kamelon Ngoni (the griot’s bass), Balafon (as vibrant as any Vibes or Xylophone), Guitar, Gongoma (large calabash thumb piano) and many many traditional percussion instruments. A living contemporary archive! Highly respected, he has been involved in some stunning collaborations including being part of Africa Express In C Mali, the PRSF New Music Bienalle, Coltrane A Love Supreme Re-envisioned, In Place of War.

Belangeni Musumbu (Guitar) – Born Belangeni Musumbu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bel was raised in Kinshasa but is now resident in London. He was inspired to pick up a guitar by the playing of the soukous great Dr Nico. He toured for a while with Kanda Bongo Man and has become a noted teacher who has made a series of tutorial DVDs on how to play in the classic Congolese rumba and soukous styles.

Julian Burdock – a guitarist, singer, composer, lyricist and harmonica player. He has written, performed and recorded with renowned artists such as Beverly Knight, Jocelyn Brown, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Seal, Kim Weston, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, JJ Milteau and Geno Washington. He is also the guitarist, singer and main songwriter of 24PESOS, one of London’s most exciting and original blues bands with which he has toured extensively across the globe.

Felix – he began his pro career with a group called Flash Musica, a kind of informal academy for rising Congolese stars. He was spotted by the legendary singer and bandleader Kofi Olomide, whose outfit featured some of the country’s leading virtuosos. His musical education continued in the company of one of Congo’s greatest ever drummers, Dju Dju She (from the group Victoria Eleison). Felix re-located from Congo to Cameroon, absorbing new styles and techniques all the way, and finally settled in the UK. From here, he’s travelled across Europe, Asia and Australia in the company of some of his country’s top musicians including Kanda Bongo Man. Now he’s resident in Liverpool, completed a degree in Popular Music and Production, and focussed on bringing his professional skills and passion for his craft to teaching and training.

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