Mind blowing, outstanding, simply fantastic. The audience was blown away by your performance! - Saleena Nazir, Racial Equality Council.
Inspire your audience with our uplifting entertainment at your event!
Africa Junction is a seven piece band featuring members from Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Sicily. Performing traditional West African rhythms played on African drums (dun-dun and djembe) plus other authentic instruments, they add to the mix a bit of guitar and a taste of European melody. Including song and dance, on stage they deliver vibrant, energetic sets ranging between 15 and 90 minutes at festivals, shows, parties, fundraising, community and corporate events. Based around the High Wycombe area, Africa Junction has members who have played over the years with different groups such as Vitae, Drumweaver, Crooked Sixpence, Secret Bass, Hartbeats Vitae Drummers, Jambo Sana and Vibrazioni di Pace. They all learn their music, songs and dances directly from West African master drummers and teachers here in the UK, and on various study trips to Africa. Among these are Seckou Keita, Iya Sako, Nansady Keita, Ibro Konate, Bolo Kada Konde, Bruno Genero, Landing Mane and grandmaster of West African Drumming, Mamady Keita. They also work with some fantastic European teachers of African Dance such as Sonja Toure, Emma Nelson and Saskia Bakayoko.
Contact Justine on 07773 047684 or Barry on 07952 152173. Alternatively, send an email to email@example.com.
MEET THE BAND...
Lead Vocals, Djembe, Dance and Percussion Justine has performed over the years with a number of groups: Vitae, Crooked Sixpence and Drumweaver. Running African Drumming Workshops with Hartbeats since 1998, Justine has extensive experience of teaching groups of all abilities, working regularly both with adults in business and children in local schools. Justine also and leads the Vitae Drummers in High Wycombe and Wendover and is co-organizer of the successful African Beats Camp festivals. She regularly visits West Africa to continue her ongoing study of this exciting musical form and to experience the culture from which it originates. Her two most recent visits in 2009 were to Abene in Senegal to study with Mamady Keita. In 2007 she performed at The Kartong Festival in The Gambia, representing Britain with its own traditional folk music. Known for her passion and enthusiasm for African drumming, dance and songs, Justine leads Africa Junction performances and arrangements.
Djembe, Bougarabou, Dun duns, Vocals and Percussion Playing West African rhythms has been both an inspiration and enjoyment since visiting Senegal in 1998 followed by a further two trips to study and play Djembe and percussion with Griot teachers. In the UK, Jed has been a principle organiser of Winterdrum, a festival supporting hand-drumming in the UK, and was a founder member of the Vitae Drum Circle. He has been performing and playing in one form or another since 1983. Initially a stage performer/dancer and mime with 80's legend Howard Jones, Jed has been a member of world music band Vitae, working with theatre, percussion and guitar, followed by Drumweaver, Vitae Drummers and now Africa Junction. Jed is also formulating work as a storyteller.
Dun duns, Vocals and Percussion Steve studied Fine Art and found joy in working in wild, natural places. He became a passionate supporter of the Green Movement and, with a view to trying to save the world, became an organic gardener! For twenty years he lived and worked as part of a small community helping young people with emotional problems. During this time he also raised two lovely daughters. He now works with wood; he's a woodsman, forester, carpenter and joiner. Still seeking joy in the pure and the beautiful, he discovered that rhythms from West Africa just about have it all. He has always had a passion for music and now, performing alongside the talented musicians in African Junction, has found a way of expressing this passion. He began playing Djembe five years ago and progressed to the Dun duns last year.
Dun duns, Balafon, Djembe, Vocals and Percussion After three decades as a synth and computer programmer, composer/arranger and keyboard player, Barry ventured into the world of percussion and joined the Vitae Drummers, in 2008. Very quickly discovering a passion and aptitude for African rhythms he joined Africa Junction in the same year, playing dunduns. These bass drums with bells usually attached at the top are key to keeping the beat throughout a traditional West African rhythm. He now studies regularly with master drummers Seckou Keita and Vieux Bakayako. He is delighted to have found so many talented musicians in his local area, emphasising how music like this links us all, wherever we happen to have been born.
Djembe, dun duns, vocals and percussion Steven Southall first discovered his passion for world percussion in the early 90’s in the underground psychedelic club nights of London at Return to the source, Pendragon and escape from Samsara to name but a few, Finding inspiration in the fusion of hard electronic music with live percussion, art and dance, Steven decided a life based around music and dance was for him. First training in afro Cuban styles playing bongos and congas, now focusing on West African styles Steven has played in numerous dance music bands and has travelled all over Europe as a percussionist in the last 15 years. Steven went on to organise and drum at numerous events on the dance music scene including the karma collective parties, Infectious sound system and Secret System raves. Now a regular percussionist on the house and trance music scene with residency’s at Idlewild and Float Your Boat and also playing as soloist for vitae drummers and Africa junction.
Djembe, Dun duns, Balafon, Krin, Adungu, Vocals and Percussion Ignazio fell in love with the Djembe in 2001 when he began playing and carrying it around with him everywhere. He listened to West African music, studied notation and rhythms from the internet. Finally deciding to really understand its background and culture, he spent five weeks in a small village on the coast of Ghana, discovering their rituals and culture, with the djembe playing at all the important moments of life, from baptisms to funerals. On returning he started a group called "Vibrazioni di Pace", playing with then for three years and studying with African and European master drummers such as Ibro Konate, Bolo Kada Konde and Bruno Genero. He also plays Tabla, Balafon, Krin and a 12-string Ugandan harp called Adungu. Later he founded a group called Jambo Sana, that worked its way up from the strictly traditional music of the African village, to a blend with Sicilian traditional music and recorded the CD "Sikilia Farafi". Recently moving to the UK from Italy he joined Africa Junction.
Djembe, dun duns, vocals and percussion One of Kate's first memories is being percussive with her great aunt Ruby's saucepan and a wooden spoon in the kitchen aged around 2. Nothing much has changed. After thumping timpani drums as a teen, then connecting with congas in her early twenties, studying regularly with Afro-Latin percussionist, Neville Murray, Kate has been a djembe djunkie for a decade. After dipping her toe in the water during one fateful trip to Wycombe she has studied many times with Seckou Keita and numerous others. She has since been inspired to acquire some drumkit, metallophone & dun dun experience, plus has written some tunes and lyrics which she sang and recorded in New York, under the guise of Kate English as half of a lo-fi electronica duo Plain English. Kate has adored live music for 20 years, going to plenty of gigs, usually singing in her car en route! Composing rough-around-the-edges songs over Casio beats, jamming, and learning traditional West African rhythms from "the experts" are a few of her favourite ways to spend time. (Surprisingly, Kate's least favourite lesson at school was music!)
GET IN TOUCH
FOR ALL ENQUIRUES, PLEASE CONTACT:
JUSTINE ON: 07773 047684
OR BARRY ON: 07952 152173
ALTERNATIVELY, SEND AN EMAIL TO: INFO@AFRICA-JUNCTION.CO.UK
JUSTINE ON: 07773 047684
OR BARRY ON: 07952 152173
ALTERNATIVELY, SEND AN EMAIL TO: INFO@AFRICA-JUNCTION.CO.UK
|1 July 2012||MAD About Waddesdon||We finished the day off for everyone on the Dome Stage.|
|23 June 2012||African Linx Day, Brasenose Arms, Cropredy||We are always pleased to support this cause and despite the rain, the event had a lovely atmosphere.|
|5 June 2012||Chesham Jubiliee Event||We played two sets and after the second we were joined on stage by other performers and dancers for a decidedly non-African jam.|
|2 June 2012||Kpanlogo event at the Elgiva Theatre, Chesham||Our deliberately melodic set closed the first half of the show, aiming to contrast with other Ghanaian drummers, dancers and some really spectacular acrobats.|
|28 April 2012||Belle Vue "Winters End" Beer Festival High Wycombe||This was the Saturday night slot and we had the evening to ourselves (and the enthusiastic audience, of course).|
|26 Nov 2011||MK Dons Stadium, Milton Keynes||Africa Junction were the half time entertainment at the local derby when the MK Dons played High Wycombe, though we didn't tell anyone that was our town. We also played after the match when the prizes were being handed out. Check out the video on our pics page, or go straight to YouTube.|
|5 Nov 2011||North London Flying School Fireworks Party, Hertford||We played in a warm and cosy a spot by the fish-tank in the corner of the cafe and then went outside to watch a spectacular fireworks display. When everything had calmed down we came back inside and played some more. A very good night!|
|29 Oct 2011||Arts4Every1 Grand Opening, High Wycombe||We were joined by members of the Vitae Drummers for the second half of our set as High Wycombe officially opened the doors to its new arts centre.|
|23 July 2011||Market Square, Aylesbury||Another spot entertaining the Saturday shoppers in Aylesbury. After some initial confusion about where to set up the drums, we settled down and played three sets. Lovely and informal, it's nice to play with out the pressure of having to cramming it all in.|
|22 July 2011||Queen of Clubs Cabaret at Truck 14||There was a brass band, circusy things, belly dancers, comedians ... and us. And that was just in the one tent. A proper festival, this one!|
|17 July 2011||Penn Street Beer Festival, The Squirrel, Penn Street.||Not fun carrying drums and dodging torrential downpours, but when the rains came again and drove everyone in to the tent to watch we were much happier. And they stayed when the rain stopped, too.|
|2 July 2011||One day African Linx festival at The Brasenose Arms, Cropredy.||A lovely day helping to raise money for the Kartong Festival in Gambia.|
|26 June 2011||Mad About Waddesdon, Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury, Bucks||An amazingly full day. We performed our own set. Justine gave a series of workshops, and then we played again as part of the Hartbeats Vitae drummers.|
|28 May 2011||ABC 2011 West African Drum and Dance Festival, Thornborough, Bucks||Check out the latest photos on our Pics and Video page.|
|20 February 2011||Belle Vue, High Wycombe||A great night with our friends.|
|12 February 2011||Wycombe Arts Centre||Creative Cafe Love Arts Family Fun Day.|
|18 November 2010||Aylesbury High Street||They asked us back once again in Aylesbury to help keep the crowds warm as the Christmas lights were switched on.|
|24 October 2010||Wycombe Academy of Music and Arts, High Wycombe||Supporting Sadio Cissokho and his band.|
|25 September 2010||African Linx at Cropredy||African Linx's aim is to encourage cross cultural collaborations, including supporting the Kartong Festival, in the Gambia.|
|7 August 2010||Outside Inside Festival, Reading||AJ joined the line up to entertain Saturday shoppers at the Oracle in Reading.|
|3 July 2010||Thousands lined the route as AJ joined the the big parade and then played for shoppers in the sunshine in Market Square. We were simply told to choose our spot and play as much as we want. We like Aylesbury!|
|26 June 2010||Feast of St. Peter, Goldhill Common, Chalfont St. Peter||A few of us opened the event at 10.30 and the full group played at 1.30. The stage was even bigger than last year, though maybe the smoke machine operator was a little too enthusiastic! See us in many of the photos of the event, here.|
|5 June 2010||African Beats Camp Day, Thornborough, near Buckingham||AJ were first on stage in the Big Barn, making a great start to a wonderful day of music and dance.|
|26 March 2010||Piddingon, near High Wycombe||AJ performed a more melodic set for Piddington seniors at a (very) belated Christmas do, with arrangements for three new songs using balafon and acoustic guitar.|
|19th November 2009||Aylesbury town centre||AJ painted the town red to switch on the Christmas lights|
|14th November 2009||Great Missenden Village Hall||Marie Cates, African Village Support: "[The performance] was great and everyone was very complimentary. Thanks to you all for helping the evening to go so well."|
|7th November 2009||Uxbridge Golf Club||A 60th birthday party|
|24th October 2009||Gambian charity night, Hertford||Raised £837 towards projects in The Gambia|
|25th...31st August 2009||African Beats Camp, Somerset|
|27th June 2009||Feast of St. Peter, Goldhill Common, Chalfont St. Peter||10:30am Main Stage + 12:30 dance workshop in The Arena|
|20th June 2009||Indian Summer Festival, Walkern Hall, near Stevenage||5:55pm (with Kakatsitsi) and 7-8pm Performance Stage|
|13th June 2009||Little Chalfont Village Day||Random crowd comments afterwards: "We LOVED you - you were fab!"|
|21st May 2009||Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe||-|
|10th May 2009||Piddington village green, near High Wycombe||Official opening ceremony unveiling a new children's play area with Doctor Who!|
|21st March 2009||Burnham Grammar School Wellbeing Day||Anne Pierronnet: "We saw Africa Junction at the Burnham Grammar School on Saturday and I cannot say enough how much we enjoyed it. I went along but did not really know what to expect. It was a fantastic experience for me. The energy, happiness and enthusiasm that came out of the group in itself was a joy to witness."|
|7th March 2009||Red Nose Day in Chalfont St. Peter, Chesham and Amersham||Free gigs raising £806 for Comic Relief :-)|
|7th December 2008||Clayton's Bar, Marlow. Fundraising Event for African Charity||-|
|29th November 2008||Annie Bailey's Pub, Chesham. Fundraising Event for Ugandan Charity||-|
|21st November 2008||Global Cafe, Reading, "That's the Jam!"||
Gav Sirisena, percussion, sax and keyboards with the Junkyard Scientists (headline
band and promoter) said: "Having the drummers packed into the global cafe for arguably
one of the most popular live music events in Reading, 'That's the Jam!', was an
awesome, thunderous addition to the night! If their music didn't blow the roof off,
the crowds response certainly did! An absolute pleasure to watch and to hear..."
Fellow performers' comments:
"I'm never listening my drum beats again, that was amazing!"
"I've heard other people doing African drumming, but you were really tight, you must work really hard!"