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Gideon Coe and Rita Ray take a virtual road trip through the musical heartland of Africa with the help of Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, African Boy, Dave Okumu and Baaba Maal.

From the Desert blues of the Sahara to the deep funk of Fela Kuti the music of Africa has long moulded our musical cannon. For this 3 hour special Gideon Coe restores African music's place at the centre of the story, hitting the road with Rita Ray to unearth tracks from the townships of South Africa to the plains of Mali. We hear from Damon Albarn about the musicians who inspired him to work in Africa as well as Fela Kuti's legendary drummer Tony Allen, Dave Okumu from the Invisible, Nigerian born African Boy as well as great Senegalese crooner Baaba Maal on their favourite tracks from the continent. With their help we trace a path from the biggest African artists to the western music they gave rise to, from funk to folk and back again.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Mahmoud Ahmed

    Belomi Benna

  • Tony Allen


  • Mulatu Astatke

    Yegelle Tezeta

    • Originals ‎.
  • Bhundu Boys

    Hupenyu Hwangu

  • The Blacks Unlimited


  • Art Blakey

    3 Blind Mice



  • Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra

    Boulevard De L’Independence

  • Alèmayèhu Eshèté

    Tchero Adari Nègn

  • Fokn Bois

    Want To Be White

    • Fokin With Ewe.
    • FOKIN Bois.
  • The Four Brothers

    Pasi Pano Pane Zviedzo

  • Franco & le TP OK Jazz

    On Entre OK, On Sort KO

  • John Wizards

    Tet Lek Schrempf

  • Just a Band

    Probably for Lovers

  • Kanda Bongo Man

    Billil (Radio 1 Session, 16 Jun 1993)

  • Konono Nº1


  • Fela Kuti

    Buy Africa

  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    Halala South Africa

  • Baaba Maal

    Yele (Hamady Bogle)

  • Mafikizolo feat. Uhuru


  • Mahotella Queens & Malathini

    Wozani Mahipi

  • Miriam Makeba

    Pata Pata

  • Hugh Masekela

    Grazing in the Grass

  • Ngoni ba


  • Owiny Sigoma Band


  • Philip Tabane & Malombo

    Hi Congo

  • Otis Redding

    These Arms Of Mine

    • Atlantic Soul (Various Artists).
    • Warner E.S.P..
  • The Rift Valley Brothers

    Mu Africa

    • Sound Way.
  • Songhoy Blues


    • Transgressive Records.
  • Tabu Ley Rochereau & Mbilia Bel

    Eswi Yo Wapi

  • Ebo Taylor


    • Essibons.
  • Ali Farka Touré


  • Sir Victor Uwaifo

    Guitar Boy