Saturday, March 15, 2014



The AMA will pay a visit, you will hear from us!
For more information please go to:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Obituary Malamini Jobarteh

On July 31st 2013, the great Gambian kora player and master griot Alhaji Malamani Jobarteh has died.
According to his passport Malamini was born in 1940, but he doubted this date all along. Because his parents died when he was still an infant, he grew up with his grandmother and uncle. As a young man he excelled as a player of the kora, the harp-lute with 21 strings, of West African fame. But compared to other young jalis or griots he learned quite late to play the kora.  Malamini started his professional life by working as an apprentice on a collective taxi, as a fisher, as a carpenter. Only later when his grandmother told him about his deceased father Keluntang Jobarteh, who was an outstanding kora player, Malamini too, followed her advice to learn to play the kora. This, he did first with his uncle Jerending Konte, and later with Jerending’s older brother Bai Konte who finally adopted him. First with Bai, afterwards also on his own he travelled through the region in order to see patrons who would host them and for whom they would sing praise songs, educate them about their genealogies, entertain them. They travelled through The Gambia, and southwards to Casamance, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry. He was a famous kora musician by that time. People would recognize him and call out his name in excitement wherever they saw him. Although the pop music style “Yenyengo” the way we know it today was not yet established, Malamini expanded the role of the jali to pop star status, playing not only for rich patrons, but also for the entertainment of the youths. Thus, by the 1970s he was a famous kora-musician in his own right. He had become a true griot, a jali.
In 1977 Malamini joined the Gambian National Troupe and soon travelled to Nigeria, to the Soviet Union, to Britain. In the 1970s and 80s he also went on tour with Bai Konte and his son Dembo together as Konte Family, first to the United States, later on also to Europe. After Bai’s death in 1984 Malamini and Dembo toured Europe repeatedly. Being a curious man he discovered amazing things in the world out there – and he knew how to tell hilarious stories about his adventures. Malamini also extended his role as a griot in representing his country and his Mandinka culture to a growing number of outsiders. He served as the Gambia’s musical ambassador at the International Travel Trade Show ITB in Berlin and he worked regularly as musical director at the Gambian Hotel Boucarabou. Realising the importance of the role of the griot as an intermediary, as a counsellor, as a diplomat in a globalizing world of entangled histories, quick transport, and omnipresent media, Malamini not only mediated within the Mandinka group, or between different ethnic groups in his region, but who also served as an representative of his country’s and even of his continent’s rich culture. Thus, by the 1990s he succeeded in transforming his profession to a new world level. He had become a great griot, a jaliba.
In the last two decades he concentrated on handing down his art to the next generations. He toured the world with his sons Ebraima Tata Dindin and Pa Bobo. As a devout Muslim, he was proud of his religion and made sure that his children would be educated the basics of the al-Qur’an. It is no surprise, then, that he served as the spokesperson of the group of pilgrims with whom he undertook his hajj. In his hometown Brikama, he would speak to large groups of Muslims assembled for Friday’s prayers. He took his responsibilities as a jali very serious, never ceasing to readily serve as mediator in marital or other conflicts. He made it his duty to educate both his family and foreigners in the art and tradition of the jalis by establishing his ''Teramang Traditional Music School'', which drew even more visitors to his compound – students, friends, patrons of his art, travellers, traders, both from Western as well as neighbouring African countries. He was a patient teacher, strict but humorous. His children and other jalis from the next generation who lived in his compound were from early on influenced by this cosmopolitan spirit. Thus, it comes as no surprise that his sons Tata and Pa are among the most famous and successful kora players in the Gambia, who are regularly on tour either in Europe, America, Asia or Australia, that his eldest daughter Siffai lives and performs in New York, that some of his students live as successful kora players in cities such as Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Boston. Thus, he safeguarded, modernised and lived in a seemingly light-hearted way a centuries-old art and tradition. He had become a king among griots, a jalimansa.
Malamini Jobarteh was a uniquely friendly, open-minded, warm, welcoming and wise person. His laughter was irresistible. He will be missed by his wives Yankui Kuyateh, Kolikoli Samba and Futa Jobarteh, his many children, his family, friends, patrons, and students.

Hauke Dorsch
Mainz, Totensonntag, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Namibian Music History Untold" - Stolen Moments Plan Touring Exhibition

Meeting with the AMA in Mayence, Cologne, Frankfurt, Bayreuth and Halle

Aino Moongo and Baby Doeseb are currently travelling Germany, Austria and Switzerland to meet with curators and managers of different archives and museums. They started off in Mainz and had their first visions shared with AMA director Hauke Dorsch. This was to become one of many sessions where the concept of a touring exhibition got the chance to be shaped and visualized.
The project also contains filmmaker Thorsten Schütte, who already did movies on education in Namiba ("Namibia Generation X", 2005) and 'ethno music' ("Crossroads", 1999).

In order to find many possible associates Aino and Baby travelled from Mayence to Stuttgart to Cologne to Frankfurt to Bayreuth to Vienna to Bremen to Berlin to Göttingen to Zurich to Halle and back to Mayence. Quite some tour!

A visit to the  former plenary hall in Bonn: Hauke Dorsch, Baby Doeseb and Aino Moongo (from left)

The purpose of the project is to reconstruct the age of Namibian popmusic that existed from the 1950s to the country's independency in 1990. Yet during the Apartheid system Namibian musicians had hard times playing their songs and hardly anything was being recorded at all. Today most people don't think of a pop scene but rather a gospel, Western classic and imported South African music scene when it comes to Namibia. Stolen Moments, Namibian Music History Untold therefore set the goal of clearing "misunderstandings so that future generations are able to profit from it" (Aino in the interview for Deutsch-Namibische Gesellschaft e.V.)

The Stolen Moments website says it "is an initiative of the National Archive of Namibia, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Information, the NBC, the Namibian, the Republikein, the Namibian Sun, Allgemeine Zeitung and Basler Afrika Bibliographien. All resultant oral history, recordings and research data will remain property of the originators that is YOU. Your contributions are going to be copied and deposited at the National Archives of Namibia. This will open up the area for future investigation and form the basis for a Namibian popular music archive, as intended by the National Archives of Namibia."

This is the link to the (German) interview with Aino, Baby and Thorsten:

We'll keep you up-to-date about the further progress of Stolen Moments and their exhibition! For more information visit their Facebook page on

From now on we'll keep posting in English for our international audience!
For questions or remarks please mail to:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Treffen mit SAVVY Contemporary e.V in Berlin

Das AMA besucht den Verein für afrikanische Künste im alten Elektrizitätswerk Neukölln, Berlin

SAVVY Contemporary bezeichnet sich selbst als ein Labor für konzeptionelle, intellektuelle, künstlerische und kulturelle Entwicklung und Austausch. Dort werden Ideen und Pläne geformt und zu vielen Projekten umgesetzt. (Link zur Website siehe rechts in unserer Linkliste!)
Alle zwei Monate will SAVVY Contemporary Ausstellungen in ihrer Gallerie organisieren, die darauf abzielen, den Dialog zwischen "westliche Kunst" und "nicht-westliche Kunst" zu fördern. In solchem Rahmen soll die Ausstellungsleitung durch einen "Trialog" funktionieren: ein Kurator, ein geladener Künstler aus Europa oder Nordamerika und ein geladener Künstler aus dem Globalen Süden vervollständigen die Moderation.

Das AMA traf sich kürzlich mit dem Gründer und Vorsitzenden Dr. Bonaventure Ndikung und Chefredakteurin Andrea Heister im Vereinsgebäude in der Richardstraße Neukölln. Unter Denkmalschutz stehend liefert das alte Elektrizitätswerk von Hans Heinrich Müller aus dem Jahr 1926 ein hervorragendes Angebot von Veranstaltungsräumen und vielen nützlichen Features, wie z.B. einem alten Seilzug.

Es wurden erste gegenseitige Eindrücke gewonnen und über mögliche gemeinsame Projekte gesprochen. Dazu bald mehr, hier nun ersteinmal ein paar Eindrücke vom Veranstaltungsort!

Großer Veranstaltungsraum mit Leinwand, Sound-Anlage und DJ Set:

...inklusive verschieden kreativen Sitzgelegenheiten:

Arbeitsmaterial: Bücher und Portfolios der Veranstaltungen

Die Bar ist tapeziert mit Schallplatten von afrikanischen sowie nordamerikanischen Musikern!

Ein alter Seilzug, der bei all den Etagen sehr nützlich wird:

Die Vorder- und Rückseite des alten Elektrizitätswerk von Aussen:

Veranstaltungsraum mit Bühne im Souterrain:

Es war nicht nur ein sehr erfolgreiches - sondern auch ein sehr angenehmes und nettes Zusammenkommen! Wir freuen uns auf gemeinsame Visionen!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Das AMA lädt Madagassische Klänge nach Mainz

Beeindruckendes Konzert von Dama Mahaleo, Milon Kazar, Ricky Olombelo & Sohn

Das AMA begrüßte die vier Musiker am vergangenen Freitag im Frankfurter Hof! Gleich nachdem Prof. Ulrike Meinhof aus Southampton ihren Vortrag hielt, der das Publikum nicht nur durch ihre strahlende Begeisterungsfähigkeit aufwärmte, sondern auch gleich umfassend über die Musiker und die musikalische Situation auf Madagaskar informierte.

Zwar gebührte den madagassischen Superstars weit mehr Zuschauer als tatsächlich kamen, so entstand jedoch eine intime und gemütliche Atmosphäre, die heute vermutlich zur Seltenheit im Konzertbusiness geworden ist. Im Publikum saßen aber durchaus weit angereiste Musikliebhaber und Musiker, wie Rajemison Tovo aus Hamburg. Ausserdem trafen wir Eugène Ramanankoraisina, desen Musikverlag "Lemavo Records" in Frankfurt madagassische Künstler unterstützen und bekannt machen möchte (Website siehe Linkliste).

Sogar eine Premiere war an diesem Abend zu verzeichnen, denn der madagassische Gitarrist Milon Kazar kam extra aus Paris und spielte das erste Mal mit Dama Mahaleo in einem Ensemble. Früher mit der Metalband "Kazar" unterwegs, begleitete er hier rasend schnelle Rhytmen und legte mit seinen Latin- und Death Metal Kenntnissen atemberaubende Soli hin.

Olombelo Ricky ('Ricky, the human being') wurde als Ricky Randimbiarison in Madagaskar geboren und ist dort einer der größten Superstars. Als Experte der traditionellen madagassischen Musik spiegelt er Mystik, Mythologie und Rituale in seinen Songs wieder.
Ricky ist Sänger und Bandleader der "Olombelo Ricky Group" und der "Vazimba Vocal Mozika". Er arbeitet außerdem als Percussionist, Komponist und Musikpädagoge. Für das Mainzer Konzert war auch sein Sohn an den Djemben und der Darbuka dabei.

Dama, geb. Rasolofondraosolo Zafimahaleo, ist Songwriter, singt und spielt leidenschaftlich Guitarre und Mundharmonika - zum Glück auch an unserem Abend :) sowie die Kabosy, ein Mandolinartiges Instrument. Einige Songs aus seinem neuen Album "Sariaka" spielten die Musiker auch in Mainz.
Wenn er gerade nicht musiziert, geht er seinem Beruf in der Soziologie nach. Er war ausserdem zwei Amtszeiten lang ein unabhängiges Mitglied der Madagassischen Regierung.

Hier einige Impressionen dieses wunderbaren Konzerts:

Am Abend danach spielten Ricky, sein Sohn und Dama in Weinheim. Milon war diesmal nicht dabei - ein großer verpasster Hörgenuss für die Baden-Württemberger, wie wir finden!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Musik aus Madagaskar heute Abend im Frankfurter Hof, Mainz

Olombelo Ricky + Dama Mahaleo + Milon Kazar

AB 20:00 Uhr!

Mit einem Vortrag von Prof. Ulrike Meinhof (University of Southampton) und einer Begrüßung von Dr. Hauke Dorsch (African Music Archives, University of Mainz)!

Bericht dazu folgt!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Veranstaltung im Antiquariat Am Ballplatz, Mainz

"Hidden Tracks: Verborgene, Vergessene und Verschwundene in der Popmusik" von Thorsten Schüller & Sascha Seiler

Regelmäßig werden im Antiquariat am Ballplatz Lesungen, Ausstellungen, Diskussionen und Gesprächsrunden veranstaltet, häufig in Zusammenarbeit mit der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz - so auch am Abend des 5. Juli 2013!

Dr. Sascha Seiler vom Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft und Dr. Thorsten Schüller, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Romanischen Seminar der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz sprechen über "verborgene" Musik aus ihrem Buch.
Vorgestellt wurden Beispiele aus der Popmusik Westafrikas sowie Klänge und Songtextanalyse aus dem europäischen Rock/Pop.

Auf dem Link der Veranstaltungsseite des Zentrum für Interkulturelle Studien ist mehr darüber zu lesen: