Accra hack-day & ideation seminar
Thursday – 9th May, 2013, 8am to 4pm
AITI-KACE (Kofi Annan ICT Centre)
Are you a coder or developer for feature phones apps and web apps?
Are you an entrepreneur interested in creating new business models on mobile?
Then we want to hear from you. In association with the Nike Foundation, Vodafone, AITI-KACE and the British Council, HACCRA is a one-day hack day and ideation seminar looking to find the most exciting new ideas that can be built to prototype then production.
The session will include:
Visual prototyping
Powerful ideation techniques
Business model generation
Competitive analysis
Customer profiling
The session is led by Andrew Missingham, a UK-based entrepreneur and management consultant whose clients include Nike Inc. the BBC, Bacardi, the Royal Academy of Arts, UK Music and Sony.
The session will take place at AITI-KACE (Kofi Annan ICT Centre), starting at 8am sharp. Free entry (subject to capacity). Lunch and coffee will be provided.
Vodafone have generously provided prizes for all participants, and a special prize for the most entrepreneurial, innovative contributor BUT HURRY.

Original Music

“Original Music” – a much better title than “World Music” for the wide variety of music from around the world imho at first blush.

I come to this term through the news that a pioneering scholar has passed – John Storm Roberts.

The NYTimes had a nice obituary/write-up (full text below) with this awesome quote:

“I don’t care how esoteric it is, but it’s got to be terrific,” he said. “Not this ‘you-can’t-hear-it-and-it’s-terribly-performed-but-it’s-really-very-interesting-because-it’s-the-only-winkle-gathering-song-to-come-out-of-southeastern-Sussex’ attitude.”

Awesome. I concur – bring out the terrific music now please! And if it’s original, so much the better.

John Storm Roberts, World-Music Scholar, Dies at 73
Published: December 10, 2009

John Storm Roberts, an English-born writer, record producer and independent scholar whose work explored the rich, varied and often surprising ways in which the popular music of Africa and Latin America informed that of the United States, died on Nov. 29 in Kingston, N.Y. He was 73 and lived in Kingston.

The cause was complications of a blood clot, his wife, Anne Needham, said.

Long before the term was bandied about, Mr. Roberts was listening to, seeking out and reporting on what is now called world music. He wrote several seminal books on the subject for a general readership, most notably “Black Music of Two Worlds” (Praeger, 1972) and “The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States” (Oxford University, 1979).

“Black Music of Two Worlds” examines the cross-pollination — in both directions — between Africa and the Americas, from the influence of African music on jazz, blues, salsa and samba to the popularity in Nigeria and Zaire of American artists like James Brown and Jimi Hendrix.

In writing the book, Mr. Roberts sought to connect a diffuse web of existing studies by ethnomusicologists. The studies typically appraised local musical traditions while ignoring the reach of Africa as a whole.

“It was like a landscape with a large number of artesian wells, and nothing linking them,” he told The New York Times in 1992. “And I conceived of ‘Black Music of Two Worlds’ being more like canals joining.”

“The Latin Tinge,” Mr. Roberts trained his ear on the influence of musical forms like tango, rumba, mambo and salsa on a wide range of American pop styles, among them ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, rhythm and blues, jazz, country and rock.

Reviewing the book in The New York Times Book Review, Robert Palmer called it a “painstaking, pioneering” work, adding: “ ‘The Latin Tinge’ is an important addition to the literature of American music.”

John Anthony Storm Roberts was born in London on Feb. 24, 1936. His father, an accountant who often traveled abroad on business, brought him records that were then scarcely available in England: jazz and blues from the United States, Brazilian music by way of Portugal and much else. By the time he was in his early teens, John was irretrievably mesmerized by the sounds that leapt from his turntable.

A polyglot who came to speak more than half a dozen languages, including Swahili, Mr. Roberts received a bachelor’s degree in modern languages from Oxford University. In the mid-1960s he spent several years in Kenya as a reporter and editor on The East African Standard, a regional newspaper. Returning to London, he was a radio producer with the BBC World Service.

Mr. Roberts moved to the United States in 1970, becoming an editor on the periodical Africa Report. He was later a freelance journalist, contributing articles on world music to The Village Voice and other publications.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Needham started Original Music, a mail-order company that distributed world-music books and records. In those pre-Internet days, Americans outside big cities found these almost as hard to come by as young Mr. Roberts had in postwar England.

In business for nearly two decades, Original Music also released many well-received albums of its own. Among them are “The Sound of Kinshasa,” featuring Zairian guitar music; “Africa Dances,” an anthology of music from more than a dozen countries; and “Songs the Swahili Sing,” devoted to the music of Kenya, an aural kaleidoscope of African, Arab and Indian sounds.

Mr. Roberts’s first marriage, to Jane Lloyd, ended in divorce. Besides Ms. Needham, whom he married in 1981, he is survived by two children from his first marriage, Stephen and Alice Roberts; three stepchildren, Melissa, Elizabeth and Stephen Keiper; two grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren.

His other books include “Latin Jazz: The First of the Fusions, 1880s to Today” (Schirmer, 1999) and “A Land Full of People: Life in Kenya Today” (Praeger, 1968).

In choosing what to release on the Original Music label, Mr. Roberts did not disdain modern, popular numbers: by his lights, a song simply had to be good. This distinguished him from musicological purists who, in ceaseless quest for the authentic, recorded only material seemingly untouched by modernity.

In an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1987, Mr. Roberts illuminated his selection process.

“I don’t care how esoteric it is, but it’s got to be terrific,” he said. “Not this ‘you-can’t-hear-it-and-it’s-terribly-performed-but-it’s-really-very-interesting-because-it’s-the-only-winkle-gathering-song-to-come-out-of-southeastern-Sussex’ attitude.”

Ramata Diakite – Remembrances

The news has been spreading around the globe, and several news articles have come out over the past few days. Compiled here courtesy of my news feed:
Ousmane Sanou, le mari de Ramata Diakité : «Elle est décédée des …
Bamako Hebdo (maliweb.net) – Bamako,Mali
C’est en avril dernier que Ramata Diakité s’est remariée avec ce Burkinabé, inspecteur des impôts de formation. Qui après une vie politique agitée a été …

Ramata Diakité décédée , le vendredi 30 novembre, à Ouagadougou …
Bamako Hebdo (maliweb.net) – Bamako,Mali
Originaire du Wassoulou, née en 1972, Ramata Diakité communément appelée Ra est décédée le vendredi 30 octobre au Burkina Faso, plus précisément à …

Ramata Diakité, une diva au paradis
Mondomix – Paris,France
Originaire, comme Oumou Sangaré et Nahawa Doumbia, de la région malienne du Wassoulou, Ramata Diakité a succombé à une longue maladie le lundi 30 octobre au …

ECHOSTAR / Ramata Diakité : Un talent pur disparaît à la fleur de …
Journal Le Républicain (maliweb.net) – Bamako,Mali
C’est en ces termes que Ramata Diakité, disparue de la scène musicale malienne depuis sa sombre prestation à la rentrée culturelle de 2006 à Mopti, …

Disparition de Ramata Diakité : EN PLEINE GLOIRE
L’Essor – Bamako,Mali
Ramata Diakité s’en est allée dans la nuit du vendredi 30 octobre. C’était à Ouagadougou, où elle venait de rejoindre son époux Ousmane Sanou, …

Le monde des artistes en deuil : Ramata Diakité décédée le week …
Journal L’Indépendant (maliweb.net) – Mali
La chanteuse malienne, Ramata Diakité n’est plus ! Elle est décédée dans la nuit du vendredi 30 au samedi 31 octobre à Ouagadougou à l’âge de 35 ans à la …

=== Blogs ===

Malian Star Ramata Diakite Dies at 35
radio magico article – Malian Star Ramata Diakite Dies at 35.
Radio Magico

Malian Star Ramata Diakite Dies at 35 – World Music Central
Ramata Diakite, regarded as one of the most talented singers from the Wassulu region of Mali, died October 30 in Burkina Faso. She was 35. “During the past year, she had been battling a chronic illness, and although she appeared to be …
World Music Central



CIAAFRIQUE: R I P Ramata Diakité
By Ciaa
She just got married about 5 weeks ago , my heart goes out to her whole family and for the country for that matter because she was a great artist . You can listen to some of her songs on tube . Ramata Diakite REST IN EPEACE
. …

Ramata Diakite Has Passed to the Ancestors

I received the crushing news on Saturday morning that Ramata Diakite had passed on Friday night (October 30, 2009) at the age of 35. I’ll be updating this post as I get further information – my thoughts are kind of scattered, and I’m trying to sort out the best way to get news out and give proper remembrance for this wonderful human.

I first met Ramata in the apartment of good friend Mamadou Sidibe (n’goni player) in Brooklyn. Of course I knew who she was from living in Mali, and hearing her music on the radio. At that point, I was working with Madou and some other Malian artists to book shows, distribute music, and other management activity. But no one quite on the level of an artist like Ramata. Despite knowing this, she asked me a few weeks after meeting me to manage her. I declined, worrying I couldn’t do her career justice.

We kept in touch over the years directly and through Madou. I arranged for her to be part of the “1 Giant Leap” follow-up film “What About Me”. She has a beautiful contribution which has appeared on the “What About Me” TV series in the UK.

One of the creators of 1GL just sent me this, his journal entry from when he met Ramata:

4/12/04 … “Eric[h] gave me Ramata’s Cd and I listened to it in the lift up to my room. It sounded great, very powerful. When she arrived I played her track 29 and she just burst into it straight away and it sounded great. I burnt her a CD and said we’d be at her place in the morning. Off she popped and we did indeed turn up the following day. She lived south of the Niger in a really weird but quite affluent area. Its basically a building site with half of the houses finished and lived in. Her house was lovely, a small courtyard where we recorded the vocal and once again the splendid 70’s styling that is still huge in Mali. The tea here has set me loose from my energy holes and now the coffee is really doing the business. It’ll have to stop you know! Ramata rocked and I had a great vibe with her husband who was totally knocked out when I gave him a set of radio headphones to wear. I noticed between takes that he had his turned to 10 (the way I do) which is VERY loud. We did a second take on the roof which was great with a view across loads of other houses. By the end of the take all the roofs had people watching and about 20 people had gathered outside in the street below and they all burst into applause, it was great….”

The track that came from that recording session is here:

For more about this project, go here and click on “Mali” in the left bar. You’ll see some photos of Ramata from that shoot.

After a while, and a switch in her US label, she again asked me to manage her, and this time I agreed, and became her co-manager with Organic Music as the other management partner.

Over the past couple of years, we worked with her on conceptualizing and recording a more traditional album, which is yet to be released. We had hoped to have her in the US for a tour in 2010. . .

During the past year, she had been battling a chronic illness, and although she appeared to be getting better, she passed in Burkina Faso on Friday, October 30th. She had recently traveled to Burkina. Her body was brought back to Mali and buried there under the direction of the Malian Prime Minister.

Dear friend Markus James has posted a moving remembrance of Ramata over at Afropop Worldwide.

Ramata’s website

Ramata’s MySpace

Ramata on Last.fm

Some of her accomplishments:

* 2006 Tamani d’Or – Best Female Artist of the Year (Meilleure artiste féminine de l’année) – Malian equivalent to the Grammy

* Tamani d’or – Best Video (2005)

* BUMDA Best Artist in Mali (2008) le Bureau Malien des droits d’auteur (Malian Copyright Office)

* Sales of over 100,000 units of album «I Danse»

Some news coverage of her passing:

*Maliweb (in french)

*Maliweb (rough english google translation)