Let’s face it, the end of summer can be a drab time of year. Happily the South Bank Centre is doing more than most to banish the back to school blues by lighting up September with another instalment of Africa Utopia. Back for it’s third year, Africa Utopia is an eclectic weekend celebration of African culture and the African diaspora that sets out to showcase the exciting art that’s emerging from one of the world’s most dynamic and fast-changing continents.
This year’s highlights include celebrated drummer Tony Allen whose rhythms did so much to define Fela Kuti’s legendary afrobeat sound. Allen has been described as ‘perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived’ by no less authority than Brian Eno and his Royal Festival Hall performance will feature an exciting collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning kora player Toumani Diabaté, and Toumani’s son Sidiki Diabaté. The festival also features Senegalese supergroup Orchestra Baobab (also at the Royal Festival Hall) and one of Mali’s greatest singers, Kassé Mady, who will perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.