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African Rhapsodies

Nottingham based Senegalese composer and kora player Seckou Keita is proud to present African Rhapsodies: an epic project created in collaboration with Italian composer and musician Davide Mantovani, due to be released via Swiss label Claves Records on 26th May 2023.  African Rhapsodies is a magnificent, kora-led work, enhanced by the power of The BBC Concert Orchestra.


Seckou’s enchanting work for kora and orchestra celebrates Africa’s magical 22-stringed harp and gives it the position of prominence granted for centuries to the violin, piano and flute. It makes us wonder if Bach or Beethoven might have composed for kora had they traveled to Africa in their lifetime. Seckou builds on that notion by way of his own imagination, which is greatly sparked by his lengthy fascination with crossing cultural borders. The result is a majestic work showcasing a whirlwind of virtuosity, but above all a sublime poetic journey where music is pure emotion.

On African Rhapsodies, Seckou Keita is joined by South African star cellist and vocalist Abel Selaocoe, outstanding double bass player Davide Mantovani and up and coming Gambian percussionist / kora player Suntou Susso.  These brilliant, international, special guest soloists are the perfect protagonists to harness the excellence of the BBC Concert Orchestra and Seckou and generate a new sound that only they could create.

2023 shows including African Rhapsodies:

10 March 2023: Breaking Boundaries - Ulster Orchestra & Abel Selaocoe in Belfast (UK)

29 March: Into African - Orchestra National de Bretagne, Theatre du Champs du Roy, Guingamp (FR)

30 March: Into African -  Orchestra National de Bretagne, Centre Culturel Le Sémaphore, Trébeurden,

31 March: Into Africa - Orchestra National de Bretagne, Espace La Maillette, Lociminé (FR)

1 April : Into Africa -  Orchestra National de Bretagne, L'Odyssée, Do de Bretgane  (FR)

12 May : Chineke! and Abel Selaocoe, Royal Festival Hall,  London (UK)

22 June: Royal Scottish National Orchestra, SWG3, Glasgow (UK)

13 November: BBC Concert Orchestra, Ayanna Witter-Johnson & Konya Kanneh Mason, Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham (UK)
23 November: Orchestra National de Bretagne & Abel Selaocoe, Theatre Jacobins, Dinan (FR)

24 November : Orchestre National de Bretagne & Abel Selaloce, La Passerelle, Saint Brieux (FR)

25 November 2023: Orchestre National de Bretagne, Couvent des jacobins, Rennes (FR) 

More to be announced soon. ..

The work has been created thanks to amazing individuals including Chélima (management & prod) , Jackie Zammit (admin & marketing), Jean Hasse (score and parts settings), Tom Colvin (Editing and mixing), Klaus Scheuermann (mastering), Wild stag video production and many more ... as well as these amazing organisations: 

Press Contacts

For press in the UK: 

For press in Switzerland : 
For press enquiries for the rest of the world: 

Other contacts

African Rhapsodies Management & Bookings : 


Bookings France/Benelux/ Switzerland (FR):

Bookings Germany/Austria/Switzerland:


BBC Concert Orchestra,

Seckou Keita: kora/voice


Mark Heron

Guest soloists
Abel Selaocoe: cello/voice
Davide Mantovani: double-bass
Suntou Susso: percussion

Produced by / Produit par Seckou Keita & Chélima
Recorded at Watford Colosseum, UK
Recording producer for BBC CO: Neil Varley 
Recording engineers: Rob Winter, Chris Rouse, Martin Appleby, Duncan Rhodes
Music editor & score/Parts preparation: Jean Hasse
Recording engineers for extra vocals: Tom Colvin
Edited by  Robert Winter & Tom Colvin
Mixed by Tom Colvin
Mastering by Klaus Scheuermann 

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