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Helele

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Inspired by the rhythms of the Bantu Forest of West Africa, Alphonse Daudet Touna from Cameroon formed the band to ‘enrich and share his music with the world.’ He started at an early age playing the drums at traditional village ceremonies where he developed his talent as a composer, performer and teacher.The haunting vocals, sung in his own tribal language ‘Bassa’, send messages of peace and hope. Alphonse plays the Balafon (African Marimba) he made himself – adding an exotic and original sound to the music. With influences from Makossa to Bikutsi – the grooves are guaranteed to exhilarate audiences.The band - composed of some of Bristol’s finest session musicians - has headlined at festivals and major venues across the UK and supported well known artists such as Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club. Performances include Glastonbury (Jazz Lounge) Shambala, Marlborough Jazz Festival and London’s South Bank Centre.

Greg White is a versatile and dynamic drummer. Originally from France, he went on to study music in London and has been living in Bristol for the last 15 years, where he has been an active musician in its vibrant music scene. He is also an educator and has co-written music used for TV. Greg has recorded at Abbey Road, Air and Strongroom studios amongst others and has played Glastonbury, Womad, O2 Academy, Shambala.

Ron Phelan studied bass in Dublin, Ireland. After living in Europe, where he came into contact with many different styles of music, he moved to the South West of England. He has played with some of the areas finest musicians in genres such as jazz, latin, flamenco, folk and West African music and tours internationally regularly. As well as playing bass, Ron is also a prolific composer and arranger.

Dino Christodoulou is a Bristol-based and Coltrane influenced tenor and soprano saxophonist notable in bands as disparate musically as Bristol's funksters, Errol's Kitchen, middle east and cypriot groove/jazz outfit, Milon and lately with the prog rock band, Schnauser.

Neil Smith has been a mainstay of the Bristol music scene since the mid-eighties when he also started an interest in African music and jazz. He joined Zairean master drummer Kanyinda Mukala's band Magoma in 1990, playing various Womad festivals around the UK. Currently in a variety of bands playing styles from avant-rock to psychedelic folk.

Links:

www.helele.org
facebook.com/people/Alphonse-Touna/100009230635043

Press:

".....the hypnotic balaphon work of Hélélé's Alphonse Daudet Touna was the perfectly uplifting note on which to close the weekend..." ~ Glastonbury Jazz Lounge Review

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