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See what the press says: Reviews

Afro-beat from the north!

6-piece from Denmark have crossed borders, thrilling audiences, radio DJs and journalists with their unique sound that pushes musical borders on the afro- and jazz scene. The KutiMangoes' third album, Afrotropism takes them deeper in their search for new expressions and common ground between cultural boundaries.

"How unlikely that one of the hottest afro-jazz bands on the planet comes from Denmark. Authenticity is more a question of attitude than origin," Kieler Nachrichten proclaimed in 2016. In late 2019, The KutiMangoes present their third album Afrotropism, as well as a long tour taking the group far and wide in Denmark and Germany. Since the release of their award winning debut album Afro-Fire in 2014, the band has continuously worked on refining their bold and groovy horn-driven sound to position them as one of the most interesting and hard-grooving bands on the global music scene.

Formed in 2012 by Gustav Rasmussen and Michael Blicher, The KutiMangoes respectfully took West African music and fused it with their own western musical backgrounds to create a new sound. From the beginning the band's goal was not trying to play or sound like African musicians (how could they?) but all about mixing cultures to create a new, global expression.

Their debut "Afro-Fire" (2014) was nominated for 5 Danish Grammy Awards, winning "Best World Music Album" and "Best World Music Track". Following the release the band toured extensively in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In November '16 "Made in Africa" was released, recorded partly in Burkina Faso and Mali. It presented compositions based on traditional folk songs as well as completely original material and received critical acclaim, was nominated for 2 Danish Grammy Awards and featured on radio stations worldwide (RFI, BBC, WDR, WNYU). Documentary filmmaker Anders S. Jepsen joined The Kutimangoes on their trip and his film "Bamako Play" won the "Best mixed-genre documentary" at the New York Jazz Film Festival.

The third album Afrotropism is produced entirely by the ensemble itself and expresses the fundamental concern of the group to overcome cultural boundaries and to find common ground. Giving more space to individual articulation, it provides points of departure where the inspirations from Africa left lasting traces that are now becoming independent in new forms: "Our music shows how people can create something together that can outgrow all of them. In a cozy jazz club, youngsters at a huge festival, a school for the blind in Ouagadougou. It's all about human exchange, sharing moments of energy and feeling connected through the music.”

"Our mission is to create music together, to share music and unite people through music, and this is one of the reasons we fell in love with a lot of music from Africa" - says Gustav Rasmussen and continues "the tree's roots are the foundation, but it grows new branches and leaves when it touches air, light and water – just like our musical roots that engage with the world today, the sounds and the people to create something new, vibrant and fresh.

The KutiMangoes have toured all over the world, including: Reeperbahn Festival (DE), Jarasum Int. Jazz Festival (S. Korea), Jazz Sous Les Pommiers (F), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (DK), Jazz à Ouaga (BF), OCT-Loft Festival (C), Katowice JazzArt (P), Reykjavik Jazz Festival (I), Jazzy Koun Ben (Mali), Funkhaus Europa Silvesterparty (DE), Roskilde Festival (DK), WOMEX ao.

Press Quotes
"Great album! Very authentic and such great playing!" - BBC
"How unlikely that one of the hottest afro-jazz bands on the planet comes from Denmark. Authenticity is more a question of attitude than origin." - Kieler Nachrichten (DE)
The KutiMangoes killed the audience!!!” – Victor Kye, dir. Jarasum Jazz Festival (S. Korea)
"a rarely successful unification of African and European music. Fantastic!” - Abdoulaye Diallo (BF)
"Even better than the phenomenal debut" - GAFFA (DK)
"World-class afro-jazz" - Globalagogo (US)
"Mega-authentic and way ahead of everyone else" - sound-and-image (DE)

Line-up
Michael Blicher - saxophones and flute
Gustav Rasmussen - trombones and guitar
Aske Drasbæk - saxophones
Johannes Buhl Andresen - fender rhodes and moog bass
Casper Mikkelsen/Eddi Jarl - drums
Magnus Jochumsen - percussion