Afro Celt Sound System
It has been an extraordinary 10 year journey for the Afro Celt Sound System - one of the most innovative music collectives of its time. In that period there have been many lesser imitators and the global beat movement they pioneered has entered the mainstream.
When Simon Emmerson began to piece together the Afro Celt Sound System in 1992 he had no idea where the journey would take him. But Emmerson's fascination with the link between Irish and African traditions introduced him to three like-minded souls - co-producer and multi-instrumentalist James McNally; vocalist and lyricist Iarla O Lionaird; co-producer, engineer and programmer Martin Russell.
The bonding of these four members turned the Afro Celts from a project into a band. Over the years they have formed an ever-changing collaborative collective with numerous outstanding guest performers who have taken cross-cultural fusion to dizzying hights. As well as core members Johnny Kalsi and N'Faly Koyate they have been joined by a host of names from Robert Plant to Sinead O Connor, Davy Spillane to Liam O'Flynn, Peter Gabriel and Eileen Ivers to name but a few.
As a band they have broken down musical barriers and celebrated musical and cultural differences to create an organic whole out of many parts. They have sold well over 1.2 million albums, contributed to the sound tracks of numerous films - from Hotel Rwanda to Stigmata, and been nominated for two Grammy awards. They have built a formidable live reputation playing to sell out crowds worldwide headlining Festivals at WOMAD and numerous other events.
After five albums the impact and influence of the Afro Celt Sound System remains undiminshed.
Other Albums Featuring Afro Celt Sound System
Double CD released December 3rd. Thirty tracks follow the intrepid bikers on their journey south from John O'Groats to South Africa.
Find out more about the artists whose music was specially chosen to feature on the Long Way Down television series, DVD and CD. Read the background to the musicians and buy digital downloads of tracks heard on the series.
Catch up with what is happening to Ewan and Charley episode by episode and trace the music you can hear as the journey unfolds week by week.