Afro Celts

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photoAt first blush, you'd think that Celtic and African music are as far apart rhythmically and harmonically as they are geographically.

Think about the pipe and fiddle heavy Chieftains juxtaposed against the tribal beats of the West African talking drums.

But upon closer inspection, Simon Emmerson, guitarist of the group Afro Celts came to believe that the two musics may have an ancient link.

After all, some believe that Nomadic Celts lived in Africa and India before they migrated to Spain, France and the British Isles.

The Roman historian Tacitus once wrote about Black Celts with "dark complexions and unusually curly hair."

Emmerson ran with the idea and married the two musics with the group Afro Celt Sound System.

Afro-Celts united Celtic pipes and whistles with West African harps and drums, and fused them with infectious dance grooves.

Their latest album "Seed" coming out at the end of this month, they've dropped the sound system moniker and changed their name to simply Afro Celts.

It's been said that everybody is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day and tonight in preparation for the day of green, we're uniting Ireland with the world, musically, with Afro Celts.


Simon Emmerson, Founder and Guitarist for Afro Celts

James McNally, Plays keyboards, piano, whistles, bodhran, and bamboo flute for Afro Celts

This program aired on March 14, 2003.


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