Gig Seeker Pro


Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands | INDIE

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands | INDIE
Band World Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Afro What!? review Fly Global Music Culture"

One of the year’s undisputed highlights so far. A joy from beginning to end. Diverse, funky, challenging and fresh

This album of Dutch-based musicians drawn from Holland and West Africa, will get attention because of the involvement of Justin Adams, whose work with Tinariwen, Soul Science and Robert Plant has been critically-acclaimed and popular in equal measure.

It’s a lucky break for the band and for anyone who loves jazz and African music. These ten tracks go from hard honking sax Afrobeat numbers to gentler guitar-driven pieces of quiet beauty and there is a sense that although there is fusioning going on, it is not the forced, bottom denominator stuff that quickly tires, it is the result of a band playing together for a number of years and getting each other’s musical ideas. Perhaps the quality of the album lies on the cutting room floor. It is the stuff that was tried and ultimately rejected over the years that marks out what is left as the real thing.

There are no duds on this album and I only hope that if this album gets the attention it deserves, the band will get an unreasonably long time to develop a follow up.
—Damian Rafferty
Sunday 4 October 2009 - Fly Global Music Culture

"Review of Mdungu live at Eurosonic/Noorderslag"

It’s a such a good thing that Afrobeat, long time only to be heard when one of the descendents of legandary Fela Kuti came to town, is back to stay in The Netherlands. The white guys (and Gambian percussionist) know perfectly how to bring together the entangled guitar patterns, the polyrhytmic drums and the steaming syncopated sax riffs in a way that leads to an extremely swinging and danceble whole. Besides the funky Nigerian repertoire we also hear other Afro-influences, like trippy repetitive Ethiopic jazzrock or Senegalese rumba. A wonderful African mix. - Live XS

"Review of Mdungu live at Eurosonic/Noorderslag Kindamusic"

Between the established groups and slick guitar bands a band like Mdungu is a welcome breath of fresh air. It’s obvious why a lot of visitors stay on this late hour to listen to the sunny sounds of this group from Amsterdam. On their swinging mix of West-African music, jazz, funk and rock lots dance ‘till they drop. Stars of the band are the three saxophonists that know how to fire up the bunch on the right moments, and the charming djembé player from Gambia with his dizzying rhythms. (...) - Kindamusic

"Review of Mdungu live at Eurosonic/Noorderslag VPRO"

(...) The guys keep it mostly instrumental and that fits their grooving, funky party machine like a glove. The musical interaction between the drummer and the Gambian djembé virtuoso is very exciting and enchanting. Remarkable how this huge African as by magic knows how to play the most beautiful sounds with a tiny drum. (...) close your eyes and in no time you will get in the mood, on an African journey that you want to last forever. Outside it’s snowing, but inside the temperature rises with every djembé beat. When the large Gambian suddenly starts to chant like the Ivorian reggae singer Alpha Blondy and at the end one of the hornplayers convincingly grabs the mic, it prooves to be very effective. - VPRO 3voor12

"Afro What!? review quote Tropicalidad"

"Afro What!? is one of those few records that gets better every time you listen to it... one of the strongest debuts of the year" -


Mdungu, EP, 2006
Afro What!?, LP, 2009
Yamanaboole (South Africa 2010), single, 2010
New album, expected fall 2011



Mdungu is a nine piece band based in Amsterdam. The musicians from Holland, Luxembourg, Spain and Gambia bring their music with skill, flair and energy that is irresistable to any audience. African music by Mdungu is a strong musical experience: it funks, it grooves, it moves your feet and feeds your soul. The percussion is dazzling, the melodies enchanting and the vocals captivating, creating a chemical reaction that makes people start dancing and romancing. The moment Mdungu kicks off and the music takes over there is no future, no past. No borders, no passport. The groove is king, and that’s the way it should be.

AFRO WHAT!? is Mdungu's debut album released in May 2009. The album was very well received in the Benelux and has been released in the rest of Europe in the fall of 2009. The recordings are mixed by producer/guitarist Justin Adams, who is well known from his award winning work with Tinariwen, his own group the Justin Adams / Juldeh Camara Trio and Robert Plants Strange Sensation. The album is released by Zimbraz, a division of Music & Words and was voted best world music album produced in The Netherlands of 2009 by

This summer Mdungu is recording their second album, to be released in the fall of 2011.

Mdungu was founded in 2003 by alto saxophonist Thijs van Milligen. From the start Mdungu is a most welcome guest on international stages and festivals in the world music, pop and jazz scene. After the release of their debut album in 2009 they toured intensively in Holland and abroad. A few of the venues they played are: the dlr Festival of World Cultures, Ireland; Frequenzen Festival, Germany; Openluchttheater Rivierenhof, Antwerp; the Music Meeting, Nijmegen; Amsterdam Roots; Dunya Festival, Rotterdam; Eurosonic/Noorderslag; Paradiso, Amsterdam.

In 2011 they will be playing many international stages as the Istanbul Jazz Festival, HongKong Jazzfestival and tours in the Middle East and Africa.

Mdungu receives financial support from the Music Xport programme for 2010/2011: an initiative of Buma Cultuur and Music Center the Netherlands (MCN) that aims to enhance the profile of Dutch artists abroad, and hence to extend their possibilities.