Mamman Sani


Playing for over 30 years, Mamman Sani is a legendary name in the Republic of Niger. A pioneer of West African electronic music, Mamman Sani crafts dreamlike solo instrumental pieces that are modern, but evoke ancient pastoral hymns of the Sahel.

Drawing on rich diversity of Nigerien folk music, Mamman re-envisions traditional song and dance with the instrumental keyboard - from nomadic Wodaabe polyphonic singing to the loping camel trot of Tuareg percussion. Mamman creates soundscapes that pay homage to the Sahel, filtered through an electronic minimalism.

Mamman first discovered the keyboard in 1974. Employed by UNESCO and traveling frequently abroad, he was captivated by the sound and purchased one from a visiting delegate. Returning to Niger, he taught himself to play and began to experiment in composition.

His first and only album was recorded for the National Radio in 1978. The cassette features Mamman playing his repertoire on his Italian Orla. Reissued on vinyl in 2013 by Sahel Sounds and Mississippi Records, the album that has been celebrated by critics, earning him comparisons to artists like Terry Riley and Kraftwerk.

Mamman Sani is recognized today in Niger as one of the first modern musicians to experiment with electronic sounds. His instrumental pieces still fill the airways during televised intermissions and radio segue-ways, and he continues to perform regularly in the capital, Niamey.

Press quotes :

"A milestone of early electronic music."

"seis miniaturas de estilo de estructuras repetitivas, donde las notas parecen no avanzar, detenidas en un tiempo sonoro que se nutre de sí mismo minuto a minuto y que rezuma exotismo, desierto y belleza."

"Un inédit d'Aphex Twin caché chez un disquaire de Niamey? C'est possible."

"There's a flowing, water-like quality to the music that's almost in the territory of Terry Riley's work on organ...the album's hardly what you'd expect from an African album of the 70s ~ and is one of those completely unique, completely transcendent records that keeps on rewarding the listener for many years."

"Channel[s] a millennial tradition of Saharan song-writing into tone poems wonderful like Kraftwerk’s infrastructural hymns."

"A set of bizarre and dusty mirages recalling early computer game soundtracks and sonically located somewhere between a rudimentary Frances Bebey and the Heatsick's casio meditations."

Mamman Sani is available for touring in December 2013.



For Booking enquiries please email johnfitzgerald[at]