A Fo!

African music

Project Details

  • A Fo! - All Female Orchestra : Original African Music
  • Members : Jenni Hanikka (flutes, vocals, jouhikko), Salome Dembele(lead vocals, percussion, dance) Mette-Marie Ørnstrup (drums, vocals), Eliza Boye (percussion, vocals, dance), Clara Aaholm (balafon, voice, keyboard), Maarika Autio (balafon, kora, voice, dance), Kirsi Tilk (vocals, guitar)
  • Active : Active since 2018 to present

A Fo! All Female Orchestra

A Fo! All Female Orchestra (DK/ML/FIN/EE) was formed in 2018 by Jenni Hanikka in Aarhus, Denmark.

​ The ambitious project got its starting kick through Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium, when the school wanted to form stronger musical bonds with Mali, Bamako. As an exchange student in Mali for 5 months, Jenni made it happen. When looking for graduates interested in African music, she could only find talented females. Local world music bands were not interested in hiring females, leaving their untapped talent to waste despite their professionalism. It was then that she decided to form a band constituted of female members only to raise awareness of the gender bias in the scene.

After a year of planning, A Fo was finally formed.

General info

​ A Fo consists of 7 professional musicians from widely different musical backgrounds. In this group they are putting on display all their best abilities and strong personalities to offer a modern take in world music.

The core of their music lies in temperamental African rhythms and various traditions from Mali and Senegal, alongside which you can hear a speck of jazz, a touch of spanish gipsy music and a wild mix of nordic charm.

With her archaic northern stillness, Jenni Hanikka brings throat singing from Siberia and masterful flute playing. Eliza Boye and Mette Marie Jensen Ørnstrup lay the foundation with percussion, creating either mysterious atmospheres or out of control dance rhythms depending where the mood takes them. Maarika Autio dashes with virtuosic and polyrhythmic riffs from Mandinga on kora and balafon. Kirsi Tilk offers variations of fiery flamenco and melancholic gypsy music on guitar. Clara Aaholm shows her strength with groovy solos on keyboard and balafon, drawing inspiration from jazz. Finally Salome Dembele binds it all together with her enchanting voice and charismatic personality.

A Fo! will take you on a journey along which different musical traditions interact in a complex and subtle harmony. Through an entire world of music influences, join them to redefine world music.