King Sunny Ade and the African Beats

Not only does Nigerian guitarist, singer, and bandleader Sunny Ade have genuine royal blood flowing in his veins, he's the undisputed king of juju, whose joyful, simmering grooves are so infectious it seems entire continents could pick up on its delicious sway. Juju marries traditional Yoruban elements—particularly talking drums and lyrical concerns—with western instruments, most prominently guitars. Ade plays his electric with a distinctly percussive, chattering style whose sinuous, scintillating lines wind their way among effervescent clouds of polyrhythms, bubbling keyboards, and multiple vocalists engaging in sharp call-and-response exchanges—all just part of the teeming activity within his typically large ensembles. When the concept of world music was still a novelty in the late '70s and early '80s, Ade and his Beats were among the first bands to make a significant stateside impression. They still sound fresh and intoxicating.
Sat., April 17, 7 p.m., 2010
 
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