At once a sandpapery singer of danceable pop and a socially conscious minder of Southern African folk traditions, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi burst onto the world scene in the early '90s. With his band the Black Spirits, he has toured Europe and appeared in the Zimbabwean rock movie Jit, from which Bonnie Raitt lifted one of Tuku's tunes. But he'd been recording since '76, blending Shona mbira pop, soul, reggae, rumba, and South African township jive, later collaborating with South Africa's Steve Dyer on a spate of early-'00s recordings filled with dynamic female back-up singing — check out 2003's Putumayo best-of The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection: The Tuku Years. He performs for free in Loring Park followed by a DJ set from the Current's Jim McGuinn and a screening of the best picture Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ever made together, 1955's Artists and Models.
Mon., Aug. 6, 7 p.m., 2012