Femi Kuti; King Sunny Ade
This terrific bill pairs one Nigerian music giant with another's son—now with a solid rep of his own. Guitarist and singer King Sunny Ade was in the first wave of so-called world music, taking his band to Europe and the U.S. in the 1970s and charming everybody with the sublime, effervescent grooves of his highly infectious juju music. Combining modern and traditional instruments, juju relies on the interchange of Ade's percussive, almost pointillist electric guitar technique with traditional Yoruban talking drums, combined with percolating polyrhythms and lyrics modeled on Yoruban proverbs and songs of praise. Once ascendant in Nigeria, juju reportedly has been greatly overshadowed by other genres in recent years, although Ade's popularity remains undiminished. Femi Kuti's father was the late Afrobeat icon generally known simply as Fela, also a potent political force for writing lyrics defiant of Nigeria's repressive governments. Femi's Afrobeat is a similar blend of African rhythms, jazz, and James Brown-influenced funk riding a muscular horn section. On Day By Day, his first studio album of new material in seven years, Femi—who juggles saxes, trumpet, organ, and vocals—stirs in doses of pop and contemporary R&B, while writing about peace and justice issues. Here he'll be accompanied by his band, Positive Force.
Tue., June 30, 7:30 p.m., 2009
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