Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Seun Kuti was only in his mid-teens when his formidable father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, died in 1997. Fela was a larger-than-life icon who created the muscular African funk-jazz hybrid Afrobeat, and a potent political force who confronted tyranny and corruption in his native Nigeria. Now leading Fela's brash, incendiary band, the 16-piece Egypt 80, Seun Kuti has seized his father's legacy with impressive passion and made it his own. Last year's Brian Eno-produced album From Africa with Fury: Rise is a bristling call to action. The band blazes fiercely on all cylinders while Seun presides over the rolling thunder, blaring away on his declarative alto sax (as did Fela) and barking out gruff, charismatic vocals. There are hints of hip hop and electronica (thanks to Eno), but the power still resides in the band's remarkably taut intensity and furious Afrobeat polyrhythms, now buoying Seun's railings against exploiters "Like Monsanto and Halliburton/Why they use their food to make my people hungry" and on behalf of Africa's powerless masses. (Photo by Kelechi Amadiobi)
Sat., April 14, 7 p.m., 2012

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The Cedar Cultural Center

416 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454


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