The Cedar's African Summer music series begins tonight
The Cedar Cultural Center has long ago established itself as one of the best world music venues in the country, and in fact, was named just that earlier this year in a nationwide poll. Tonight they launch a new music series, African Summer on the West Bank, which will go a long way towards assuring that the Cedar will continue to be recognized for their promotion of world music for years to come.
An unprecedented collection of eight celebrated bands from the African continent are scheduled to perform within the intimate confines of the Cedar between the months of June and August, with all of them bringing their own distinct musical flavor and unique twist on the spirited music of Africa.
The Cedar's African Summer kicks off tonight in spectacular fashion, with the return of the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, a joyous collective whose music is driven by an infectious rhythm and reggae-tinged African funk. They are touring is support of their excellent new record, Radio Salone, and should easily get the Cedar crowd moving with their celebratory grooves.
The line-up through the rest of the summer is equally impressive. Viviane N'Dour used to be a backup singer in her former brother-in-law Youssou N'Dour's band, but has established herself as a must-see entertainer in her own right. She's bringing the Jolof Band along with her on June 20, and the Senegalese singer should certainly stir things up at the Cedar.
July 10 sees the celebrated Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo bring their Afrobeat voodoo funk to the West Bank, while the internationally acclaimed Johnny Clegg Band bring their energetic, socially conscious songs to the Cedar on July 12 for what is sure to be a spirited show.
The Wake Up Madagascar tour rolls into the Cedar on July 13, with some of the country's most recognizable and celebrated performers uniting for a great cause, to end illegal logging in the rainforests of Madagascar. The wildly experimental Spoek Mathambo brings his eclectic blend of multiple genres and random found sounds to the West Bank on July 19 in support of his highly inventive new record, Father Creeper.
And perhaps the highlight of the Cedar's entire African Summer series is the first Minnesota appearance for the much revered duo Amadou & Mariam. After garnering some worldwide acclaim with some high profile guest appearances and opening for the likes of U2 and Coldplay, the duo are finally set to bring their soulful, West African blues to the area, in what is sure to be a truly special night at the Cedar.
Further information about tickets and the bands set to perform as part of the Cedar's African Summer music series can be found here.
Here's a full listing of the shows that are part of the Cedar's African Summer series:
SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL STARS - June 5, 7:30 p.m.
VIVIANE N'DOUR and the JOLOF BAND - June 20, 7:30 p.m.
ORCHESTRE POLY-RHYTHMO - July 10, 7:30 p.m.
THE JOHNNY CLEGG BAND - July 12, 7:30 p.m.
WAKE UP MADAGASCAR - July 13, 7:30 p.m.
SPOEK MATHAMBO - July 19, 8:00 p.m.
SMOD - July 31, 7:30 p.m.
AMADOU & MARIAM - Aug 7, 7:30 p.m.
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