Posts filed under ‘Malian music’
Relive Afro-Pop’s Golden Age of the 70’s with the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Contonou: Also appearing, African Hip Hop Sensations SMOD: July 20th, Friday @ 9:00 p.m.
Afrobeat funk was all the rage throughout the continent during the era of the 70s. This highly energized form of dance music soon made its way overseas, receiving a warm reception in Europe and beyond. Well, now this once highly popular genre of world music is making a huge comeback across the globe and what better way to experience it other than at the hands of Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo Contonou. Not only are they considered to be their homeland’s top music ensemble of all time, but major critics, such as the New York Times, have dubbed them one of the world’s premier funk bands. Although heavily influenced by the late great James Brown, the band has developed a version of Afro funk that is distinctly all their own, infusing it with elements of psychedelic rock, native folk rhythms, Latin genres such as the Brazilian samba, jazz, soul, and voodoo music. The voodoo music makes its mystical presence known in the form of ritualistic chants and rhythm patterns pounded out on a large drum. And don’t let the band member’s age fool you for one minute! They are filled with just as much vibrant energy as ever. To them, African music’s era of the 70s is only just yesterday.
Appearing with OPC, will be SMOD, a popular Malian hip hop band. “African” hip hop that is. Determined to do much more than just copy the original American form of the genre, the group has brought traditional African vocals and rhythmic motifs as well as tons of renewed energy to the mix. They see their version of hip hop as a vehicle through which they can effectively express their views on the impoverished state of their native continent and the governments’ refusal to ease the hardship of their citizens. The group’s leader, DJ Sam, just happens to be the son of none other than the legendary Amadou and Miriam of current international fame. Faithfully honing their craft in practice sessions located on the rooftop of this famous duo’s home, this vocal trio has been rising steadily in popularity, serving as the opening band for such well-known world music names as Salif Keita, Manu Chao, and of course Amadou and Miriam as well as a number of other stars. In fact, none other than super star Manu Chao himself is the producer of SMOD’s latest cd release.
So, come on out to the Brighton Music Hall and catch some of African music’s top acts. How can you possibly go wrong with a ticket that brings you two world renown bands for the price of one?
When: July 20th, Friday @ 9:00 p.m.
Where: Brighton Music Hall (Allston)
More Info: 617-876-4225
Help West African Drumming Star Moussa Traore & Friends Build a New School for the Children of Mali @ the African Rhythms Benenfit Show: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Listen to Moussa Traore.
This highly successful annual benefit concert, which features the music and dance of West Africa and the African diaspora, is in its 11th year and still going strong. West African-style music and dance performances showcasing the traditional cultures of Mali, Guinea, and Senegal will be featured. In addition more modern styles of semi-African performance art which involve a blending of various diverse genres will also be highlighted in variations of hip-hop, break dancing, jazz and other forms of Afro-fusion. This years featured performer will be none other than internationally acclaimed djembe artist Moussa Traore, a well-seasoned performer of 30+ years who is currently considered one of the best Malian drummers in the world. He will be leading a drum troupe composed of some of the areas most talented musicians. In addition, there will be a number of local dance groups also performing including, the Teriya Dance Company, Troupe Teranga, the Hip-Hop Mamas, Dance ‘n Feet, and students from the Movement Center (Acton) and the Harvard Academy of Dance who will add a little variety to the cultural mix with some Latin dance moves. All of the proceeds of this event will go to benefit the “Build a School in Africa Project”. This highly dedicated group of volunteers have managed to complete a total of 9 buildings thus far for the benefit of Africa’s impoverished youth.
Moussa Traore’s rise to fame in his homeland of Mali in West Africa started early on when, at the age of 17, he was selected as the permanent representative from his region to lead the local drum troupe into national competition every year. Under his skillful guidance, they manged to win each and every time! After 12 years of rigorous study in the art of djembe playing, he earned himself the distinguished title of Master Drummer and continued to build on his already illustrious national career, excelling as a performer, teacher, recording artist, and musical director. He has since gained an international reputation as well, not only as a djembe virtuoso, but a leading authority on Malian music. In 1994, he was invited to teach and perform as a part of Brown Univerisity’s “African Dance and Music Program”. Now a resident of New England, he continues to perform extensively with his own drumming troupe Timinandi and with other artists, as well, while recording a few CDs along the way. He also teaches classes and conducts workshops throughout the US.
To attend the African Rhythms Benefit Show is a multi-faceted experience to be sure. First and foremost you get to enjoy the world-class performance of Moussa Traore and his ensemble. In addition, you get a taste of what’s happening performance-wise on the local world music scene, including student dance activities who knows, you might be motivated to tryout some of these classes for yourself. Then of course, there’s always the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others on this planet who are less fortunate and in need of a helping hand!
When: March 24th, Saturday @ 7:30 p.m.
Where: Cronin Auditorium (Bromfield School – Harvard, MA)
Tickets: $15.00 (Adults), $5.00 (Students), Free (Children under 4)
More Info: 978-433-2384 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch Some “Desert Blues” at Its Very Best as Malian Superstar Vieux Farka Toure Comes to Boston: August 24th, Wednesday @ 9:00 p.m.
Vieux Farka Toure is all the rage in his homeland of Mali and is fast becoming so on the world music scene in the international arena, as well. Hailed by many as the “North African Jimi Hendrix” Toure is currently considered to be a true leader amongst his contemporaries, both as an accomplished Afropop blues guitarist and composer, in fact, so much so that he is set to quite possibly become a virtual legend at his craft. His predominant style is actually a combination of what is known as Desert blues and rock’n roll. The magic formula behind his successful brand of Afropop relies heavily upon a steadfastness to his native Malian music roots as well as an affinity for innovative fusion techniques involving American blues elements and other contemporary African musical touches. It is with great excitement that he collaborates with the highly acclaimed alternative rock guitarist Dave Matthews on his latest release entitled The Secret. What’s more, listeners will once again be treated to the legendary sounds of the great late Ali Farka Toure (Vieux’s father, of course) throughout the recording. Toure claims that this album successfully showcases the progressiveness of his style, as the result of an especially concentrated effort on his part to really “dig deep” into the heart of firmly entrenched Malian roots music traditions while continuing to push the more modernized genre of Afropop forward.
Even though Vieux Farka Toure had already been a rising star on the Afropop scene, it was his performance in front of the mega crowd in attendance at the 2010 World Cup soccer event that really sent his career soaring. Having had the grand fortune of exposure so early on to his father Ali’s blues style, Vieux quickly developed a strong basis from which to develop his very own unique version of blue’s Afropop. He also trained under the tutelage of the great Toumani Diabate, another strong influence, as a percussionist before turning to the guitar. Toure prides himself in being a world music diplomat of sorts, not only by successfully infusing Western music elements into his African-based sound in an effort to unite diverse cultures artistically, but also as a participant in world relief projects, such as the 2010 25th anniversary re-make of the landmark recording “We Are The World”.
This concert in Boston will feature Toure on vocals and guitar along with Mamadou Sidibe on bass, and percussionist Tim Kelper. Also appearing in addition to the trio will be Outspoken and Bongo Love bringing their own special version of spoken-word poetry and Afropop from Zimbabwe to audiences as a part of their “Speak ZimLove Tour”. So, if you’re looking for an evening of fantastic Afropop, just head on out to the Brighton Music Hall on the 24th of August.
When: August 24th, Wednesday @ 9:00 p..m.
Doors open 1 hour before the concert
Where: Brighton Music Hall
Tickets: $20.00 (Online – In advance)
More Info: 617-876-4274 OR 617-779-0140