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Omar-Souleyman

Dancefloor Dynamite: Future Grooves Today

Sometimes it’s hard to sit still in the Afropop office. The funkiest, most leg-shakingly infectious music blasts from our speakers on a regular basis. Impromptu dance demonstrations have been known to take place. It’s our mission to share this wealth … Read more »

Blog »

Blog Owiny Sigoma Band Unleashes “Changaa Attack”
interview Interview: Chassol on Carnival and Producing Frank Ocean
Blog Cristián Heyne, Chilean Electropop Master: A Primer
Blog Future Sound of Mzansi: Documentary Out Now
Blog Zombie Worldwide: Freemuse Releases Fela Cover by Young Arab Musicians
Blog Afropop Premiere: Weird Together’s “No Compromise” Remix by Daniel Haaksman

Reviews »

  • Danger-Zone-Cover_500
    Danger Zone

    It’s been five years since the Lion of Zimbabwe—still in exile in Oregon—has released an album of new songs. During most of his four-decade-plus career there was at least one new album every year. The slower pace is hardly a … Read more »

  • brazilcover1
    The Brazilian Boogie Connection: From Rio to São Paulo (1976-1983)

    The disco takeover of worldwide pop culture was massive–so massive that it was once perfectly acceptable to wear bell bottoms and platform shoes in public. Today, the genre is rarely given its due for cultural importance and lasting influence. Disco … Read more »

  • AngeliqueKidjoSINGS
    Angélique Kidjo Sings ,

    The merger of African and Western classical music has a history. The Kronos Quartet dove in bravely collaborating with African composers on the 1992 release Pieces of Africa. The results were fascinating, though mixed, the combination of bowed strings and … Read more »

  • kanaku3
    Quema Quema Quema

    Remember four or five years ago, when American indie pop was all warm and shimmery and earnest? Remember the high, yearning vocals and pretty, delicate guitars? Since then, many (like me) may have grown cold, cynical and grumpy. Yet, if … Read more »

Danger Zone

It’s been five years since the Lion of Zimbabwe—still in exile in Oregon—has released an album of new songs. During most of his four-decade-plus career there was at least one new album every year. The slower pace is hardly a … Read more »

NYC Events »

Location: Meridian 23, 161 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011, United States (Google Maps) Time: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm Drums of the Diaspora is a groundbreaking collaboration tracing the roots of the drum across the Atlantic and the Caribbean featuring master percussionists Dendê, Joaquin Pozo and Bonga. From the booming bass drums of Brazil and the melodic congas of Cuba to the mystic tanbous of Haiti, percussion plays an undeniable role as the singular, connective force for musical traditions found all over the world. Drums of the Diaspora is a celebration of this vital instrument and the artists who use the drum as their primary voice. A collaboration between master percussionists, Drums of the Diaspora explores the commonalities among these separate yet undeniably connected traditions.
Location: Midtown Live, 251 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001, United States (Google Maps) Time: 8:00 am to 9:00 am Markus James, the eclectic singer-songwriter-guitarist who has done deep work in northern Mali and north Mississippi plays Midtown in NYC. Featured guest artist is Idrissa Kone, talking drum master from Mali. Friday, May 29, 8 pm. http://midtownlive.com/events/ Markus' latest album, "Head for the Hills" is getting rave reviews. http://midtownlive.com/events/
Location: Midtown Live, 251 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001, United States (Google Maps) Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm RAISED IN THE AREA AROUND WASHINGTON, DC, JAMES PLAYED GUITAR IN SOFT ROCK BANDS, LATER ENCOMPASSING TRADITIONAL BLUES. AN ABIDING INTEREST IN THE MUSIC OF AFRICA DREW HIM TO DEVELOP A STYLE THAT ARTFULLY COMBINES ELEMENTS OF BLUES WITH CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN MUSIC. FROM HIS CALIFORNIA BASE, HE HAS WORKED THROUGHOUT THE USA AND SINCE 1994 HAS MADE NUMEROUS VISITS TO AFRICA, ESPECIALLY MALI, ACTING AS PERFORMER AND RECORD PRODUCER. HE WORKS OFTEN WITH TRADITIONAL WASSOULOU AND SONRAI MUSICIANS.
Location: Central Park SummerStage, New York, NY 10019, United States (Google Maps) Time: 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm Doors 2pm / Show 3pm
Cost: Free

Angelique Kidjo
Two-time GRAMMY winner Angelique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with thirteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva.” The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. Her newest album, Sings with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg (Savoy/429 Records), is an historic work blending European classical music traditions and the powerful rhythmic excitement of the sounds of her native land. Angelique travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador. She created her own foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa. She is also a published author and in January 2014 released her memoir titled Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (Harper Collins).

Emmanuel Jal
Emmanuel Jal (Paul) was born into the life of a child solider in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences. Jal’s fifth studio album, The Key, was released in September 2014 and included collaborations with Nile Rodgers and Nelly Furtado. The album blends traditional African music with contemporary urban, hip hop and global pop music rhythms, while incorporating EDM, reggae/dub, soul and Afro beat elements.

Rich Medina
For over two decades, Rich Medina has cemented his reputation as a world class DJ. Outside the club, he’s a father, educator, platinum-selling record producer, poet, designer, public speaker and journalist. From his humble beginnings at TK Nightclub in Philadelphia to his current status manning the decks at four of New York City’s most popular recurring parties, Rich Medina has taken crowds on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul, unearthing one musical gem after another and adhering to a singular, uplifting creed: Love Afro Life. Medina is also an advisory board member of (his alma mater) Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection where he is a guest lecturer and panel moderator for their music and Africana departments. His writing has been featured in many esteemed publications including The Fader, Wax Poetics and Complex Magazine.