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Afropop Celebrates 25 Years at Central Park SummerStage

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi joined the Afropop Hall of Fame this past Sunday at Central Park SummerStage. It was a beautiful sunny day. Tuku seemed genuinely moved to receive the honor from Georges Collinet. Then he and his band the Black Spirits delivered a fantastic set of classics like “Neria” along with some newer songs. Zimbabweans came out in numbers to see their star. And in true SummerStage style, the mix of people who grew up with the artist and people who might be seeing him for the first time made me proud to be a New Yorker.

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Tuku greets the crowd

The winner of our contest to fly to New York was Angel Pardo from Los Angeles. Congrats! It was his first time to New York. He first listened to Afropop Worldwide on KUNM in New Mexico. He told us “Afropop every Friday night was something I would look forward to. I would always feel upbeat when I listened to Georges Collinet’s enthusiastic delivery of everything on the program….It has really opened up my world.”

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Kraar Collective

Before the concert, Georges had a chance to interview Oliver, who reflected on his 40 year and 60 album career. We will give you the full transcript of that later. Also Banning Eyre interviewed Georges about his adventurous career in broadcasting. Stay tuned for that as well.

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Fatoumata Diawara

A big thanks from everyone at Afropop to the SummerStage team for welcoming us so warmly and helping us celebrate our 25th anniversary in such grand style. We look forward to the rest of your season!

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(Photos by Bernhard Fasenfest and Banning Eyre)  

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  • Manuel Mercader

    I love afropop