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Angolan Musical Visionary Paulo Flores Plays U.S. Debut

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History was made at Le Poisson Rouge in New York Wed., July 22, when one of Angola’s greatest and most innovative singer/composer/bandleaders played his U.S. debut concert. Flores shook up the Angola scene with his 1988 debut recording, which launched one of the most popular dance genres in Lusophone music: kizomba. Since then, Flores has recorded a dozen albums, including many forays into the older, deeper semba style of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. All that history was on display at LPR. The evening began with a fascinating discussion between Flores and Angolan music scholars Marissa Moorman (featured on Afropop’s Hip Deep in Angola series) and Ananya Kabir, and DJ sets by Geko Jones and DJ El Mano.

Then there was the music, two long sets that kept a diverse crowd dancing in ecstasy to the end. Flores’ voice was both sensuous and powerful, and the band–straight from Luanda–was spectacularly tight. He was also an informative and charming host. Afropop interviewed Flores, and recorded the concert. Stay tuned for much more on this landmark night. Meanwhile, here are a few choice photos by Banning Eyre.

All photos by Banning Eyre.

Ananya Kabir, Paulo Flores and Marissa Moorman 

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