It turns out that the first American city to host a roster of local African bands was not New York, Miami or Chicago, but the San Francisco Bay Area of northern California. Hugh Masekela brought Hedzoleh Soundz from Ghana, and they settled in Santa Cruz. Nigerian maestros O.J. Ekemode and Joni Haastrup lived in Oakland in the 1970s. South African musicians from the touring stage show Ipitombi also settled in the Bay Area and started the band Zulu Spear. By the early ‘80s, the Bay Area “worldbeat” scene was in full swing, and along with it came Kotoja, Mapenzi, Big City, the Nigerian Allstars and more. Join us for a tour through the sounds and stories of the Bay Area’s catalytic African music scene.