There’s no better way than to say this than plain and simple: on May 2nd and 3rd, David Byrne and an incredibly wide array of visionary musicians will take the stage at the BAM opera house to perform the music of synth-funk icon William Onyeabor.
Byrne’s list of collaborators is as impressive as it is varied, including Ahmed Gallab of Sinkane, Money Mark of the Beastie Boys, LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, Luke Jenner of The Rapture, the Lijadu Sisters, and Joshua Redman. Dubbed “Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor,”
the night will mark the first time that Onyeabor’s compositions will be performed live for American audiences.
Onyeabor’s music has recently undergone a popular resurgence in the world and indie music communities alike after Luaka Bop’s 2013 reissue of an anthology of his work was released to much critical acclaim. Coupled with his enigmatic withdrawal from music and a new documentary exploring the man, the mystery, and his work, Onyeabor’s music is enjoying the (non-Nigerian) public’s eye like it never has before. Now, a group of the United States’ finest minds in music will bring the funky explorer’s findings to the stage, where they have so desperately belonged all this time.
Of course, some of the biggest names in New York music are working together to bring this event to the stage. Jointly produced by Luaka Bop and Red Bull Music Academy, the event is being held in conjunction with the RBMA’s month long festival series held throughout the city in May.
But the event’s still a good few months away, and if you haven’t noticed, we’re kind of into this type of thing… so rest assured Afropop will bring you the latest news and the inside scoop about this exciting night.