Presented in Partnership with World Music Institute
Sat, March 11, 2017 at 8PM
The Apollo, in partnership with World Music Institute, presents the fifth annual Africa Now! concert celebrating the best of the contemporary African music scene. Africa Now! features a powerful lineup of artists who have drawn upon their roots for inspiration – and transplanted them onto the global music landscape.
Mbongwana Star hails from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo—a network of shantytowns and night shelters where founding members Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza (of Staff Benda Bilili fame) pulled together members of a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of “mbongwana,” or “change.” Along with maverick Parisian producer Doctor L (Tony Allen, Stomy Bugsy), the band has created a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born—a sound that fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways.
Produced by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Marc-Antoine Moreau (Amadou & Mariam, K’naan), Songhoy Blues’ first album Music In Exile marks the arrival of a powerful and truly unique new band. Though their music bears elements of contemporary rock and hip hop, at its heart is Songhoy Blues’ deep attachment to the homegrown songs and dances of Mali’s Songhoy people as well as iconic West African guitar heroes such as Baba Salah and Ali Farka Touré. Songhoy Blues blends the traditional and the modern, the homegrown and the foreign, the youthful and the ancient.
Lura is a singer and musician of Cape Verdean descent, who has a truly unique voice with fantastic power. Her music is vibrant, tremendously danceable and truly Cape-Verdean, as her latest album focuses on the archipelago’s energizing up-tempo funana beat. As one of the most melodious, charismatic singers of an entire generation of Cape-Verdean artists, Lura gives her audience the opportunity to re-explore the rich culture of Cape Verde and its people, traditions and music. Lura’s songs remind us just how the essence of multiculturalism and traditional Creole music have given rise to a universal vocal genre at the heart of Africa’s best-kept secret: Cape Verde.
DJ Nenim grew up in Lagos, Nigeria where he made his way to DJ at the biggest clubs in Nigeria. His sets are usually geared towards Afrofunk, Afrobeat, Jazz, Funk & Soul with very eclectic playlists. He has recently started his own record label “5th Circle Records”.