Two of Africa’s most beloved artists, Vusi Mahlasela and Habib Koité, will tour the U.S. from March 19th thru April 17th in the first installment in three years of the critically acclaimed tour series: Acoustic Africa. The tour—four editions strong—is a journey that focuses on the richness of the African traditions of voice and song. It offers fans a rare chance to experience their favorite African artists in intimate settings.
Vusi Mahlasela, is simply known as ‘The Voice’ in his home-country, celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future. Raised in the Mamelodi Township, where he still resides, Vusi became a singer-songwriter and poet-activist at an early age teaching himself how to play guitar and later joining the Congress of South African Writers. After his popular debut on BMG Africa, When You Come Back, Vusi was asked to perform at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration in 1994. Vusi has shared the stage with Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Paul Simon, and Taj Mahal, among many others. Perhaps his biggest gig was in 2010 when he helped ring in the World Cup in South Africa, at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Vusi has released seven studio albums to-date; his latest release is Sing to the People (ATO Records), a celebratory live recording looking back on twenty years since his first album.
A modern troubadour with extraordinary appeal, Habib Koité’s musicianship, wit and wisdom translate across cultures. He’s a solo singer, songwriter and guitarist based in Mali, and he has been hailed by Rolling Stone as the biggest pop star of the region. In 2001, Habib Koité and the supergroup he works with, Bamada, became one of the first African artists to appear on Late Night with David Letterman. Habib’s artistry and powerful personality has earned him fans such as Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, both of whom ended up visiting Habib in Mali. To date he’s sold over 250,000 albums, and he continues to build his profile through a very active calendar of tour dates. Over the past decade, his artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international pop star on par with leading figures in contemporary world music.
Don’t miss this opportunity to catch two living legends live in this collaborative and intimate setting. CNN gushes: “The legendary singer [Vusi Mahlasela] has been celebrated globally for his powerful vocals and universal message of freedom and human kindness.” Of Habib Koite, The New York Times says “his reputation as a guitar player has become almost mythical.”
Saturday, March 19 @ Herbst Theater - San Francisco, CA
Sunday, March 20 @ The Green Music Center - Rohnert Park, CA
Tuesday, March 22 @ Cargo Concert Hall - Reno, NV
Thursday, March 24 @ Fox Tuscon Theater - Tucson, AZ
Friday, March 25 @ MIM Music Theater - Phoenix, AZ
Saturday, March 26 @ Luckman Fine Arts Complex - Los Angeles, CA
Monday, March 28 @ Kuumbwa Jazz Center - Santa Cruz, CA
Tuesday, March 29 @ John Van Duzer Theatre - Arcata, CA
Thursday, March 31 @ Aladdin Theater - Portland, OR
Friday, April 01 @ The Triple Door - Seattle, WA
Saturday, April 02 @ The Triple Door - Seattle, WA
Tuesday, April 05 @ Cedar Cultural Center - Minneapolis, MN
Wednesday April 06 @ Old Town School Of Folk Music - Chicago, IL
Friday, April 08 @ McCain Auditorium - Manhattan, KS
Sunday, April 10 @ Academy of Music - Northampton, MA
Wednesday, April 13 @ The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium - New York, NY
Thursday, April 14 @ Lisner Audtiorium (GW University) - Washington, DC
Friday, April 15 @ Weis Center (Bucknell) - Lewisburg, PA
Saturday April 16 @ Stewart Theater (NC State) - Raleigh, NC
Sunday, April 17 @ Somerville Theater - Somerville, MA