african

Acoustic Africa @ The Boulder Theater | 3/16/11

The second installment of Acoustic Africa's exhilarating musical journey focuses on the richness of the African guitar tradition. The Acoustic Africa tour features Habib Koite, the Malian superstar whose exciting concerts have endeared him to audiences worldwide, Oliver Mtukudzi, the best-selling artist in his home country of Zimbabwe, and, a guitarist, singer, and composer from Mali whose songs evoke the Afel Bocoum evolution of traditional Malian society. The three artists, backed by a traditional African band, unite in song in a collaborative performance that honors their African heritage while simultaneously pushes contemporary musical boundaries.

One of Africa's most exciting performers, Habib Koite plays music that reflects the diverse musical traditions of his Malian homeland. Accompanied by his band Bamada, Koite has released a number of successful and critically acclaimed albums and has appeared on the The Late Show with David Letterman and in major magazines such as People and Rolling Stone. Over the past 10 years, Habib and his band have performed over 600 concerts for adoring audiences in far-flung locations such as Japan, Australia, Brazil and Kazakhstan. With their engaging stage presence and expert musicianship, Habib Koite and Bamada always put on a show to remember.

Lovingly called "Tuku" for short, Oliver Mtukudzi began recording in the mid-1970s as a member of Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. After Wagon Wheels rolled to fame in Southern Africa, Tuku formed Black Spirits, the band that has backed him throughout his career. Mtukudzi has been heavily influenced by chimurenga, the genre pioneered by Mapfumo that is inspired by the hypnotic rhythms of the mbira (thumb piano). His music also incorporates pop influences, South African mbaqanga, the energetic Zimbabwean pop style JIT, and the traditional kateke drumming of his clan, the Korekore. While Tuku's music is undeniably contagious, it is his lyrics that have captured the hearts of his people. The words to his songs invariably deal with social and economic issues. One of Tuku's biggest fans is Bonnie Raitt, who has not only called Oliver "a treasure", but has also used his music as inspiration for the song "One Belief Away" on her album Fundamental.

Afel Bocoum began his music career with his uncle Ali Farka Toure, in his group Asco, a collaboration which lasted some thirty years. In the 1980s, he founded his own group, which he named Alkibar, in which he plays the guitar, composes, and sings. Bocoum sings mainly in Sonrai, his mother tongue, but also in Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg, and in Bambara. In spite of his growing success, Bocoum remains gentle and unassuming, modestly directing the energy this recognition brings him towards the welfare of his people and the inspiration they give to his music. In the dancing melodies of the river and the palpitating rhythm of the hard desert wind, there is no doubt that the heritage of Ali Farka Toure is in good hands. With remarkable subtlety and a sure talent, Afel Bocoum has proved that he is a true "Messenger of the great river", and it's certain he will actively contribute to keeping Malian music at the forefront of the international scene.

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Afor-Zep & 56 Hope Road @ the Fox Theatre

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Afro-Zep & 56 Hope Road at the Fox Theatre on Friday, February 11th.

AfroZep is a collective of Chicago musicians that assemble a few times a year to tour- performing a set of all Led Zeppelin tunes but re-done in the style of Afrobeat and Afropop. Some tunes are straight mash-ups of Fela Kuti and Zeppelin; others are Zep tunes but set to original grooves based off the music of artists such as Tinariwen, Thomas Mapfumo and Franco; and others are stripped down arrangements with tons of added traditional African drumming, like their take on 'When the Levee Breaks' which incorporates a rhythm of Malinke decent, called Soli. Arrangements such as this show how the roots of Plant and Page's songwriting can be traced even further back to the roots of blues music itself. The members of AfroZep have toured and recorded with various artists, such as: Chicago Afrobeat Project, 56 Hope Road, Starrunner, 1000 Vertical Feet, the Motet, Seneke West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, among many other of gospel, big band, jazz, rock and drumming ensembles based out of Chicago. Due to the rigorous schedules of its performers, the Afro-Zep is not a full time project and the band only tours a few times a year.  With their first tour taking place in Nov 2009 the band has already traveled to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.

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56 Hope Road is a band bonded like a family, and as a result, their music has an unmistakable honesty and openness. Uncanny, intuitive communication creates an easy interplay on stage, making even the most layered tunes sound effortless. They allow the joy of spontaneous creativity to color their song-based arrangements - neither losing their musical center, nor restricting its growth. The music is acoustic funk at its finest with sounds reminiscent of G-Love and Special Sauce, Richie Havens, MMW, Grateful Dead, Paul Simon and Gomez. This Chicago-based “acoustic funk explosion” is known for clever songwriting, lush vocal harmonies and one of the tightest rhythm sections on the scene. Formed in 1999, 56 Hope Road is made up of vocalist/guitarist Dave Hamilton, drummer Greg Fundis, upright bassist Chad Sanders, saxophonist Casey Fitzpatrick, and often augmented by vocalist Anne Katzfey, and percussionist Matt Katzfey.

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Tickets are on sale at Fox Theatre Box Office. Call (303) 443-3399 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.foxtheatre.com.

$7 adv / $9 dos

Tickets On Sale – Friday January 21st!

Sweet Honey In The Rock at the Boulder Theater

Founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1973 at the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, Sweet Honey In The Rock, internationally renowned a cappella ensemble, has been a vital and innovative presence in the music culture of Washington, D.C., and in communities of conscience around the world.

From Psalm 81:16 comes the promise to a people of being fed by honey out of the rock. Honey - an ancient substance, sweet and nurturing. Rock - an elemental strength, enduring the winds of time. The metaphor of sweet honey in the rock captures completely these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere.

Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey In The Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey's collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms.

In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock has come in song to communities across the U.S., and around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance. Sweet Honey invites her audiences to open their minds and hearts and think about who we are and how we treat each other, our fellow creatures who share this planet, and of course, the planet itself.

The 2008-2009 season finds Sweet Honey celebrating her 35th birthday. What a year it has been and what a year it will be!

Sweet Honey's latest release, Experience...101 was a 2008 Grammy Award nominee. After attending the awards ceremony in Los Angeles, and walking the red carpet, the group summed up the experience in one word: amazing. The excitement continued as Sweet Honey was asked to compose new material in celebration of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 50th anniversary. Together these two artistic treasures of the African American experience are performing this once-in-a-lifetime collaboration throughout the United States.

Sweet Honey In The Rock is Ysaye Maria Barnwell, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Shirley Childress Saxton.

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Ethiopian Superstar Gigi Releases New Album on MOD Technologies

Ejigayehu “Gigi” Shibawbaw, one of Ethiopia's best-known singers, is releasing her latest album Mesgana Ethiopia on October 19th through MOD Technologies, the label founded by Grammy-winner Bill Laswell (who has collaborated with countless legends from Mick Jagger to Laurie Anderson to Tony Williams). This release features Gigi singing her original songs mixed with some Ethiopian traditional tunes – all sung in Amaharic – bridging African styles, Reggae, Dub, Avant-Funk,/Jazz, World Beat, Trance, and Ambient music.

Already an international star, Gigi has recorded and toured across the globe with iconic, master musicians including Tabla Beat Science featuring Zakir Hussain and Sultan Khan, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Hamid Drake, Sly & Robbie, Abegasu Shiota, Buckethead, Karsh Kale, DJ Disk and Laswell himself.  Her music has also been featured in films, including 2003’s Beyond Borders, which starred Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen.

Gigi has a powerful voice that can also convey beautiful fragility.  This versatility allows her to be the source and structural framework for her backing band’s African Futurism/One World Music approach. For a taste, click HERE to stream/download "Shemum Mune."

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Mesanga Ethiopia features the following incredibly talented group of musicians:

Bill Laswell: Material founder, legendary bassist, producer, reconstructionist, inventor of Herbie Hancock’s mega-hit “Rockit”, creator of the first and only landmark full album remix-constructions on the music of Bob Marley, Miles Davis & Carlos Santana, cofounder of the Axiom Label w/Chris Blackwell, veteran of over 700 recordings to date.

Abegasu Shiota: Keyboardist, acclaimed producer/arranger of Ethiopian pop culture, has worked with most all of the important artists there.

Hamid Drake: Master drummer, Americas most valuable - Avant-Jazz – World/Beat percussionist.

Aiyb Dieng: From Senegal, Easily the most widely recorded African percussionist.

Dominic Kanza: Post Modern African guitarist, master of many advanced styles.

And Featuring 2 world renown guest musicians –  Steven Bernstein: Trumpet / slide trumpet; and Peter Apfelbaum: Tenor saxophone, flute, percussion.  Both are composers, arrangers and world class band leaders in their own right.

Sunny Ade & His African Beats @ Boulder Theater

King Sunny Ade, sometimes also called the Minister of Enjoyment, was born in Oshogbo, Nigeria in 1946, the son of a Methodist minister. He began his musical career when, after dropping out of grammer school, he drifted to Lagos and joined a highlife band. Inspired by the music of I.K. Dairo, he joined the Rhythm Dandies, led by Moses Olaiya (later known as Baba Sala, Nigeria's preeminent funny man and a prolific film maker). King Sunny was influenced by the legendary Tunde Nightingale (early Juju pioneer extraordinare) and borrowed stylistic elements from Nightingale's 'So wa mbe' style of juju.

In 1966 he formed his own band, the Green Spots. After a long eight years in which they recorded 12 LPs for the Nigeria-Africa Song label, in 1974 he entered into increasingly annoying contract hassles and a public court case. This experience prompted him into forming his own recording company linked to Decca Records. At this time he changed the name of his band to the African Beats.

King Sunny Ade and The African Beats tour with the typically large African line-up of 20-30 members. They play a spacey, jamming sort of Juju, characterized by tight vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, backed by traditional talking drums, percussion instruments, and even adding the unusual pedal steel guitar and accordian.

Sunny Ade & His African Beats will play the Boulder Theater on April 30th, 2010.   Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

NOTE: This show has been cancelled.

Africa in the Americas Through a Southern Band

"Boulder, CO, Fox Theatre. Giant Panda at 9. JBB at 10. TK at 11:30. Bring your dancing attire, dr." Not the most clear posting on Twitter, perhaps, but for fans of Toubab Krewe--the "TK" in the tweet--the message was rather plain. Thursday's show was going to be one with jams so moving, you had better come ready to dance. And they were right.

PHAROAH SANDERS RETURNS to BROOKLYN

Two of Brooklyn’s vanguard organizations for African American music and culture, Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium and International African Arts Festival, will collaborate to produce a Community Day Gala Concert, as part of the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, featuring saxophone great Pharoah Sanders. This event will take place on Saturday, March 27th at Boys and Girls High School auditorium located at 1700 Fulton Street in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.  Tickets are $35 in advance, available online or by calling 718.773.2252 or 718.638.6700.  Doors open at 7:30 PM concert begins at 8:00 PM.

Grammy award winner Pharoah Sanders has not performed in Brooklyn since his days at the legendary jazz shrine The East. Pharoah’s ascent to stardom began with collaborations with John Coltrane.  His distinctive sound has revered him among many jazz lovers.  Other jazz luminaries he has performed or recorded with include: McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Sun Ra, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins and Alice Coltrane just to name some.  This concert also includes performances by Omi Yesa (Afro-Cuban and Yoruba folklore music) and poet Louis Reyes Rivera.

International African Arts Festival is a not for profit entity that began in 1971 as a fundraiser for the Uhuru Sasa School. Their cultural presentation was originally known as the African Street Carnival, fore runner to BAM’s Dance Africa Festival.  Now in its 40th year the annual IAAF attracts nearly 75,000 people and presents musicians from across the African Diaspora.  International artist such as Fela Kuti, The Mighty Sparrow, Lauren Hill and Abbey Lincoln, just to name a few, as well as local artists present(ed) their musical styling's.

11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, March 27th thru April 30, 2010, will feature a lineup of international, local musicians; jazz forums; youth performances and a Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame & Museums (TM) induction ceremony.  Confirmed venues include: Brooklyn Tech Auditorium, Weeksville Historical Society, BAMcafe Live, Parlor Jazz, Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture-Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, Afroarts Design, Sistas’ Place, Hitchcock Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College, Two Steps Down, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn Arts Council, Rustik Lounge, Brooklyn Historical Society, New York Aquarium, Sugar Hill Restaurant and non traditional music venues throughout the borough.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium acknowledges Brooklyn Tourism and Visitors Center, Long Life Information & Referral Network, Brooklyn Arts Council, Department of Cultural Affairs and International African Arts Festival, Inc. for assistance with producing the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival, the longest continuous running jazz festival in the borough.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium/CBJC founded in 1999, is an amalgam of patrons, entertainment venues, faith based and community organizations and musicians.  Over the past ten (10) years CBJC has presented an annual spring festival, established a Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame & Museum (TM), and produced yearly programs that feature local jazz talent.  CBJC is a nonprofit corporation committed to preserving, promoting and supporting live music within the under served communities of Brooklyn.

Bela Fleck: An African Edification

I first became immersed into African music from the influence of an amazing musician, friend, and teacher Matt Wasowski currently with Mohammed Alidu and the Bizung Family, and Zivanai Masango and Pachedu and formerly with Jaka and Jyemo amongst other groups. Matt who plays mostly guitar, also dabbles and even builds with his students many African instruments such as the Mbira or thumb piano and Marimbas.

Chris Berry brings CB3 from Zimbabwe to the West Coast

What happens when you put African grooves born in the ghettos of Zimbabwe with the ground breaking guitar work of San Francisco’s scene and combine it with New York City’s urban electronica? The west coast is about to find out.

Joining together for their first multi-night tour, and performing under the guise of CB-3, Chris Berry has arranged his most interesting collaboration yet. Featuring San Francisco’s own Steve Kimock alongside the rhythm section of the Brazillian Girls comes an explosive cross-cultural musical experience for music lovers of all types - CB-3 (Chris Berry Trio) Featuring Steve Kimock. The 10-day tour will maneuver along the west coast including dates in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Eugene and Portland Oregon.

Music first touched the Grammy award winning Chris Berry as a teen living in the heart of Zimbabwe where he carefully learned the indigenous rhythms of Africa on the sacred Mbira (African Thumb Piano). His ability to speak out against the tyranny of the Zimbabwean regime through the art of music won him overnight success across the country and in the World Music market, bringing his music around the globe. Since then, he has performed on the stages of the 2000 Olympics, the Sydney Opera house and the nations largest festivals across the United States with his project Panjea. 2010 finds the “Afropop Superstar” (SF Chronicle) a multi-instrumentalist with grace on Mbira, the hand drum, as well as a gifted singer-songwriter whose voice is often compared to Sting.

Together with CB3, Berry combines his unique intercultural perspective with the nations highest caliber of musicians, each known for their genre bending talent, for an intimate musical experience. The project features “Guitar Monk” Steve Kimock who was recently hailed on CNN.com as an “unknown legend,” as well as Aaron Johnston (drums) & Jesse Murphy (bass) from the Grammy award nominated Brazilian Girls.

Collectively, CB-3 (Chris Berry Trio) Featuring Steve Kimock has the ability to bring together three decades of music history tightly fitted into one anthology adorned with cutting-edge improvisational guitar, hip-hop and elements of modern electronica. Show goers can expect both a dance ready experience as well as an intimate view into music provoked by both the past and present.

For more information about CB3 or for ticket information check out: Chris Berry Trio | Panjea | Kimock

TOUR DATES
2/24 Moe's Alley - Santa Cruz, CA
2/25 Montbleu Resort Casino - Lake Tahoe, NV
2/26 Yoshi's - San Francisco, CA
2/27 Yoshi's - San Francisco, CA
2/28 Mystic Theater - Petaluma, CA
3/1 Point Arena Theater - Point Arena, CA
3/2 Red Fox Tavern - Eureka, CA
3/4 W.O.W. Hall - Eugene, OR
3/5 Mt. Tabor Theatre - Portland, OR
3/6 Domino Room - Bend, OR

BaoBao Festival @ Boulder Theater

Traditional West African dance drumming, music and storytelling. BaoBao Festival entertains, educates and builds community in Colorado through artistic performances and educational events inspired by West African tradition and culture. This multifaceted collaboration between local and international performing artists (including former members of the Ghana National Dance Ensemble, the Streetside Hip Hop Dance Troupe, and others) engages and entertains world culture fans of all ages. The festival, started by Boulder resident Adjei Abankwah, a lead dancer and choreographer with the Ghana National Dance Ensemble for 11 years, has been a perennial favorite among Boulder and Denver audiences.
GA / All Ages / $22.50 / Students: $18.50 / Children under 10 free

Tickets are on sale at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone. Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com. All tickets are subject to tax and service charge.

7th Annal BaoBao FestivalSaturday March 6doors 6:00pm, show 7:00pm

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