Black Coffee, Tony Allen & Jeff Mills, Ayo and Pierre Kwenders
Hosted by: Mwenso & The Shakes
Music By: DJ Henri
March 3, 2018
Saturday, 8 PM
253 W 125th St, Manhattan
Presented in partnership with the Apollo Theater
Now in its sixth season, this annual concert at the Apollo celebrates the best of today’s African music scene. This year’s concert spotlights the continent’s contemporary trends in electronic music.
Black Coffee is a South African record producer and DJ who defies convention. Sidestepping Afro-house clichés and stage-managed highs in favor of restrained sophistication, Black Coffee's penchant is for true Afropolitan house: home-brewed but fresh and future-focused. He has released several acclaimed albums and remixes - all in his inimitable Kwaito style - South Africa’s home-grown music that is based on US house music infused with South African melodies and rhythms.
Tony Allen & Jeff Mills
The duo of acclaimed Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen (Nigeria), who was the original drummer for Fela Kuti and is often credited with inventing the foundations of Afrobeat music, and brilliant techno music DJ and producer Jeff Mills will perform together for the first time in the United States. As two legends who revolutionized their respective musical areas, they will bring Afrobeat and techno together in a collaboration that’s like a conversation, building off of each other.
Born Joy Olasunmibo Ogunmakin in Cologne, Germany to a Nigerian father and Romani gypsy mother, Ayo (which means "joy" in her father's Yoruba language) has sold 1.5 million records in 40 countries with her four previous releases on Polydor, Universal France, and Interscope Records. Her debut album, Joyful, hit Top 10 in four countries, while Essence magazine compared her to the great Nina Simone. She's performed with Babyface, won prestigious European music awards, has appeared stateside on Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and even fortunate enough to open for the funkiest man on the planet, James Brown on one of his last big shows.
Singer/songwriter Pierre Kwenders’ music is a response to a world that so often asks people who fit comfortably in multiple boxes to pick only one. Born in Kinshasa, Pierre draws on his wide-range of experiences and sings and raps in five languages - English, French, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo. While Pierre’s music ranges from icy R&B to electronic and futuristic hip-hop, his style is rooted in Congolese rumba, the ubiquitous sound of The Democratic Republic of Congo.
APOLLO MUSIC CAFÉ FEATURING: MEKLIT
Meklit is an Ethio-American vocalist, composer, and cultural instigator bringing together EthioJazz with a singer-songwriter's storytelling and strum. Her new album - When the People Move, the Music Moves Too - was released June 23rd on Six Degrees Records, receiving rave reviews and quickly reaching #4 on the iTunesWorld Music Charts. These 11 songs were deeply inspired by Mulatu Astatke (the Godfather of Ethio-Jazz). Back in 2011, he told Meklit, "find your contribution to Ethio-Jazz and keep on innovating!"
Produced by multi-GRAMMY-winning artist/songwriter Dan Wilson (Adele, John Legend, Dixie Chicks), the album also features world-renowned musicians Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the violinist/whistler Andrew Bird. TICKETS
APOLLO MUSIC CAFÉ AFRICA NOW AFTERPARTY FEATURING: AFROTRONIX
AfrotroniX takes over the Africa Now! Afterparty with a high energy electronic set bursting with African rhythms and Tuareg blues. His live shows are must-see experiences that merge electro DJ, live instruments, African urban dance performances and digital art. Discovered at Paris AFROPUNK fest last year, AfrotroniX is an original creation by the famous Chadian guitarist Caleb Rimtobaye who has worked with international artists like Young Paris, Vieux Farka Touré, Mbongwana Star, Brian Kennedy (Rihanna, Chris Brown) and many more. TICKETS