Saturday, March 11, 2017 - 8pm
The Apollo Theater | 253 W 125th Street, NYC
Presented in partnership with Apollo Theater
This year’s concert, hosted by South African comedian Loyiso Gola, takes us on a musical trip across the continent from the Congo’s new generation of musicians who embody the concept of change with Mbongwana Star, to Mali’s Songhoy Blues blending traditional and modern, to the ethereal voice and masterful guitar of Mauritanian-born Daby Touré, Nigerian DJ Nenim, to the soulful punk rock of South African-born TUELO.
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.
…The sound is out of this world.
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.
This resulting debut is a masterpiece of desert blues, blending American guitar licks with Malian grooves.
Daby Touré is a child of many worlds. He spent his childhood in Mauritania and moved to France as a teenager. A musical and linguistic polyglot, Touré creates an elegant sonic mixture that merges the linguistic inflections of the six languages he speaks. His music is a puzzle whose pieces, once assembled, form a comprehensive map of the world. It builds bridges between cultures, crossing borders and gives life to a poetic language and a universal sound.
"Touré's music evokes modern and traditional modes of life: It's as influenced by the sounds coming out of today's Senegal, Mali, Paris and New York as it is favored by the traditional music of his native Mauritania. Touré is a rising star." - BILLBOARD
TUELO is lead by a tiny South African girl who brings her traditional influences to the bold, soulful, punk rock sound from NewYork City that can simply be dubbed revival music. There are heartbreaking innocence and rebellious passion in TUELO's music, with an unraveling mind and captivating voice which inspired a recent Huffington Post article to dub her "New York's Best Singer (and the world's)!
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”.
Host: Loyiso Gola
Loyiso Gola is best known as the host, co-producer and writer of the twice International Emmy-nominated satirical news show, "Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola.” Gola burst onto the scene at the age of 17, winning the Sprite Soul Comedy competition. Since then his work in TV, radio, film and live performance has earned him the title of one of South Africa's best and most loved comedians. He has performed alongside the legendary Pieter Dirk-Uys, and was named by The Wall Street Journal as one South Africa's comedy greats. His debut U.S. comedy special, "Loyiso Gola Live in New York" was released by Vimeo Originals in 2016, launching at the prestigious New York Comedy Festival.