Loide: Cool Notes From an Afrolusophone Chanteuse

August 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

Loide belts out Afrolusophone jazz at Bohemian Caverns

When I think of Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde I invariably
think of Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel and Amilcar Cabral. Phrases like  A luta continua, and the heat of the revolutionary struggles in Portuguese controlled Africa come to mind. But on a late July night at the Bohemian Caverns in Washington, DC the cool, jazzy sounds of Loide’s music turned them into places of love and longing as she transported us back to where her roots lie. Loide was born in France with both Mozambican and Guinea-Bissau heritage, and then raised in California. That rich, diverse background filters through her music; she sings in Portuguese and English with influences ranging from Sarah Vaughn and Miriam Makeba, to Sade and Cesaria Evora. On that night in July it « Read the rest of this entry »

Shattering The Silence: Benefit for the 1st World Summit of African Descendants

July 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

At the start of the year, the United Nations pronounced 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. In recognition of the resilience and power of African Descendants all over the world, the US International Coordinating Committee for the 1st World Summit of African Descendants is holding a benefit concert Friday July 15 at Bloombars in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC. This concert aims to raise funds for those who cannot afford the cost of travel to La Ceiba, Honduras where the summit will be held from August 18-21 2011. Some of the artists performing will be DC Casineros, a duo from African diaspora group Sahel, DC Mambo, and Vicky Leyva. Afro-Cuban painter Lazaro Batista will also showcase his art. Bloombars is at 3222 11th Street NW. The show starts at 9:00pm. Check out a quick preview above featuring DC Mambo, Lazaro Batista and Adrian Valdivia from DC Casineros. For more information check out the summit website here. Bless…

Celebrating African Hip Hop at the Kennedy Center

July 13, 2011 § 1 Comment

Maimouna Youssef performs with her band at the Kennedy Center

At the Kennedy Center July 12, it was an evening that music site Okayafrica called a celebration of hip hop’s new African renaissance. As part of the 10th Anniversary of the Hip Hop Theatre Festival, the show started with a “warm up” dance class led by Zimbabwean dancer Rujeko Zumbutshena (Fela!) to prep the audience for the rest of the night. She guided a fairly sizable group through hip-hop and African dance moves. Local rap star Tabi Bonney was the host of the show, and introduced Baltimore native Maimouna Youssef, an amazing grammy-nominated singer, MC and poet. Youssef got the crowd on its feet, taking them through an energetic mix of African infused hip hop and soul, « Read the rest of this entry »

Africa’s World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures Recap: Great News Overlooked

January 21, 2011 § 6 Comments

It was supposed to be the most significant and talked-about cultural event in Africa in 2010 after the World Cup. The 3rd World Festival of Black Arts and Culture had thousands from around Africa and the black Diaspora flocking to Dakar, Senegal last December, but for some reason it ended up receiving scant attention in the mainstream media. And it was certainly not for lack of celebrity attendance; heads of state like Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia and Libya’s Gaddafi, entertainers like Wyclef Jean, Angelique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour, Dead Prez, Manu Di Bango, Busta Rhymes, to name a few, all took part in the various events. Senegalese-American artist Akon was the festival’s closing act at a free concert on New Year’s Day. In fact, all the concerts were free. There were arts and craft shows, cinema, design, « Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Morgan Heritage: “We want to come back!”

January 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

Jamaican reggae group Third World once reminisced about a visit to Nigeria in their song Lagos Jump: “Oiay Efusa, said the Oba to me, Rasta Messenger, you are welcome!” That was in 1983. Their compatriots in the group Morgan Heritage may well be doing something similar years from now when they reflect on their first visit to Sierra Leone in 2010. “We feel connected to the land here, and we feel connected to the people,” says Peter Morgan in their interview with Afrofusion TV. After their two shows at the National Stadium in Freetown, Morgan Heritage are headed home, but would love to return in April this year to join in Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary events. Needless to say, they are welcome!

Peter, Una and Lukes of Morgan Heritage speak with Anne Marie

Afrofusion would love to say thanks to Morgan Heritage’s manager, and also to technical director Sam Jones for providing us with the video clips from their show at the stadium. There are photos from that event that you can check out in my previous post. Bless…

ZIMBABWE: Capleton – “I Feel at Home” | i-reggae, + Morgan Heritage Photos (Interview coming soon!)

January 1, 2011 § 4 Comments

Capleton Answers a question during a press conference in Zimbabwe

Reggae artists from the Caribbean have been finding they have a lot of love waiting for them in Africa. Several artists in the past year have either included African countries in their tour schedules, or have responded to individual countries’ invitations to perform there. Reggae dancehall star Capleton, who is known affectionately as King Shango to his fans, was given royal treatment during his recent stop in Zimbabwe. He is the 11th reggae star to visit Zimbabwe in recent years. In an interview with Zimbo Jam, he admitted that he had not expected that kind of welcome. Throngs of fans were waiting for him,  « Read the rest of this entry »

Morgan Heritage Get Set To Rock Sierra Leone

December 28, 2010 § 3 Comments

"Gramps" Morgan and Peter Morgan of Morgan Heritage

Roots reggae band Morgan Heritage is the latest in a long list of artists from the Diaspora to play concerts in Africa this year, and for reggae fans in Sierra Leone their performance will cap a 2010 that’s been quite a treat! First it was Akon’s concert earlier in the year. Then superstar Jimmy Cliff shuttled in to do the ECOWAS Peace Pageant; he had barely said “see ya” when Beenie Man hit the stage as part of his own multi-nation tour. And now it seems that fans could not even wait for Morgan Heritage’s scheduled main event at the National Stadium on December 28; a special request was made of them to perform a private show at the « Read the rest of this entry »

Jimmy Cliff Interview, plus Beenie Man in Sierra Leone

November 22, 2010 § 1 Comment

OK, Promised to bring you some Jimmy Cliff video after his recent performance in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Only a brief clip is available right now (it takes quite a while to FTP that hi-def video). Many thanks to our crew over there for grabbing Jimmy Cliff right after his rousing performance in front of the crowd at the ECOWAS Peace Pageant 2010. With his hat pulled over his eyes, he does look like he’s ready to hit the pillows! But he still managed to talk with Zoe Hamilton about being in Sierra Leone and his message for the youth.

So this past weekend another reggae artist made it to Sierra Leone: Beenie Man.
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New Video: Lady Pcoq and Mello-D at Bossa Bistro

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lady Pcoq performing at Bossa Bistro

“Who in here remembers State of the Union? On U Street?” asked Lady Pcoq of the audience during an interlude where her group Lady Pcoq & the Plumes was performing at Bossa Bistro in Adams Morgan. I was among a few who raised their hands. Back in the late nineties while shooting a documentary film about poetry and spoken word in Washington, DC, I spent many an evening at joints like State, Kaffa House and Mangos.

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Interview: Gyptian Wants to Work with African Artists

October 13, 2010 § 3 Comments

 

Gyptian performing at Crossroads Nightclub

 

I promised to bring you snippets of Afrofusion TV’s interview with Gyptian… Voila! check it out below! It’s a fairly common “problem” with music artists. You record a song, and fans think someone else sang it. For African and West Indian artists, the cross-pollination in music styles and genres makes the occurrence more frequent, and even less surprising. So for Nigerian singer Tuface Idibia, his worldwide hit “African Queen” got attributed by many a fan to Jamaican reggae star Gyptian!

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