Yemi Alade: A Mama Africa for the Millennial Generation

August 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

Yemi Alade put on a party of a show at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Fans had started screaming for Nigeria’s music superstar Yemi Alade long before she came onstage at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, as they endured an extra-long opening set with a multitude of dancers, rappers and singers. When she finally burst onto the stage with her dancers, electrifying the crowd with two of her hit songs “Tangerine” and “Tumbum,” one could not help but conclude that we were witnessing the evolution of a bonafide African music legend. No matter who’s top of the bill, you can always expect a party when an African musician puts on a concert, and Yemi Alade did not disappoint. She engaged the crowd in raucous call and response chants to her songs, and invited several guests onto the stage to participate in a mini dance-off. The 28-year-old singer and songwriter describes her music as “afropolitan,” or “Afro-highlife, a meld of Afrobeat, R&B, pop, and highlife.” Before her DC show, Yemi Alade sat down with « Read the rest of this entry »

Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers Crossed Tour” Hits DC

September 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

Reggae Icon Jimmy Cliff in his element at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Reggae Icon Jimmy Cliff in his element at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Jimmy Cliff kicked off the show on the nyabinghi drum

Jimmy Cliff kicked off the show on the nyabinghi drum

Who knew that Wonderful World, Beautiful People was inspired by a trip Jimmy Cliff made to Brazil? Or that Cat Stevens, who wrote the original Wild World, actually helped produce Jimmy Cliff’s version, which went on to become a top ten UK hit? These are some of the gems that have come from the grammy-winning rock and roll hall of fame inductee as he winds up his “Many Rivers Crossed Tour,” playing mostly classic hits and telling the stories behind them. At the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, the 65 year-old Jimmy Cliff’s energy was truly on show, from the first nyabinghi drum beat to the last strum of his Schecter Electric guitar. He left the stage four times, only to be cajoled back by chants of “Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!” The tour coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the US release of The Harder They Come, the movie in which he played the lead role of Ivan, a “rude boy” and aspiring singer. Apart from the title track, Cliff also contributed three « Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Sister Carol and Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose Live at Howard Theatre

April 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

Michael Rose

Michael Rose

When comedian Jimmy Fallon introduced Bill Cosby on his late night TV talk show earlier this month, house band The Roots broke into Black Uhuru‘s “Sponji Reggae,” and Cosby came in doing his signature boogie to the popular tune with Fallon following close behind. But drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson had to remind Cosby that the song was played on an episode of the Cosby show almost 30 years ago. For reggae fans it was a great trip down memory lane. At the Howard Theatre last Wednesday, while on tour with the “Black Cinderella” Sister Carol, by the time Black Uhuru’s Michael Rose launched into “Sponji Reggae,” we were in the middle of a more glorious trip; he was already deep into a crucial sampling of the group’s major hits. Sister Carol, clad in African regalia, opened the show at the historic DC landmark rather promptly at 9pm, with “Rastafari is my Savior,” then continued with a string of her familiar hits from the 90s. Michael Rose kicked off his segment with “Shine Eye Gal,” followed by ‘Plastic Smile” and “General Penitentiary.” Billed as the Balance Tour (the idea is apparently to correct the « Read the rest of this entry »

A Ziggy Marley Love Fest at Washington, DC’s Howard Theatre

June 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

Ziggy Marley performs at the newly renovated historic Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

Ziggy Marley, the eldest son of reggae icon Bob Marley, is on a Wild and Free Tour through the USA and Canada. And on Wednesday June 13, the five-time Grammy Award winner lit up the stage at Washington, DC’s historic Howard Theatre with a mix of songs from his own repertoire and a sprinkling of his father’s classics. The tour takes the name of his latest studio album, which was released last June, and features guest appearances from the late Heavy D and Ziggy’s own son Daniel. Media were given a three-song limit of time to shoot photos and video; I arrived late but managed to squeeze off a few shots « Read the rest of this entry »

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