Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Caetano Veloso's Zii e Zie Out This Week

While we try to keep the "we're toally jamming out to such and such in the office" blog post and tweets to a minimum, sometimes we can't help ourself. Earlier this week it was a fantastic Sterns Music compilation of Issa Juma and Super Wanykia Stars--World Defeats the Grandfathers: Swinging Swahili Rumba 1982-1986.

At this very moment, we're enjoying Caetano Veloso's most recent album, which was released just this week: Zii e Zie.

This, of course, begs the question: Where can I purchase these wonderful albums, thus giving back to the world music community I--as a rabid fan--am part of?

Here's where...

Zii e Zie

World Defeats the Grandfathers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hugh Tracey Feature from Wills

Last week, we released a new Hip Deep show. For those that don't know, our Hip Deep shows are humanities-rich Afropop shows that delve much deeper into the culture and history surrounding the music we profile. Wills Glasspiegel just finished a piece on field recordist HUGH TRACY, who was to southern Africa what Alan Lomax was to the Americas. Check out the program page on our brand-new Hip Deep site here:


Music nerds, GEEK OUT!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Habib Koite Concert @ HighLine: Photos from Santi

Well, spring has sprung and summer is right around the corner, judging from all of the great music happening. Soon, we'll be dancing at SummerStage again. In the meanwhile, we've already seen some great performers come through--Habib Koite was in town last week, performing at the HighLine Ballroom on Tuesday night and South Orange Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Santiago Felipe, our intrepid (and extremely underpaid) staff photographer snapped the following shots from Habib's NYC show...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Discount Tickets for Highline Shows: Sierra Leone All-Stars and Rokia Traore

Highline Ballroom has generously offered the Afropop community $5.00 off two upcoming shows--

Sierra Leone All Stars--April 14
Rokia Traore--April 17

Head to HighLine Ballroom's Website, and plop the code AFROPOP into the form when you purchase your tickets.

Afropop is also reserving a few tables for the Rokia show for a CLUB AFROPOP. More info on that can be found on our website.

So much good music coming up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Be in a Nollywood Movie at the Next NollywoodNYC Event!

I just got off the phone with Oji at NollywoodNYC, where he let me in on some fantastic news--not only will some of Nollywood's biggest stars be out in full force THURSDAY night for the next NollywoodNYC event, but they'll be filming scenes for a new movie at the event.

So, get there early, put on your best look, and perhaps you too will soon be a NollywoodNYC star...



Do join NollywoodNYC, and aficionados of Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) in its unique after-work networking event for an exclusive movie preview and night of networking.

Do join surprise Nollywood actors and actresses live and direct from Nigeria!

After substantial and month long interior renovations, the space previously known as Boucarou has been retransformed to Betty’s!

NollywoodNYC is back with unfiltered cultural stimuli!

Come join the Nollywood culture and experience!
Meet and greet industry professionals!
Food and drinks - Pepper soup, Suya, Palm wine, etc.

Raffle to win 2 tickets to Broadway hit FELA!
Raffle to win 2 match tickets for World Cup SA 2010 courtesy of media sponsor

Event Details
Date: Thursday, March 25th, 2010.

Time: 6 until 11pm. Movie preview begins at 7pm and ends approximately at 9pm with some interludes.

Admission: $5.00 before 7pm.

Location: Betty’s Lounge.
64 East 1st Street (btw 1st & 2nd Ave), New York, NY 10003
212.529.3262. F or V train to 2nd Ave. Take the 1st Ave exit.


New Web Feature from Guest Jake Bright

A few months back, our friend Jake Bright (better known as DJake), spun at the Freetown, Sierra Leone club ACES. He was nice enough to put a feature together for us that covers his experience and delves deep into the current African music scene...

"E Wan D.J. Nar Yar": A New York D.J. Returns to Mix In Postwar Sierra Leone

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Afropop Live! Video on Kiko Klaus

Much more from Kiko Klaus' NYC debut at Joe's Pub. Special shout out to Chico Science (RIP), whose fantastic video for Maracatu Atomico was posted on the blog a few weeks ago.

You can find out more about Kiko Klaus on his website.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Robert Farris Thompson @ MoCADA Tonight


If you're free tonight and are looking for something FREE to do, we suggest the following:

Robert Farris Thompson: Eshu in the Americas
March 18, 6pm-8pm

MoCADA, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Yale Professor of African & African-American Art History, Yoruba practitioner and internationally acclaimed author, Dr. Robert Farris Thompson will present a dynamic lecture/discussion on the Yoruba deity Eshu (the Trickster). Dr. Thompson will trace the deity's history from West Africa to the Americas and how the Yoruba religion is practiced today.

A Q&A will follow the presentation, and Dr. Thompson will sign his signature book Flash of the Spirit, along with a small reception.

The book will be available at MoCADA's store for $14.95.

For more information on Robert Farris Thompson and to hear the radio program we produced with him on Tango, check out our Hip Deep site.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Youssou N'Dour Tackles Reggae...WELL

Youssou N'Dour has one of the most unique voices in the world, but what makes it so special is that he's able to work it seamlessly into so many contexts. Whether it's singing with Peter Gabriel (and providing the vocal climax to "In Your Eyes") or channeling the history of Islam with Egyptian arrangements (if you haven't seen I Bring What I Love, rent it as soon as possible), Youssou's voice sounds like it BELONGS.

Thanks to a video tip from Josh, I just found out that Youssou has found another context for his voice: reggae. Now, before you snicker (like I did), watch the following EPK video on his new album, Dakar-Kingston. You'll be blown away by how perfect his voice sounds over reggae beats...

This album was just released in Europe, and I'm trying to find out when we'll hear it here in the US.

Folks that have had a listen, please comment below!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Festival in the Desert Videos from Christopher Nolan


We've been meaning to get these videos out to our Afropoppers for some time. You might remember, Christopher Nolan sent along a number of dispatches from the 10th Anniversary of the Festival in the Desert (Early JAN). He's followed up by posting a number of videos from the Festival on YouTube. You can head over to his YouTube Channel to view folks like Bassekou Kouyate, Amadou & Miriam, Khaira Arby, and more. Below, Festival Director Manny Ansar talks about the 10th Anniversary...

For all of Chris's posts and more, head to the Festival in the Desert 10th Anniversary Feature on

Monday, March 15, 2010

Free Show: Bonga and The Vodou Drums of Haiti

There's really nothing greater than seeing free music in New York City, and Kaisha from the Center for Traditional Music and Dance just passed this along to the Afropop Community:

'Bonga and The Vodou Drums of Haiti at Lincoln Center Atrium - Thursday, March 18th - FREE'

Kaisha says to get there by 7:30 or you might not be able to get in!

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Kiko Klaus Video from Afropop

Next week, we'll have a fuller interview with Brazilian composer/guitarist/singer Kiko Klaus, as well as more concert footage from his US Debut at Joe's Pub in Manhattan. Here, Kiko treats us to an acoustic version of his song, "Pra me Encontrar."
Fun fact--Kiko is indeed sitting on my desk during this performance.

For more on Kiko, check out his website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gilberto Gil Video: Live in Concert with Maria Rita

Gilberto Gil always has a way of creeping up on New York City without any of us knowing about it. Luckliy for us, he's done it again, and will be performing tonight in NYC at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square. In a Gilberto mood, I surfed around YouTube to see if I could find anything tasty for the blog, and came across this simply shot but simply delicious video of Gilberto playing and singing with Maria Rita:

This is the video currently playing on the official Gilberto Gil channel of YouTube. Surf on over and look at the most recent video, an interview of the man talking about his current tour.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

?uestlove on Fela Kuti

There's been a whole lot of Fela goin' on, especially with the Broadway debut of FELA! in October. It's amazing to see how many different artists have been affected by Fela Anikulapo Kuti--?uestlove, drummer for the Roots, talks about the effects he's seen in the music industry...

See full report...

We've got plenty more about Fela and FELA! on our website, including a report from the winner of our Afropop Trip to NYC to See Fela! on Broadway contest. Needless to say, she had a great time.

I myself will be seeing Fela! on Broadway (I saw it during its off-Broadway run) for the first time tonight.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

X Plastaz Music Video

Yesterday, Sean threw some X Plastaz (Tanzanian hip-hop) on the CD player and everyone's ears perked up (especially Dan's, as he knows Swahili). With the beats still bouncing around in his head, Gabe found this video, complete with English sub-titles, today. Enjoy!

Music and the Spirit of Haiti

A teacher in Michigan recently posted a collection of NPR stories focusing on Haiti and its music on his blog, along with an assignment for his students. Thanks to Liza (once again) for coming across this interesting resource:

Music and the Spirit of Haiti

Monday, March 8, 2010

Maracatu Atomico Video from Chico Science

I've been working with Sean and Julius to perfect our latest YouTube video on Brazilian Kiko Klaus' NYC Debut. During our interview with Kiko, he mentioned Chico Science as an influence. Sean was instrumental in connecting Chico to U.S. and international presenters back in the early 90s, althgouh I was unfamiliar. So, I sniffed around YouTube to see what I could find on Chico, and was blown away by this great video for "Maracatu Atômico" off of Chico's second (and sadly, final) album. He died in 1997, making me wonder--what would he have been doing if he were still around?

(P.S. -- I noticed some early '90s rock video influences--please comment if you can as well!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

NYTimes Article on Haitian Singer/Guitarist Beken

Thanks once again to Liza for finding this on

Putumayo World Music Re-Releases CDs for Haitian Relief

Putumayo World Music is re-releasing its "French Caribbean" and "Caribbean Playground" CDs, with all sales going directly to Haiti. You can read more on Putumayo's blog: