Nige­rian Su­per­star Femi Kuti and his Afrobeat Orches­tra Play Lyn­donville Con­cert Jan­uary 27th

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS -

Get­ting back to the essence of Afrobeat is the cen­tral aim of Nige­rian su­per­star and three-time Grammy nom­i­nee Femi Kuti, the reign­ing king of the ground­break­ing mu­si­cal form in­vented and made hugely pop­u­lar by his leg­endary fa­ther, Fela Kuti. This po­tent and in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cal form cre­ates a big band sound rooted in na­tive African har­monies and rhythms. Through its 14 or more mu­si­cians on stage, play­ing mul­ti­ple gui­tars, per­cus­sion, trum­pets, sax­o­phones, trom­bones, and vo­cals. Afrobeat mixes a va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal el­e­ments, in­clud­ing soul, jazz, a hard-driv­ing funk, West African high­life, fiery rock ‘n roll licks, and a spon­ta­neous out­burst of ex­u­ber­ant chants and call-and-re­sponse singing. Femi Kuti’s 14-piece band The Pos­i­tive Force also in­cludes wildly gy­rat­ing African women dancers, cre­at­ing an in­fec­tious en­ergy and sound that be­comes a force to be reck­oned with.

King­dom County Pro­duc­tions and Lyn­don State Col­lege will present Femi Kuti and The Pos­i­tive Force in its only north­ern New Eng­land con­cert at 7pm, Sun­day, Jan­uary 27th at the Twi­light The­ater at Lyn­don State Col­lege. Tick­ets are now on sale at the Cata­mount Re­gional Box Of­fice or by call­ing 802-748-2600. On­line sales and in­for­ma­tion are avail­able at King­domCounty.org.

Femi Kuti got his start as part of his fa­ther’s band but he set out on his own af­ter his fa­ther’s death in 1997. Larger-than-life Fela Kuti was rec­og­nized world­wide as a pi­o­neer­ing mu­si­cal in­no­va­tor and po­lit­i­cal mav­er­ick on a con­ti­nent rav­aged by poverty, cor­rup­tion, and the legacy of colo­nial­ism. The hit Broad­way play, “Fela” is based on Fela’s mu­sic and his tur­bu­lent but in­deli­ble life story. Femi Kuti has found new

voice for his fa­ther’s so­cial mes­sage but, not sat­is­fied to live in Fela’s shadow, he has ad­vanced and am­pli­fied Afrobeat and given it new mean­ing and mu­si­cal range, bring­ing it into the 21st cen­tury. Femi Kuti has en­listed a range of mu­si­cal col­lab­o­ra­tors on his al­bums, in­clude U.S. stars Com­mon, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright. The Kuti sound has in­flu­enced scores of mu­si­cians world­wide, in­clud­ing David Byrne (The Talk­ing Heads), Brian Eno, Bran­ford Marsalis, Paul Simon, and the Amer­i­can-based Afrobeat band, An­tibalas. Threads of Abrobeat can also be found in hip-hop.

The Jan­uary 27th Femi Kuti con­cert is pro­duced by King­dom County Pro­duc­tions (KCP) and Lyn­don State Col­lege work­ing in as­so­ci­a­tion with Cata­mount Arts and a host of lo­cal in­di­vid­ual, busi­ness, and me­dia spon­sors. For more in­for­ma­tion or to make ar­range­ments for group or stu­dent sales, con­tact KCP pro­ducer and artis­tic di­rec­tor Jay Craven (j craven@marl­boro.edu).

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