Friday, April 8, 2011

Afrobeat: Femi Kuti + the Positive Force North American Tour 2011

From various sources - saw him at Harbourfront a couple of years ago - expect a packed house:

Femi Kuti & the Positive Force
on Tour for Africa for Africa

April 19 at The Opera House, Toronto
L'Astral Montreal April 20
April 26 - Highline Ballroom NYC 
Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn Apr 27 
• For other dates from Detroit and Chicago to Atlanta, Austin & New Orleans - check the link

Tickets for all shows

Those who have followed his career and have experienced his music know this for a fact: Femi Kuti never felt just satisfied with being the King’s heir. He freed himself from his father’s legacy in ’85 by putting together his own band, The Positive Force, and thereby working to find his own voice. He became, during the ’90s, a renowned artist in his own right with a distinctive, colorful and balanced style.

His records tell the story: After a short spell at Motown, he took on the Afrobeat sound with his first international album in 1998Shoki Shoki»), before rubbing shoulders with the modern urban style of his American peers such as Mos Def and Common on the album «Fight To Win».

Returning to Lagos he worked on rebuilding the new Shrine and released an unbelievable live project recorded in the heat of the moment in his own venue («Live at the Shrine», MK2 / 2004). Finally his first studio record only came about in 2008, having found inspiration in Paris. This unanimously celebrated release («Day By Day») was his most successful one.

What was there left for him to accomplish from now on? To complete the cycle, Femi felt he needed to go back to his roots, to the origins of this burning feeling inside him which had fired all his work, and going back to the studio where he had produced his first recordings with his father and his solo album «Shoki Shoki».


This record may be less carefully produced than the former one. However this was not unintentional, but rather a conscious artistic choice, i.e. not to polish the finishing touches and keep this afrobeat rough in its purest form…..
Aggressive is the word that Femi uses the most when talking about the album. This familiar Punk energy you hear is no surprise therefore even spiced up the African way! Here, the words echo the music perfectly.

Never has Femi been so vindictive. Or his words so concise. "But never has my people’s condition been so serious," he justifies. As did his idols from the 60s, Coltrane, Parker, Gillespie, his militant spirit sometimes carries a jazzy jab that doesn’t however lose any of its intensity.

More than just a simple musician, the 48-year old composer has become a true African Ambassador, in its most honorable sense. Indeed the album recording had to be arranged around his busy schedule.

Erykah Badu, Damon Albarn and Hugh Masekala have recently made appearances at the Shrine, his legendary nightclub - as have the Lagos Police, who regularly raid the place, picking up and frightening off the local crowd, as they try to close down this highly regarded resistance venue.

Live Nation & NuFunk present… FEMI KUTI & The Positive Force

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