November 17, 1986 |
If you walked in on Fela Anikulapo Kuti's Olympic Auditorium concert Saturday night, you probably wouldn't guess that he's a figure of great political and social controversy in his Nigerian homeland. And while you might get caught up in the singer-bandleader's oddly engaging personality and the endless grooves of his band, you wouldn't be likely to peg him as the Bob Marley of African music.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2007 |
Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe, a titan of the African popular music known as highlife whose 1984 "Osondi Owendi" was the biggest-selling record in the history of his native Nigeria, has died. He was 71. Osadebe died May 11 of lung failure at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, Conn. "In Nigeria he's loved not only by one ethnic group but by all the ethnic groups," said Nnamdi Moweta, Osadebe's manager and the host of Radio Afrodicia on KPFK-FM (90.7) in L.A.
July 22, 2003 |
"We're interpreting Fela Kuti in a different way, because we can't do it the way he did," Yerba Buena leader Andres Levin told Sunday's Hollywood Bowl audience. Maybe not, but the material by the late African music legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti played by Yerba Buena, abetted by an array of R&B and hip-hop guests, did capture the spirit of Fela with equal measures of liveliness and conscience.
August 27, 1993 |
Those aren't ghosts exactly that bandleader Bateke sees around him whenever he performs. And yet, he says, they're always on stage with him: mentors and friends, both alive and deceased. "Every time I play, their spirits are in front of me," the Congo-born musician says. "I see them, alive, dancing." There is the man who encouraged an 11-year-old Bateke to "Play! Play! Play! Don't give up!" There are the pioneers of popular Central African music: Zaire's Henri Powane, the Congo's Paul Kamba.
October 25, 1986 |
Bold! Bright! Brassy! Golden! Glorious! Grand! The adjectives to describe Liza Minnelli's performances don't exactly come in the muted colors of gaslight. Opening at the Universal Amphitheatre on Thursday for a four-night run, she generated enough electricity to light the stage, the hall, and most of the L.A. basin.
September 21, 1992 |
Nigerian pop star King Sunny Ade once described his music as "Essentially party music . . . the fans out there want to dance and the rhythm is basically simple, and once you hook it up, it flows endlessly." The same description applies nicely to Bateke Beat's first set at the courtyard of the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library on Saturday. The rhythms took on a life of their own, coursing through the music with only subtle changes, inducing almost hypnotic states with their insistent pulses.
September 8, 2010 |
Paul McCartney may be in the running for his own parking space in the White House lot: He's being honored yet again in the nation's capital, along with TV host Oprah Winfrey, country music stalwart Merle Haggard, choreographer Bill T. Jones and veteran Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman , as a recipient of this year's Kennedy Center Honors. In June, McCartney performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama when he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
June 23, 2009 |
The great Afro-Caribbean-American power-pop diaspora has many prophets, from Bob Marley and Miriam Makeba to Berry Gordy and brother James Brown. At times it felt as if all of them were spiritually present during Sunday's electrifying Hollywood Bowl triple bill of Raphael Saadiq, Santigold and Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, expertly curated by KCRW's Garth Trinidad.
December 29, 1996 |
African music is no different from any other when it comes to marketing "brand name" performers. The artists who get international releases are usually the familiar veterans who made their reputations decades ago by creating the wide range of African pop styles. That can make it difficult for younger artists on the way up to break through and establish themselves.