Jheikha Rimitti was certainly a queen. For some, she was the queen of raï (pronounced RYE), which means "opinion" in Arabic. For others, she was the queen of freedom, an Algerian Statue of Liberty wielding the fire of independence, as she sang daringly and frankly about love, sexuality, poverty, drinking and oppression. She defied taboos and her music was often banned. She used to say that "misfortune was her teacher" but she became an international star who died at 86, two days after a sold-out show! Rimitti would have been 100 in 2023 - and yet the Algerian diva is still praised and remixed by a young new generation of artists. In this episode, we'll journey through Rimitti's rocky life and we'll meet her musical progeny. Produced by Elodie Maillot and Banning Eyre. Listen to the show here.
Moonlight Benjamin Rolls Out New Album: Wayo
Moonlight Benjamin is a Haitian-born singer/songwriter/bandleader living in France since 2002. Her music is unique on the Haitian diaspora scene. She fuses the gut-level passion of Haitian roots music with the blare and bravado of electric guitar rock, always with bracing effect. Afropop first met her at WOMEX in 2018 and featured her on our program From Haiti to the World. Afropop Worldwide met her again at globalFEST in New York in January, 2023, as she was about to release her second album, Wayo. Read her exclusive interview with Banning Eyre here.
Nkumu Katalay Previews March 1 Show at NYC's Mercury Lounge
Nkumu Katalay is a Kinshasa-born multi-instrumentalist and bandleader based in New York City. He leads one of the only working Congolese-oriented bands in the eastern U.S., and recently opened up for Koffi Olomide's long-awaited New York performance at Webster Hall. On March 1, 2023, the band will headline at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. Afropop's Banning Eyre spoke with Nkumu to get a preview. Here's their conversation.
Afropop Worldwide Celebrates 35th Anniversary in Association with World Music Institute
Afropop Worldwide, celebrating our 35th anniversary, is pleased to invite you to an Afropop Dance Party presented by World Music Institute's "Let's Dance" series at Nublu downtown New York on Feb. 25, 2023. Featured artists include the fun, fun, fun Latin fusion band Afrodominicano and lively Puerto Rican/Panamanian DJ Bembona. Afropoppers: Meet fellow fans at the bar when doors open at 9 p.m. Concerts go to 2 a.m. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Events in New York
Sat., Feb. 25, Doors: 7 p.m. Doors: 8 p.m. Show: 9 p.m. World Music Institute Presents Bembona with Afrodominicano and Parcha Let's Dance Series Nublu – 151 Avenue C Tickets and Information
Wed., Mar. 1, Doors: 9 p.m. Radio Africa Online Presents: Nkumu Katalay with dj. henri Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston Street, Ages 21+, $15 Advance, $20 Day of Show Tickets and Information
Tues., Mar. 18, Doors: 7 p.m. Show: 7:30 p.m. World Music Institute Presents Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Masters of African Music Series Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Avenue Tickets and Information
Afropop Staff: Sean Barlow, Executive Producer Banning Eyre, Senior Editor Michael Jones, Chief Audio Engineer (jonesaudio.com) Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, Director of New Media and Operations CC Smith, Editor at Large