Sauti Za Busara means "sounds of wisdom." That gives a clue to the music heard at the annual Sauti Za Busara festival in Stonetown, Zanzibar. It's cool, savvy, surprising, but never dull, and often hard-grooving. Afropop Worldwide attended the first edition in 2004. In 2023, we returned for a three-day feast of fantastic performances from the Swahili coast, the Indian Ocean and beyond. Taarab, kidumbak, bongo flava, Wagogo tradition and much more were on the menu. In this program, we hear live recordings from and meet artists who may never make it to our shores, but who you'll be glad to meet. Produced by Banning Eyre. You can enjoy this program as an audiovisual experience. Grab a beer, and spend an hour in Zanzibar! Produced by Banning Eyre.
Angelique Kidjo Wins 2023 Polar Music Award
On Tuesday, March 28 – Angélique Kidjo, five-time Grammy Award winning Beninese artist and songwriter; Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, one of the U.K.'s greatest independent record labels, and Estonian Arvo Pärt, the world's most performed living composer, are announced today as the recipients of the 2023 Polar Music Prize. The Polar Music Prize ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 23 in Stockholm at the Grand Hôtel. Watch the live broadcast in Sweden on TV4, or globally via YouTube, from 6 p.m. (CET). Congratulations once again, Angelique, from all of us at Afropop Worldwide. Read more here about this historic award ceremony. All photo by Fabrice Mabillot.
Érol Josué's Pilgrimage
Érol Josué is a veteran Haitian musician, singer, dancer and a vodou priest. His performances, recordings and videos present a tapestry of his worldly travels and experience in various genres of music—jazz, roots pop, electronica, and Haitian spiritual. His extraordinary voice channels the joy and agony of Haiti's troubled history. It has been 16 years since Josué's debut album, Regelman. Now in 2023, he comes with a rich, expansive set of 18 tracks called Pelerinaj (Pilgrimage). Afropop's Banning Eyre reached the artist at his home in Port au Prince, Haiti. The Zoom connection was a bit intermittent, and we've taken some liberties in transcription in the interest of clarity. Here's their conversation.
Afropop Worldwide and The Kennedy Center: The African Rivers Project
The Kennedy Center is launching a festival honoring the great rivers of the world and Afropop will be there on Sat., Apr.15 sharing live music focused on two great African rivers. The evening will be emceed by Georges Collinet and Banning Eyre following a musical journey along the Niger, featuring the Niger River Ensemble with Bailo Bah, Yacouba Sissoko, Abdoulaye "Djoss" Diabate, Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure, Ibrahim Fall Diagne, and Kofo the Wonderman. The evening will then explore contemporary music of Congo, with the Kinshasa All Stars featuring Shimita El Diego and Lubangi Muniania. The music will be enhanced with visual imagery of these two spectacular rivers. Tickets and Information.
Can You Bring It Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters Premieres April 3: AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange
AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange is a public television show spotlighting the stories and lives of people from all corners of the African diaspora and this its15th year, focuses on Black art. It is co-produced and presented by Black Public Media and WORLD Channel´s Youtube channel and the series is distributed and co-presented by American Public Television. Not to get them confused with Afropop Worldwide and World Music Productions, we are ultimately in support of each other's work and we will share their success in bringing the diversity of the Black world to public television by showcasing all five films this season. Read the review and interview with the shows producers by Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe.
Events in New York
Natu Camara Sat., April 1 Doors: 7 p.m. Shows: 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Her blend of rock, soul and singer-songwriter tunes are infused with rhythms from Guinea, West Africa. Tickets and Information
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba Fri., April 14, Doors 7 p.m. Show: 8 p.m. Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave. at 3rd Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn Bassekou Kouyate, from a long line of griots (storytellers/historians), is Mali's legendary master of the ngoni, an ancient West African lute that is an ancestor of the banjo. Tickets and Information
Djavan Wed., April 26: Doors: 7 p.m. Show: 8 p.m. Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. The D Tour U.S. 2023 After a 14-year hiatus, one of the greatest icons of Brazilian music announces his return to the U.S. for a major tour. Four-time Latin GRAMMY winner Djavan will present a brand-new show with his full band, featuring songs from his 25th studio album D, as well as major hits from his 45-year career. AmericanAilines – official airline 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