Papa Wemba, one of the greatest singers of the past African century, died on stage in 2016 at age 66. But his body of work, both in advancing Congolese rumba and innovating new African pop sounds, as well as influencing style, fashion and music production, is immense. In this episode we look back on an iconic career, drawing on some 20 years of interviews with the artist, and insights from Congolese music aficionado and African Art Historian Lubangi Muniania. Listen to the show produced by Banning Eyre.
Pictorial Papa Wemba Celebration on YouTube
Papa Wemba (1949-2016), was an international pop sensation and his rumba roots were nothing short of epic. This Afropop Worldwide program draws on 20 years of interviews with the man, images of his life and times with expert analysis from Congolese music aficionado Lubangi Muniania. Enjoy this pictorial journey of the show on YouTube. Produced by Banning Eyre.
Georges and Banning host The African Rivers Project at The Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center has launched a festival honoring the great rivers of the world and Afropop will be there on Sat., April 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.
Events in New York
Mariza Sat., April 22 8 p.m. Doors 7pm The Town Hall 123 West 43rd Street Mariza Will Perform Songs from her Two-Decade Career, Transforming Fado for the 21st Century Tickets and Information
World Music Institute Presents: Kokoko Sat., April 22: Doors: 7 p.m. Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 Advance $30 Day of Show Public Records, 233 Butler St., Brooklyn Best known for creating a contemporary and unique style of music using instruments constructed by upcycling cans, engine parts, plastic containers, and other trash found on the streets of Kinshasa, their new urban sound and political messaging mirror the harsh realities of life in Africa's third largest city. 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. Tickets and Information
Fatoumata Diawara Sat., April 29 Doors: 7 p.m. Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $35 Co-presented with Brooklyn Bowl WMI is thrilled to welcome award-winning Malian singer, guitarist, actor and social activist Fatoumata Diawara back to NYC following her 2018 appearance at WMI's Festival of Mali, also co-presented with Brooklyn Bowl, as well as the 2014 Africa Now! Festival at the historic Apollo Theater. 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