The second installment of the critically acclaimed journey into the heart of African music featuring Habib Koité, Oliver Mutukudzi, and Afel Bocoum "Their engaging performance overcame language bariers, communicating in a way that transcended differences of race, culture, ethnicity and religion" -LA Times January 2011 —
The second installment of this exhilarating musical journey focuses on the richness of contemporary and traditional African song traditions. Curated by International Music Network (IMN), the Acoustic Africa tour includes Habib Koité, the Malian superstar whose exciting concerts have endeared him to audiences worldwide, Oliver Mtukudzi, the bestselling artist in his home country of Zimbabwe, and Afel Bocoum, a guitarist, singer, and composer from Mali whose songs evoke the evolution of traditional Malian society.
The Acoustic Africa tour was inspired by the Putumayo World Music compilation of the same name that featured many of Africa's greatest singer-songwriters in stripped down displays of acoustic mastery. One of Africa's most exciting performers, Habib Koité plays music that reflects the diverse musical traditions of his Malian homeland. Accompanied by his band Bamada, Koité has released a number of successful and critically acclaimed albums including Ma Ya and Baro, both released on Putumayo World Music, and Afriki, his latest recording released on Cumbancha in 2007. Koité has appeared on
The Late Show with David Letterman, in major magazines such as People and Rolling Stone,, and has gained a strong fan base by integrating the rock and folk sounds of the Western world, all without watering down his cherished Malian roots. Descended from a line of griots, traditional troubadours who provide wit, wisdom and entertainment to the pubic Koité takes this role to the world at large, using his charisma and magnetism to translates across cultures. With nearly 1,000 concerts on some of the world's most prestigious stages under his belt, Koité is one of Africa's most beloved and popular musicians. Lovingly called "Tuku", Oliver Mtukudzi began recording in the mid-1970s as a member of Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo.
After Wagon Wheels rolled to fame in Southern Africa, Tuku formed Black Spirits, the band that has backed him throughout his career, and has released numerous albums internationally including the acclaimed Vhunze Moto and The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection on Putumayo World Music.
Mtukudzi's music is heavily influenced by chimurenga, the genre pioneered by Mapfumo that is inspired by the hypnotic rhythms of the mbira (thumb piano). His music also incorporates pop influences, South Africa mbaqanga, the energetic Zimbabwean pop style jit, and the traditional kateke drumming of his clan, the Korekore. One of Tuku's biggest fans is Bonnie Raitt, who has not only called Tuku "a treasure," but has also used his music as inspiration for the song "One Belief Away" on her album Fundamental. Afel Bocoum began his music career with his uncle Ali Farka Toure in the group Asco, a collaboration that lasted some thirty years. In the 1980s, he founded his own group named Alkibar, in which he plays the guitar, sings, and composes. Bocoum sings mainly in Sonrai, his mother tongue, but also in Tamashek, the language of the Tuareg, and in Bambara. In spite of his growing success, Bocoum remains gentle and unassuming, modestly directing the energy this recognition brings him towards the welfare of his people and the inspiration they give to his music. In 2002, Afel collaborated with the lead singer of Blur, Damon Albarn, on the extremely popular album Mali Music. The gigs they played together were well received, especially the concert at the Barbican in London in June 2003. Damon also made a guest appearance beside Afel on a larger stage at Roskilde in Denmark in front of 65,000 people. With remarkable subtlety and a sure talent, Bocoum has proved that he is a true "messenger of the great river," and it's certain he will actively contribute to keeping Malian music at the forefront of the international scene.
ACOUSTIC AFRICA TOUR DATES: 26-Feb New London, CT Palmer Auditorium 27-Feb Somerville, MA Somerville Theater 1-Mar South Hadley, MA Mt. Holyoke College 2-Mar Amherst, MA Concert Hall of Fine Arts @ University of Massachusetts 3-Mar Lebanon, NH Lebanon Opera House 5-Mar Montreal, QC Club Soda 6-Mar Toronto, ON Koerner Hall 8-Mar Appleton, WI Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Lawrence University 9-Mar Madison, WI Overture Center for the Arts 10-Marb Madison, WI Wisconsin Union Theater 11-Mar Milwakee, WI Pitman Theater 12-Mar Chicago, IL Old Town School of Folk Music 13-Mar Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center 22-Mar Arcata, CA Jon Van Duzer Theater 23-Mar Napa, CA Napa Valley Opera House 24-Mar Chico, CA Laxson Auditorium 25-Mar Oakland, CA Paramount Theater 26-Mar Los Angeles, CA Royce Hall/UCLA Center For The Arts 29-Mar Edmonton, AB Francis Winspear Centre 30-Mar Calgary, AB Jack Singer Concert Hall 1-Apr Anchorage, AK Atwood Concert Hall 2-Apr Fairbanks, AK Hering Auditorium 3-Apr Homer, AK Mariner Theatre Homer High School 6-Apr New York, NY B.B. King's Blues Club 7-Apr Washington, D.C. Lisner Auditorium 8-Apri Boone, NC Turchin Center 8-Apr Boone, NC Farthing Auditorium 10-Apr Tampa, FL Carol Morsani Hall/Tampa Bay Perf. Arts 11-Apr Tampa, FL Carol Morsani Hall/Tampa Bay Perf. Arts 14-Apr Clarksdale, MS The Pinnacle* *indicates dates without Oliver Mtukudzi