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Music, BeatBox Seun Kuti: Show Preview

Seun Kuti: Show Preview

While the musical about his deceased firebrand father, Fela Kuti, is earning Broadway gold, Oluseun "Seun" Kuti is appealing to a new generation of Afrobeat fans. Fela's youngest son has embraced his dad's creative legacy with politically charged albums like…
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Calendar, Night&Day String Theory

String Theory

Mali's Bassekou Kouyate isn't content to play background music, so he attached a guitar strap to his ngoni, or "spike lute" — the banjo's distant cousin — and proudly solos center stage with his talented ensemble, Ngoni Ba. The bandleader…
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Music, Reviewed Mali Music

Mali Music

Without ever hearing the record, it would be easy to scorn Damon Albarn's Mali Music project. The Blur frontman traveled to West Africa toting a "battered" melodica, jammed with some of Mali's premier musicians, and then returned to his London…
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Calendar, Night&Day There's a Griot  Goin' On

There's a Griot Goin' On

Africa's musical heart is buried somewhere in Mali, a nation of diverse cultures and home to world music heavyweights like Ali Farka Touré, Salif Keita, and Oumou Sangare. American music owes its own debts to the West African nation as…
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Film, East Meets Fest

East Meets Fest

Thanks to the continuing narrative creativity of Iranian cinema, several eloquent French-North African co-productions, and various supple political dramas, this year's Middle Eastern and African festival offerings are outstanding. Ali Farka Touré: Springing From the Roots is one of the…
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