NYC in the summer is all about the embarrassment of riches that is free concerts and events. Seun Kuti was at Central Park, Salif Keita, Oliver Mtukudzi and Habib Koite played in Brooklyn. Big Daddy Kane and Slick Rick played nearby, and I am sure I missed a myriad of other events at other smaller venues. That is one of the reasons of the paucity of posts around here (that and the humidity-free sunny days we have been blessed with recently). A sample of Africa-related events this past week follows (photos mine):
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Extra Golden: Benga/soukous/rock hybrid sound with lyrics in Dholuo (as far as I can tell). The most popular was a song called “Obama”.
Mahmoud Ahmed: It would be impossible to reproduce an after hours club in 70’s swinging Addis on a stage outside Lincoln Center 30+ years after the fact. But the Either Orchestra filled in quite well (their horns were more big band than military/funk band). No matter, that soaring, soulful voice pretty much stands alone. Ahmed is a giant of African music.
Celebrity sighting: Liya Kebede in the audience.
Africa Day Parade
… was late in starting.
Tiny, but enthusiastic parade. There were promises from organizers of bigger things to come. I hope so, Africans here in the States are otherwise quite invisible.
Highlight: The Hamalali Wayunago Garifuna Dance group from Honduras. NYC (the Bronx) has the largest community of the Afro-Carib Garifunas anywhere.
Overheard along parade route: “What? African Parade? Not the African-American parade? (keeps walking down the street).