OUT OF AFRICA

The underrepresented sounds of Ethiopia and Mauritania get a hearing from two of the world’s more exciting singers. Teddy Afro (born Tewodrose Kassahun) has concocted a winning formula by mixing things up. Singing mostly in the Amharic language, he leans equally heavily on Ethiopia’s traditional, loping 6/8 rhythms as much as Marley-inspired reggae anthems. He’s best when he’s most specific, as when celebrating marathon men or soccer clubs, dredging up pointed historical parables, or castigating national politics. The magnificent Noura Mint Seymali deploys her impossible-to-ignore voice to explore Moorish poetic themes accompanied by my favorite new guitarist. The dazzling Jeiche Ouid Chighaly, her husband, weaves fuzzed-out waves around Seymali’s ornamented griot wail and harplike ardine while bass and drums keep it low in the pocket.
Sat., July 5, 3 p.m., 2014

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Central Park, Rumsey Playfield

5th Ave.
New York, NY 10065

212-360-2777


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