If your idea of great African music includes overdriven likembé thumb pianos generating loud, distorted trance music (and why wouldn’t it?), don’t miss Konono No. 1’s headlining slot at Celebrate Brooklyn’s annual all-day African Festival. The Congolese retrofuturists’ sub–Radio Shack technology finds its Zimbabwean echoes in Chiwoniso Maraire, who sings contemporary protest music rooted in the interwoven rhythms of her Shona tribe’s own thumb-piano variant, the mbira. The lineup also includes the clockwork vigor of Super Diamano, whose singer, Omar Pene, has been deemed a “living legend” by no less an authority than his former competitor in mbalax (Senegal’s national pop hybrid), Youssou N’Dour; kinetic local Haitian rara group Djarara, who sneak T.I. quotes into a traditionalist tumult built on drums, single-note horns called vaksen, and metallic percussion; and Meta and the Cornerstones, a local reggae-soul-afropop combo led by Senegalese Brooklynite Meta Dia.
Sat., July 17, 2 p.m., 2010
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2010