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Duos, Africa Politica, Bob Marley Birthday, Highlife, Afrobeat, Folk & Roots

Monday, February 5

Traditional African music primarily focused on songs of praise, celebration, and special occasions, but in more recent times, artists have incorporated social and political messages in their music as well. This time in the Global Village, we explore some of that music, including Fela’s groundbreaking Afrobeat, African reggae artists Sonny Okosun, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy, and South African artists Miriam Makeba, the Mahotella Queens, and the late Hugh Masekela.

Tuesday, February 6

Global Village marks the birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley with music from his classic recordings and from a wide range of covers of his songs from such artists as I-Three members Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, Ivorian artist Tiken Jah Fakoly, roots groups the Gladiators and Inner Circle, original Wailer Bunny Wailer, Rebel Tumbao, and more.

Wednesday, February 7

Folk and roots sounds are featured this time in the Global Village – including some roots reggae from Jamaica’s Gladiators and Junior Murvin, and Ivorian artist Tiken Jah Fakoly from his album in tribute to roots reggae; folk inspired music from America and Europe – including Michael Doucet, Sondorgo, the Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra, and the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc;  the ‘roots’ sound of Haiti which combines contemporary influences with traditional vodou and carnival music – including music from Sakad, Mawon, and Boukan Ginen.

Thursday, February 8

Global Village throws an Afrobeat party with music from legendary Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen as part of Fela’s band , under his own name with Fela’s Africa 70 band, and in a project with Fela as his producer. Plus Afrobeat sounds from two American Afrobeat bands – The Funk Ark and Antibalas – and Afrobeat/Gnawa fusion from Fangnawa Experience.

Friday, February 9

Global Village highlights highlife. One of the most popular styles of music in Africa, highlife emerged in Ghana and Nigeria from a fusion of African, Cuban, military and big band influences. It evolved into a lively and danceable sound whose influence spread to other corners of Africa and the world. The show focuses on some of the greatest names in highlife – including E.T. Mensah, Ebo Taylor, the Oriental Brothers, and Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe – along with Fela’s early highlife band, and Marcus Miller’s world fusion take on “Hylife.” For more on highlife, see the Best Music Books of 2017 feature on our website for a review of John Collins’ impressive overview of the music, Highlife Giants: West African Dance Band Pioneers.