Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'Acoustic Africa' will merge multicultural traditions



Renee Missel

From left to right, Habib Kote, Afel Bocoum and Oliver Mtukudzi.

Northern and southern African musical traditions share the stage next month when Acoustic Africa brings Malian musicians Habib Koite and Afel Bocoum together with Zimbabwean artist Oliver Mtukudzi. Backed by an ensemble of percussionists and singers, the group performs 7 p.m. April 3 at the Mariner Theatre. Tickets are $40 general admission and $35 for Homer Council on the Arts members, on sale at HCOA and the Homer Bookstore.

Koite and Mtukudzi have achieved stardom both in their native countries as well as internationally. Also from Mali, Bocoum sings in his native tongue of Sonrai as well as other Mailian languages. All three perform on acoustic guitar and vocals. With his band Bamada, Koite has become known for his energetic performances. Known as "Tuku," Mtukudzi began recording in the 1970s with Wagon Wheels and later his band, Black Spirits. Mtukudzi plays in the genre of chimurenga, inspired by the polyrythmns of mbira, the sacred Zimbabwean instrument.

For their Acoustic Africa tour, the musicians play together. "Vocally, they harmonize together to great effect throughout this show, which wisely, is not broken into three sections, one for each artist, but rather ebbs and flows with artists constantly regrouping in different formations song by song," wrote Afropop critic Banning Eyre of an earlier performance.

For more information on Acoustic Africa, including samples, visit www.imnworld.com/artists/detail/152/acoustic-africa.


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