Thursday, October 30, 2014

King Sunny Ade and the African Beats

I found this picture from a Chicago gig back in the early 90's.  A few of us had flown to Chicago for a long weekend of Braves vs. Cubs games.  Since, back then, the Cubs played all day games, we had evenings free.  So we wandered down to Soldier Field where a massive festival was held.  Four different stages around the Stadium, but the one we encountered featured African music.

(click on pic for a larger image)

King Sunny Ade and His African Beats...  what a show!  The musicians came on stage one at a time, slowly adding to the musical presentation.  This took awhile, as the picture shows, the group was quite large.  Soon the whole band was cooking, just in time for King Sunny to appear,  and then it was on, on, on..  What a treat!  And, they were staying at our hotel!

I've always enjoyed African music, particularly the older Nigerian High Life style.  In the 70's. I used to listen to Music Time in Africa on shortwave radio, and occasionally pick up music from Soweto via Radio South Africa.  These days, African groups regularly tour the US, so summer festivals often feature an African group.  But I've never seen since the Chicago experience such a large African group...  travel expenses are just too great.

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