Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Afro-Lisbon and The Lusophone Atlantic: Dancing Towards The Future

Afro-Lisbon and The Lusophone Atlantic: Dancing Towards The Future

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Hello Imani,

A year-end message from our fearless leader Sean Barlow:

2015 proved a singular year for Afropop Worldwide. We won the highly prestigious Institutional Peabody Award for 27 years of excellence in storytelling. The Peabody organization said, "Afropop Worldwide is part dance party, part cultural anthropology seminar...For its pioneering role in the world music movement, for illuminating the richness and diversity of African and African diaspora cultures, for archiving and fortifying its work on afropop.org and simply for being a treat for the ears."  
Georges, Banning, Michael, Atane, CC, myself and everyone on the Afropop team thank our devoted audience for listening to our programs, viewing our features, reviews and photo essays on afropop.org, following our social media, and for caring about the artists and cultures we cover.
Once or twice a year, I ask you directly for your financial support to help us continue our vital work at the high level you expect. We are a lean and mean organization and we spend every donor dollar wisely. In 2016, you will hear our groundbreaking Hip Deep series continue. You will benefit from a major Web redesign focusing on mobile device compatibility. You will see our Afropop Archive Project progress, protecting our unique 30-year collection. 
Please make your contribution now while you're thinking about it. Thank you!
—Sean Barlow, Executive Producer

On air this week is our brand-new Hip Deep program "Afro-Lisbon and the Lusophone Atlantic: Dancing Towards the Future," produced by Sam Backer. In the last few years, a small network of DJs in the suburbs of Lisbon, Portugal has been consistently producing some of the world's best dance music. The children of African immigrants, these young musicians have combined a hemisphere of musical influences and distilled them down into a single astonishing style. But how did Lisbon start to make such great African music? And what does that say about the identity of the city, or the country, or the continent? On this special Hip Deep edition, we take you on a journey to Lisbon, a city facing both the sea and 600 years of its own history. We'll go to African club nights, hang out with obsessive record collectors, learn how to dance kizomba, and visit the projects that have produced a musical revolution. And through it all, we will try to answer a seemingly simple question: Just where did this music come from?

Be sure to check out Sam's crucial cuts from the Lusophone world feature.

2015 has been a great year for Ghanaian reggae musician Rocky Dawuni. His album Branches of the Same Tree received a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album. Banning Eyre recently met up with Rocky in Harlem for a chat. Check it out.

Ben Richmond interviewed filmmaker John Bosch on his latest film Malian Pieces: Stories From A Rich Country that he is currently crowdfunding for.

Morgan Greenstreet wrote about Burkinabe rapper Art Melody's new video "Wagare Hip-Hop." It's a sharp and aggressive track from his new album Moogho.

Our latest "Best of The Beat on Afropop" feature is the first installment in a mini-series of the magazine's coverage of the development of reggae in Africa. This edition includes George Zawonu's early report from 1984 on the establishment and growth of reggae in Ghana, in addition to Tom Cheyney's "The African Reggae Phenomenon" from 1991. Stay tuned for features to come that will focus on African reggae stars like Lucky Dube, Alpha Blondy and Majek Fashek.

Afropop honors and remembers South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, who was born on this date, Dec. 18, 1946. We decided to run a special "Best of The Beat on Afropop" feature commemorating his life.

For New Yorkers, M'Bolo led by Senegalese singer Cheikh Ngom appears at the Shrine on Dec. 19. The Pedrito Martinez Group performs at Subrosa on Dec. 21. Malian musician Makane Kouyate is at the Shrine on Dec. 26. Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona plays Club Bonafide on Dec. 31, New Year's Eve. Malian songbird Awa Sangho takes the stage at SOB's on Jan. 14. Congolese singer Pierre Kwenders entertains at Lincoln Center on Jan. 14, and Drom on Jan. 15. Sudanese band Alsarah and the Nubatones, along with Ethiopian groove collective Debo Band, perform at Drom on Jan. 16.

Have a lovely weekend!


Atane and the Afropop Crew

Afro-Lisbon and the Lusophone Atlantic


Support Afropop's Peabody Award-Winning Work!

BOTBOA: Reggae in Africa

In Conversation with Rocky Dawuni

Art Melody - Wagare Hip-Hop

Q&A with John Bosch

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Afropop Staff:
Sean Barlow, Executive Producer
Banning Eyre, Senior Editor
Michael Jones, Chief Audio Engineer/Co-Producer (jonesaudio.com)
Atane Ofiaja, Director of New Media and Operations
CC Smith, Editor at Large 
and our Staff Writers: Ben Richmond, Morgan Greenstreet, Julissa Vale

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