Nigeria’s international musician, Bisade Ologunde popularly known as Lagbaja embarked on a month-long tour of the United States of America. The tour will see Lagbaja and his 8 piece Motherland band perform at 15 different cities. It ends on May 17, 2015 at Washington DC.
I will be opening for him in Atlanta on May 10 at the popular concert space – The Variety Playhouse. Click here for more info
Atlanta based, eclectic afrosoulful artist, Tosinger. opens for legendary afrobeat/afrojazz artist from Nigeria – Lagbaja on May 10 at 7pm at the Variety Playhouse, Atlanta
Windstorm Productions Proudly Presents
The first question that is often asked when Lágbájá is encountered is, “Why the mask?” Basically, Lágbájá’s mask is used as an icon of man’s facelessness.
Lágbájá is a Yoruba word that means somebody, nobody, anybody or everybody. It perfectly depicts the anonymity of the so called “common man”. The mask and the name symbolize the faceless, the voiceless in the society, particularly in Africa. Once you see Lágbájá’s mask you are reminded of your own facelessness. This symbolism is so powerful that Lágbájá’s mask has popularized the use of the mask concept by other artistes both in Nigeria and beyond.
Though the concept was developed long before that, his first album (entitled Lágbájá) was released to National acclaim in 1993. Over the years and more albums later, the music continues to fascinate with its unique focus on a core of African drums. His music is a product of various influences ranging from traditional Yoruba music to Jazz. Often the music is purely instrumental- an interplay between traditional Yoruba percussions, drums, chants, and western instruments, especially the saxophone. When there are lyrics, they are primarily sung in Yoruba, English or a blend of the two as is colloquially spoken in Yoruba cities. Many of his songs dwell on serious social issues, while others simply entertain. Some are dance inducing while others pass serious messages in humourous ways.
One thing that links all the songs together is his use of traditional African drums. Traditional Yoruba drums are the most prominent. Four families of these drums are employed in creating different grooves and moods. The dundun/gangan family is the most prominent and at times up to five drummers combine all the various components to create the polyrhythms. The bata ensemble is led by two musicians who alternate between soft high toned driving rhythms with their omele bata, and thunderous loud talk with their mum drum- iya ilu. The general percussionist leads the sakara ensemble. The fourth family, used as the backbone of the groove is the ogido, a derivative of the ancient gbedu. The ensemble of drummers constitute the larger part of the band. Vocalists and western instrumentalists make up the rest. Lágbájá’s groovy fusion has been refered to as afrojazz, afrobeat, higherlife and afropop until now that he himself has christened the music AFRICANO, alluding mostly to the central role of African drums and grooves in his music.
My idea behind AfroDreamFest was inspired by the passion to promote and give a platform to the new wave of indie African/AfroConscious/Afropolitan artists in the diaspora who do a variation of genres of Soul – Jazz – Roots – Folk – World – Afrobeat – Acoustic music laced with African elements, merging genres of music creatively and beautifully with Afro~cultural influences,musically and lyrically on a contemporary platform.
These are true Artists of African origin around the world who are this generation’s throwback to past eras of real meaningful music, keeping alive and making soulful music that is so uniquely creative and relevant across borders, infusing language and cultural aspects that reach for the soul and spirit.
The vision is to tour the concert across different cities annually around May 25, the commemoration of African Liberation Day. It is currently independently produced and is open to partnerships and sponsorships to further expand the concept and its reach. The response to the movement has been positive and encouraging so far. Indie Afro artists need the on-ground presence to share their talents, and promote culture. I am one of them so I feel the need to step out as a visionary and make it happen.
The first edition of Afrodreamfest took place at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia.