AfroCubism / Alsarah & The Nubatones
Prospect Park Bandshell, Brooklyn
AFROCUBISM is the all-star collaboration between Malian and Cuban musicians that famously never happened. In 1996, a group of Mali’s finest musicians were due to fly into Havana for a speculative collaboration with some of Cuba’s most brilliant singers and instrumentalists. For reasons that have never been made clear, the Malians never arrived. A very different album was recorded: The Buena Vista Social Club. But what about that original album? What riches might have been revealed in the interaction of virtuosi from one of Africa’s most musically rich territories, and from Cuba whose music has origins in Africa, and which has in turn been hugely influential on the mother continent? The group has finally united, to the delight of world music fans everywhere, and the results are stunning. AFROCUBISM features Eliades Ochoa, singer of the great Buena Vista theme Chan Chan, along with ngoni lute master Bassekou Kouyate and Rail Band guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, all from the original project. Joining them are Eliades’ Grupo Patria, amongst Cuba’s longest running and most revered bands, the mercurial kora genius Toumani Diabaté, legendary Malian griot singer Kasse Mady Diabaté and the innovatory balafon player Lassana Diabaté. “AfroCubism is a summit of giants at play—their egos in check, their hearts open and the tangled history of two worlds flowing through their veins.” (NPR) With ALSARAH & THE NUBATONES, who came together out of a collective love for Nubian music and a genuine belief that soul transcends all cultural and linguistic barriers. They blend a selection of Nubian ‘songs of return’ from the 1970s to today with original material and traditional music of central Sudan.