Thursday, July 2, 2009
Tonight @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino Rock Stage, Summerfest, 10 p.m.
Afro-beat might sound like an obscure style of music (especially for those who haven’t recently lived on college campuses, where it’s become especially popular) but it’s actually quite accessible. It’s a horn-fueled blend of African rhythms and up-tempo funk, marked by political undertones but mainly known for its party-friendly grooves. One of today’s leading Afro-beat artists is Femi Kuti, the son of the man credited for inventing the genre, Fela Kuti. The elder musician was notorious for his dangerous opposition to Nigeria’s military regime, and Femi has followed in his father’s footsteps both musically and politically, speaking out against governments that others are too frightened to challenge.