Fri. 12/13 10p: Over the course of 2013, Afropop’s producers have recorded more great live music than we’ve managed to place in shows….until now. This edition features ear candy from Ghana—Gyedu Blay Ambolley live in Accra, and palm wine guitar innovator Kyekyeku—live tracks from the 27th Nuits D’Afrique, including an ecstatic summer night with The Skatalites, and highlights from Afropop’s 25th anniversary gala with Samba Mapangala, Bassekou Kouyate and others. Less talk, more music, as we sample some of the most spellbinding performances of the year.
Fri. 3/22 10p: Franco is a towering figure in the cultural life of Africa. Guitar wizard. Prolific composer. Bandleader who groomed the who’s who of Congolese singing royalty. Called “the Balzac of Africa” for his ear and way with a story. He passed in 1989. We’ll revisit Afropop’s 1985 chat with Franco in Kinshasa, hear from some of his contemporaries and relish recording highlights from the 50s to the 80s.
Fri. 3/8 10p: Many fans in America first got hooked on Afropop through the landmark 1982-83 tour by Nigeria's King Sunny Ade and his African Beats: the propulsive polyrhythms of traditional drums mixed with sophisticated guitar arrangements and pedal steel.
Fri. 2/22 10p: Singer, composer and bandleader Joe Cuba passed. We honor him with this encore portrait of bugalu, also variously described as "Latin soul," that hit the scene in 1966 with an original and organic concept of combining black and Puerto Rican music.
Fri. 11/23 10p: To make this unprecedented program, producer Ned Sublette traveled to Mbanza-Kongo, the ancient seat of the Kongo empire located in present-day northern Angola, where he spoke to Dr. Bárbaro Martínez Ruiz, professor of art and art history at Stanford.
Fri. 11/16 10p: In the latest in our annual pilgrimage to New York City for the Latin Alternative Music Conference we meet artists from all over Latin America who make their marks as creating genre bending mash ups using local roots and international sounds.
A vast, new world of DJs, record collectors and producers are going to far reaches of the Earth to find forgotten records and new styles of music. Their discoveries are then brought back home, remixed, repackaged and re-released to be heard by an entirely new audience. We speak to some of these globetrotting DJ and producers like Chief Boima and Geko Jones to hear about their experiences, the music they’ve discovered and how they go about remixing some of these styles in order to create a new and updated sound.
Fri. 7/22 at 10pm: It's no secret that the distant roots of American jazz lay in Africa. But how did Afro-America's revolutionary sound reshape African music? On this Hip Deep edition, we examine how African artists found a modern, global voice using jazz as inspiration.
Fri. 6/24 at 10pm: Afropop Worldwide takes us into the world of the globalistas, a far-flung grouping of polyglot hipsters, bass freaks, and digital beatsmiths who rally around the sounds of the 21st century dancefloor - rhythms such as Angolan kuduro, Brazilian funk carioca, reggaeton and dancehall, Indian bhangra and Argentine electro-cumbia. Featuring interviews with DJ Rupture and Wayne Marshall.