SummerStage: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, SMOD, Bibi Tanga and the Selenites, DJ Chief Boima

Sunday, July 22, 2012, 3:00 PM

Central Park, New York, NY


The eternal youth of the legendary Orchestre Poly-Rythmo from Benin, Africa has stunned deejays and African music aficionados with their pure African funky sound for over forty years. Their voice, brass section, guitar and percussion weaves together to create an irresistible Afro-funk sound deeply anchored in voodoo music, beat out by an immense vertical drum. By inter-mixing these vibrant traditional rhythms with psychedelic guitar riffs, unreal organ harmonies and funk and soul elements, the band has gone on to perform throughout Africa and internationally alongside other famous African musicians such as such as Seun Kuti and Amadou and Mariam. The band has juste released a new album, Cotonou Club featuring musicians from Scottish band, Franz FerdinandtF, Angelique Kidjo and Fatoumata Diawara.

The Malian group SMOD is a group of four young MCs, hailing from Bamako, the capital of Mali in West Africa. In 2002, they edited their first album, Dunia Kuntala. The album and the group’s intersection of folk meets rap with a distinctly African vibe launched them to fame in their homeland. Two years later, they released the follow up, Ta I Tola in collaboration with numerous famed world artists including Amadou & Mariam and Manu Chao. With a new album being released in 2013 and a world tour lined up, SMOD is taking their special brand of African hip-hop to audiences around the world.

The future of funk is being written right now by a pair of Parisian groove theorists named Bibi Tanga and Professeur Inlassable. Singer, bassist and bandleader Bibi Tanga bridges the divide between Paris’ arty South Bank of the Seine and the gritty suburbs, where he grew up as an immigrant from the Central African Republic. Tanga’s music is marked by slinky, sinuous bass lines and a wicked falsetto that conjures up the spirit of Prince and Curtis Mayfield. With his band, the Selenites, they forge a stunningly original new sound, and create a space where Afro-futurism meets steampunk and Fela Kuti jams with Sidney Bechet.

Chief Boima is a Sierra Leonean-American electronic musician/DJ, cultural activist, and writer currently based in New York.  He is a member of the Brooklyn based music, art and culture collective, Dutty Artz.  His DJ style was inspired by the parties he knew growing up in a close knit African immigrant community in Wisconsin. As a touring club DJ, he has become a respected figure in the promotion of various musical styles from around the globe such as Coupe Decale, Cumbia, Kuduro, and Champeta.