The Cedar Cultural Center has just announced the lineup for its "African Summer" series: six concerts featuring performers representing the power and diversity of African music today.
The series begins on June 11 with Bombino, a Tuareg guitarist whose new album Nomad was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.
On June 15, the Cedar will host M.anifest, the Ghanaian rapper who has been a part of the Twin Cities community since coming to attend Macalester college in 2001.
Femi Kuti, the oldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, will take the Cedar stage on June 26.
The series continues on June 28 with the remarkable Amadou & Mariam, a couple who met as members of the orchestra at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind. They married in 1980 and have been making beautiful music together ever since—though they never made it to Minnesota until 2012, when a sold-out crowd welcomed them to the Cedar.
Another guitar wizard plays the Cedar on July 9. Vieux Farka Touré, of Mali, is often called "the Hendrix of the Sahara."
The series concludes on July 10 with Fendika, a troupe of musicians and dancers representing Ethiopia's azmari tradition of poetic song.
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As an emerging artist who is still experiencing an unsettled change in style and content, I understand that this change is as exciting as it is terrifying—like a creative puberty. It is one thing to observe such a change while in its midst, but there is nothing quite as mesmerizing as viewing this metamorphosis as it happens to someone else.
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