On Saturday September 14 Chicago Afrobeat Project performs at the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park as a part of the 2013 World Music Festival. Following the band is Bassekou Kouyate (pictured).
The event takes place as a part of Festival au Desert (Festival in the Desert). Festival au Desert began in 2001 in the arid lands just outside of Timbuktu, a dazzling clearinghouse of the rich sounds emanating from Mali, one of Africa’s poorest nations financially, but richest culturally.
The event quickly developed into one of world music’s signature events, spearheaded by members of the great Tuareg group Tinariwen. But when Islamic fundamentalists hijacked a Tuareg uprising in 2012 the festival had to be canceled among increasing violence. So this year the event is in exile and members of the Malian musical community have organized an informal caravan of sounds across the US this summer, and a slew of great players roll into the city for this year’s World Music Festival: Chicago. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Mamadou Kelly, Sidi Toure, and Leila Gobi all perform multiple concerts, showcasing the bluesy foundation of traditional Malian music.
Chicago Afrobeat Project will perform new material written during the band’s week-long session with master drummer Tony Allen. The week included performances, writing, recording and workshops on afrobeat.