Like Sun Ra, James Brown, Fela Kuti, and a few others, August “Kid Creole” Darnell uses the stage and a big crowd of musicians to create a rich, evocative, obsessively personal world of his own. It’s a trashily theatrical movie-studio vision of Pan-Americana, a big supercosmopolitan calypso/R&B/Latin/pop/Caribbean funk mess with 1940s swing horns slathered all over it. Fronting with the dapper, vaguely sleazy, zoot-suited Kid Creole is vibist-sidekick Andy “Coati Mundi” Hernandez; he plays the buffoon onstage but is actually a formidable composer-arranger-orchestrator who contributes vital behind-scenes input to this revue. The music is nothing if not danceable–and while transparent “sincerity” just isn’t Darnell’s bag, he does use his fertile imagination and solid musicianship to put over an implicit one-world message that’s actually quite inspiring. Tonight, 7:30 PM, Riviera Nightclub, 4746 N. Racine; 769-6300. Tuesday, 8 PM, Holiday Star Theatre, I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, Indiana; 734-7266.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Beorge DuBose–Pix Int’l.