Fatour Seidi Ghali is surely not the first person to become enamored of an older sibling’s guitar. When she was about ten, her older brother, Ahmoudou Madassane (who currently plays rhythm guitar for Mdou Moctar), brought a guitar from Libya back to their home in Illighadad, Niger. Since Tuareg girls aren’t encouraged to pick up […]
First things first. The gyil is a traditional West African xylophone with dried gourd resonators hung below most or all of its hardwood keys. (A similar instrument is called a “balafon” in Francophone Africa.) It’s usually tuned pentatonically, and its full, luminous tone is haloed with a cicada-like buzz, created by vibrating membranes made from […]
Count Sidi Touré among the billions of people around the world who’ve had to revise their plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Malian singer-guitarist’s previous album, Toubalbero, was recorded live in Bamako’s best studio in order to best showcase his band’s vibrant combination of electric guitars and traditional regional instruments. But between the […]
As much as mainstream Western music-media outlets compare contemporary African artists to one another, often flattening the expansiveness of their sounds under a single Afrobeats umbrella, some musicians from the continent continue to prove they’re in a league of their own with every new release. Burna Boy’s new fifth studio album, Twice as Tall, is […]
The Shadows and the Light, the new album from Chicago drummer Quin Kirchner, is an eclectic collection of freewheeling studio performances with a diverse range of sounds. On its second track, “Batá Chop,” the album features influences of West African batá drum and traces of Afro-Cuban drumming (which Kirchner learned as a teenager while studying […]
Zamrock is an old strain of African popular music that’s increasingly returning to the spotlight. The term references its country of origin, Zambia, as well as a particular funky brand of acid rock. Equally indebted to James Brown and Black Sabbath, the Zamrock sound was birthed in the 70s by the band Musi-O-Tunya, solidified by […]
Therapists and social workers trained in trauma care are helping asylum seekers along their legal and healing journey.
Come for the colorful textiles and raw black soap at Gorée Shop, stay for the food.
A Zambian girl, falsely accused and imprisoned, refuses to be objectified or underestimated.
A celebration of African culture will be happening at the DuSable Museum.
Five African film classics for this Black Panther moment.
With the new album Last Band Standing, Orchestre les Mangelepa position themselves for long-overdue global acclaim.
Inspired by a trip to Africa prior to the 2010 World Cup, /peh-LO-tah/ explores the global and personal impact of soccer.
A Toto show in the Chicago suburbs has become my dad’s “wake before he sleeps,” now that he’s been diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer.
The French-Algerian artist explores loss through repair.