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Egypt 80

Dec 17th 2016 @ S.O.B.'s

New York, NY
I Was There
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
9:00 PM
S.O.B.'s
204 Varick St., New York, NY 10014
By

Richard Gehr

If jazz-leaning Femi Kuti is Afrobeat's most significant innovator, his brother Seun, youngest son of Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti, is its foremost traditionalist. Seun grew up among Fela's Egypt 80 band as its child mascot (his mother, singer Fehintola Anikulapo Kuti, was among the 27 wives Fela famously married simultaneously in 1978), and he took over the band at age fourteen after Fela died in 1997; some of the players are still part of his current dozen-plus ensemble. From his 2008 debut, Many Things, to 2014's A Long Way to the Beginning, Seun has led a more economically feasible version of Fela's recombinant blend of James Brown–ian funk, Ghanaian highlife, polyrhythmic Yoruban percussion, jazz, and colorfully locomotivating dancers. He's a charismatic performer, like his father, with a similar affinity for impromptu political diatribes.