• HB
  • AFRICAN FUNK KING FEMI KUTI, MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD, AND BONGO MAFFIN
  • July 28, 2002
  • SUNDAY, JULY 28, 7:30 PM

    KCRW's World Festival 2002
    A Lexus Passionate Performance

    African Funk reigns at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m., when the exciting and visceral Femi Kuti once again takes the stage, singing his high-energy Afrobeat music with his large band and dynamic dancers. Joining him on the bill for their Bowl debuts are Michael Franti & Spearhead, playing their soulful and socially relevant mix of funk and hip-hop; and rising South African band Bongo Maffin, whose kwaito sound blends house and reggae with traditional township jive. The concert is the fourth in KCRW's World Festival 2002.

    Backbeat Live pre-concert events take place at the Patio, one hour prior to the Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday concerts; free to all ticket holders. The July 28 session features a performance by Francis Awe and his Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble.

    Son of the legendary Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti continues his rise as inheritor of the Afro-beat legacy his father established over a long performing and recording career. Femi's music reflects his life in Lagos, Nigeria, the deaths of his father and sister, and the ongoing fight for social and political change in his homeland. His newest release, Fight to Win (MCA), illustrates his funky, jazzy, percussive sound that mixes R&B and dance music influences from abroad.

    Vibe Magazine says that Michael Franti & Spearhead recall the best of Curtis Mayfield and Earth, Wind and Fire. Their latest release, Stay Human (Six Degrees), expresses Franti's anger at the system, his advocacy of love, and his belief in freedom through individuality and self-expression.
    Bongo Maffin is the latest band to emerge from South Africa's musical renaissance with their first international release, Bongolution (Sony/Lightyear).

    African Funk is the fourth concert of KCRW's World Festival 2002, which was created in partnership with KCRW (89.9 FM/National Public Radio). The series continues on August 11, when World Reggae features Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, and Lucky Dube and concludes with The Beat of Brazil with Ivan Lins and special guests Leila Pinheiro & Dori Caymmi; Leny Andrade with special guest Oscar Castro-Neves; and Mônica Salmaso on September 8. All concerts begin at 7:30 PM.

    FEMI KUTI returns to the Bowl with his spirited mix of funky horns, Nigerian drums, free jazz, and American dance music. His vibrant, dazzling performances around the world have earned Femi a place next to his late father, Nigerian Afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, as African superstar and political activist. Femi rose to prominence in 1985 after filling in at a Bowl performance for his father's 40-piece band, Egypt 80, and soon became one of the most prominent artists in Africa and around the world with his own band, The Positive Force. Last year Fight To Win (MCA) was released to critical acclaim; he last played the Bowl in the same year.

    Led by Michael Franti (Beatnigs, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy), SPEARHEAD was formed in 1994 with a '70s funk edge to politically conscious hip-hop. Elements of jazz, old school R&B, and soul are evident in Franti's revolutionary and powerful music, and his live performances are known for invoking collective spirituality. Franti has proven his staying power in the hip-hop world with intelligence, social awareness, and musical eloquence. This performance marks Spearhead's Bowl debut.

    Started in 1996 as a conceptual band 'project,' the trio BONGO MAFFIN delivers a strong South African sound, intermingled with global characteristics. In 1999, the group won the South African Music Award for Best Kwaito Artist and received the Kora All-Africa Music Award for Best African Group in 2001. Last year, they played kwaito for the first time in New York at Central Park Summerstage. They have toured in France, England, and Denmark, and appeared with such artists as Skunk Anansie, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, and Boyz II Men. The band is making their Bowl debut.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of just under 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and, in 1991 gave its name to The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. A hit from its very first season, the Hollywood Bowl has remained popular and accessible to a wide cross-section of Southern California's diverse population. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "Open House at the Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 34th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and last summer, close to one million admissions were recorded. It is no wonder that the Bowl's summer music festivals have become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers and Disneyland.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    Sunday, July 28, 7:30 PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL (2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood)

    African Funk

    FEMI KUTI (with dancers)

    MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD

    BONGO MAFFIN

    GARTH TRINIDAD, host

    KCRW's World Festival
    A Lexus Passionate Performance

    Backbeat Live pre-concert events take place at the Patio, one hour prior to the Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday concerts; free to all ticket holders. The July 28 session features a performance by Francis Awe and his Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble.

    Tickets ($1 - $70) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at online at hollywoodbowl.com. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850-2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 323/850-2047; David Barber, 323/850-2023