THE FUNKY hip hop grooves of De La Soul and the African and Latin American rhythms of AfroCubism will get Galwegians dancing and shaking in the Galway Arts Festival Big Top this summer.
For fans of Black music this bill is a real treat with AfroCubism playing on Monday July 18 while De La Soul, presented in association with the Róisín Dubh, play on Saturday July 23.
AfroCubism was formed in 1996 as a way of bringing together the foremost Cuban and Malian musicians together to record in Havana and explore their shared musical history. As it turned out the Malians couldn’t make it to Cuba so an exclusively Cuban album was recorded instead and thus began the legend that became the Buena Vista Social Club.
Fourteen years later, this 13-piece all-star cast of musicians that is AfroCubism including African superstar Toumani Diabaté and Buena Vista hero Eliades Ochoa finally got together and recorded an album which was released last year and enjoyed high praise.
The Financial Times has called AfroCubism “a cross-cultural tour-de-force by the maestros”.
In 1989 New York trio De La Soul unleashed the album Three Feet High and Rising. It’s mix of hippy sentiments, laid back delivery, and the astonishing way it used classic funk, soul, and pop samples, all came together to create one of the all time great rap albums.
Indeed it is part of rap’s ‘holy trinity’, alongside NWA’s Straight Outta Compton and Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back that set the template for rap music for the next decade. The trio followed this up with in 1991 with the equally acclaimed De La Soul Is Dead which contained the hit single ‘Ring Ring Ring’.
More recently De La Soul have collaborated and performed live with Gorillaz, together winning a Grammy in 2006 for the single ‘Feel Good Inc’. Both bands have also worked together on the album Plastic Beach.
The Bahh Band will support to AfroCubism. Tickets for this show are €35. The Kanyu Tree, Daithí Ó Dronaí, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will also be on the bill with De La Soul. Tickets are €32.50. For tickets see www.galwayartsfestival.com