The Best Ambiance, KEXP’s African music show on Monday nights, is continuing its long run into its 25th this year, and host Jon Kertzer celebrated the anniversary with one of the artists who started it all for him, King Sunny Ade. The Chairman, as he is known, is now in his sixties but continues to be a vital force long after he pioneered the concept of “World Music” by bringing Nigerian Yoruba juju music to parts of the world outside of Africa, particularly to the West. To the Triple Door in Seattle, King Sunny Ade brought with him His African Beats, or at least a selection of them, this time only 15 of a possible 52 member band comprised of contemporary musicians and traditional Yoruba talking drummers. As you can tell immediately from the photos and videos, the band was as much a visual feast as an auditory one. Enjoy Christopher Nelson’s amazing photos and this selection of songs from the session, which was broadcast live on KEXP (and don’t miss the hip-shaking “Dance Medley” at the end!).
Look for videos from Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, who also performed at the anniversary show, coming up soon!