Wednesday, April 21, 2010

King Sunny Ade and The African Beats (Ibae' Baye' T'Oru'n)



Every spring or summer, I attend a raucous Nigerian party with non-stop music. People come dressed in eye-popping fashions and dance for three-four hours straight.  Every year, I look forward to this party, also called a King Sunny Ade concert. 

A typical Sunny Ade concert lasts at least four hours and that’s only if there are parameters like say, the venue has to close. The Minister of Enjoyment, The Chairman, The King of Juju, are titles that Ade has earned for performing blistering sets of the complex, interlocking, guitar and percussion rhythms known as juju. Juju music is rooted in the Yoruba tradition of broad cultural and social commentary. Just one of Ade’s tunes, fortified with a band, The African Beats, of up to 30 members, lasts an average of 40 minutes. It’s the ultimate jam style that has influenced not only countless African musicians but Americans like Phish’s Trey Anastasio as well. A Sunny Ade show pulls out all aspects of Nigerian culture; from fans draped in glittering agbadas, dancing all over the stage and in the stands, eager "spraying"  (literally covering the band with money)  and an all out fun time.

It has just been announced that King Sunny Ade has cancelled his North American tour.  Sadly, two members of his African Beats, Gabriel Ayanniyi (talking drum) and Omo Olope (percussion)  were killed in a car accident while on there way to a video shoot. I wish their families condolences, ibae' baye' t'oru'n (Rest In Peace).

Check out this video from a Sunny Ade concert at the Montreal Jazz Fest for a taste of the party:


14 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

What a tragedy to happen.

Catherine said...

This is the kind of music I love - and what a tragedy to strike the group...

Fly Girl said...

Jean-Luc, it is a really tragic situation.

Catherine, I'm glad you enjoy juju! I'm not surprised!

Lola said...

This is so sad. I didn't hear about this. My thoughts are definitely with the family of those affected!

King Sunny Ade is a legend in Nigeria. My parents (and Urb's as well) actually danced in to Sunny Ade at my wedding :)

Fly Girl said...

Lola, you can't dance at a wedding without Sunny Ade! I'm glad that his music was a part of your wedding memories.

eden said...

My first time to hear about this group and I really enjoyed their music. They are such a great performers. It is nice to know other countries culture and tradition.Thank you for sharing.

My condolence to the family of the two members of African Beats who were killed. This is so sad. May they rest in peace.

Rachel Cotterill said...

What a tragedy :(

That does sound like an awesome party... I would love to go if he ever tours in my neck of the woods.

Fly Girl said...

Eden, I'm glad I could introduce you to a new group.

Rachel, I think he does come to England pretty often.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for sharing the video I didn't know about this group and R.IP to the 2 memebers who died.

Fly Girl said...

Tiffany, Sunny Ade is one of the most famous African stars.

Wendy said...

So sorry for the tragedy. The music is fantastic.

Fly Girl said...

Wendy, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Mary and Sean said...

That's terrible!

I know what it's like to look forward to something so uplifting.

Fly Girl said...

Mary, I just hope that the family is okay. I'm sure Sunny will be touring next year.