African Reggae Star Tiken Jah Fakoly
With Opening Act
The Cannabis Cup Band
Saturday, June 16th, 8PM
In recognition of Black Music Month in June 2012, the Apollo Theater’s Cultural Exchange Series will celebrate over 50 years of reggae music with a special concert starring African Reggae icon Tiken Jah Fakoly on Saturday, June 16th at 8pm. Known for his politically charged lyrics, Tiken Jah Fakoly is the premier artist in African reggae and has often been called the African Bob Marley, drawing comparisons to the reggae legend for his soulful vocals, the revolutionary messages in his music, and his mastery of roots-reggae. The world music star has sold out stadiums and venues all over Europe and Africa and will now make a rare trip to the United States for his first ever appearance on the legendary Apollo stage, where he will perform classics and material from his latest album, the critically acclaimed African Revolution. The show will also feature popular New York City based reggae outfit The Cannabis Cup Band. Tickets are $25, $35, $45; Premium seating is $55. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, April 28th through the Apollo Theater Box Office, 125th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, 212/531-5305 and Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
This special Cross Cultural concert coincides with the 50thanniversary of Jamaica’s independence, a milestone that has brought international attention to reggae music’s evolution, its impact on popular culture around the world, and the international sub-genres it has inspired, including African reggae.
“There is a wonderful history of reggae and African music at the Apollo. From Bob Marley to Miriam Makeba, the Apollo has always been a platform for culturally diverse artists. The Apollo is also known as a discoverer and nurturer of new talent, and the Cross Cultural Series honors that history by giving artists like Tiken Jah Fakoly an outlet and an opportunity to reach a broader audience,” said Laura Greer, the Apollo’s Associate Producer. “Though he has a huge fan base in Europe, Mr. Fakoly isn’t as known in the United States, so his Apollo debut will allow our audiences to experience his tremendous artistry and to learn about what’s happening in the Ivory Coast as well as in Mali.”
Born into a griot family in the Ivory Coast, Tiken Jah Fakoly has always used his music as a vehicle to speak out against the social injustices and oppression in his native country as well as other parts of Africa. He discovered reggae at an early age, assembling his first group, Djelys, in 1987. Concerned by the social and political evolution of his country, it was not long before Mr. Fakoly was writing incisive works on the political environment in Côte d’Ivoire. Most famously, his song recounting the death of Côte d’Ivoire’s first president of Félix Houphouët-Boigny elevated him to popularity among thousands of African youth. He became well-known at a regional level, and soon his music and his reputation stretched across the nation, eventually spreading beyond its borders and, in 1998, Fakoly made his first international appearance in Paris. Soon after that, he solidified himself as certified star, building a huge fan base throughout Europe andAfrica. As a result of his outspoken criticism of the government in his native country, Mr. Fakoly was forced into exile in neighboring Mali.
Tiken Jah Fakoly’s Apollo debut will be particularly poignant given all of the changes in West Africa recently, especially with the current political crisis in Mali. Mr. Fakoly has recently released a new video about Mali’s current situation entitled “Amadou.”This year also marks other important changes in the singer’s life, most significantly, his return this past January to a now peaceful Ivory Coast -his first time in his homeland since first being exiled in 2002.
The Cannabis Cup Band, one of today’s leading reggae groups, will serve as the opening act for this concert. Since emerging in 1996 as the High Times Cannabis Cup house band, the CCB has been lighting up the undergroundNew York reggae scene with sold-out performances at some of the city’s hottest venues. The group’s ability to play a wide variety of idioms, an inspired group of special guests, and its celebration of reggae culture has earned CCB legions of local fans, headline status at festivals across the country, and gigs backing diverse artists, from Rita Marley to George Clinton. The CCB’s annual Bob Marley Birthday Tribute show at BB Kings is a huge event and has sold out every year since its inception in 1997.
Electronic media and still photographers interested in covering any Apollo-produced event MUST submit requests on company letterhead via email to Nina Flowers, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 212/749-2743.
About The Apollo Theater Cross Cultural Exchange Series
The Apollo’s Cross Cultural Exchange presentations focus on music, artists, or projects representing diverse cultures that may be U.S. or internationally-based. Many of the artists presented represent cultural communities in Harlem and Upper Manhattan, including artists of Dominican, Puerto Rican, Senegalese, Ivorian and Malian cultural heritage.
About The Apollo Theater
The Apollo is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage. The Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on this legacy. With music as its core, the Apollo’s new programming focuses on large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.