Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Loveness Wesa (theater); Bigfoot Country (lounge)
4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
[CLASSIC AFRO-POP] Growing up in the 1970s, Loveness Wesa, who now leads Portland's Bantus Band, thrilled to the Chimurenga ("liberation") music of the great Zimbabwean musician Thomas Mapfumo, who helped invent modern Afro-pop. She later sang and danced in his band from 2004 to 2010. By blending American R&B and James Brown funk with the interlocking grooves of southern Africa's Shona people, often transferring mbira lines to electric guitar, Mapfumo created an irresistibly danceable groove that was as revolutionary to music as to politics. Now based in Eugene, of all places, Mapfumo usually performs abroad, so this is a welcome opportunity to hear the Lion of Zimbabwe roar—and to see him share the stage with one of our own world-music treasures.
Where: Alhambra Theatre
Address: 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd.