Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, Loveness Wesa and the Bantus
8:30 pm., Saturday August 10 | $25.
[ZIMBABWEAN GROOVE] After joining—and then replacing—the great Thomas Mapfumo in the Zimbabwean band Wagon Wheels, the 61-year-old Oliver Mtukudzi became one of southern Africa’s most popular singers. Mtukudzi rasps his uplifting lyrics in his native Shona language (as well as Ndebele and English) over a bubbling beat that mixes compulsively danceable mbaqanga and other African rhythms with grooves influenced by American R&B. Using mostly acoustic traditional instruments, his band will play songs from his more than five-dozen albums, including some from his latest, the first since the untimely 2010 car-crash death of his 21-year-old son and musical collaborator, Sam. But then, Mtukudzi’s music has always stood for overcoming difficulties—whether corruption, AIDS or repression—through dance and music. Portland’s own Zimbabwean music maven and Mapfumo collaborator, Loveness Wesa, opens with her own songs and dances inspired by southern Africa.
13 NW 6th Ave.