Seun Kuti’s arms stretch wide enough to hold onto his father, Fela Kuti’s, musicianship —a man who passed away 14 years ago—as well as dip into the politics of present day Nigeria, his homeland. The stretch probably feels natural to him as Seun grew up watching his father slipping effortlessly in both arenas: music and politics.
Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, in fact his late-father’s band, will perform at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis on April 14th. Watching this youtube clip, one might wonder at how the Cedar, which holds 625 at full capacity, will be able to contain Kuti’s sound.
Mike Rossetto, The Cedar’s marketing coordinator, feels confident they will be able to meet the saxophone player’s expectations. “I can promise you that Seun will be a memorable concert,” Rossetto told Mshale. It’ll be a dancing crowd, which mirrors the movements on stage as well. In addition to Kuti’s horn, guitar, and percussion players, he also features three backup singers—women dressed in traditional Nigerian costume who provide vocals as well as African dance.
Kuti also uses his voice to bring attention to issues that face the everyday Nigerian. Earlier this year, he participated in Occupy Nigeria protests. The protests were leveled at President Goodluck Jonathan who eliminated the fuel subsidy in Nigeria, in January 2012.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on CP-Africa.com, Kuti explains his involvement in OccupyNigeria, “I am Nigerian first, this is not about being an artist…this is about being a Nigerian. We have to be a different generation (from our parents); we have to be outspoken about our future.”
Kuti’s show at the Cedar will be a a premier musical event. Rossetto affirms what all Seun Kuti fans are already thinking. “I’m really looking forward to seeing Seun and band. For [The Cedar], this is one of our highlights of the season.”
Saturday, April 14, 2012 – 8:00pm
Doors Open: 7:00pm
Day of show: $35.00
Walker members $25/30; Standing show
At The Cedar