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Wolfgang Bender

A style of African popular music. The term was coined in 1967 by Fela Kuti, who was known as ‘the king of Afrobeat’. Fela played Highlife music while studying music at Trinity College of Music, London (1958–63). Upon his return to Nigeria he referred to the style as ‘highlife jazz’. Geraldo Pino from Sierra Leone visited Lagos around ...

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Benga  

Gregory F. Barz

Term used in Kenya to refer to a variety of popular music forms. It is used in particular to refer to a style of music that emerged in the 1960s among the Luo people in the area surrounding Lake Victoria in western Kenya. Kikuyu and Kamba musicians also developed regional variations of ...

Article

Lara Allen

South African popular music style. The worldwide popularity of disco during the 1980s spawned a South African township variant commonly called ‘bubblegum’, although its exponents prefer the official classification ‘township pop’. Catering for the tastes of the black urban youth, bubblegum retains some indigenous characteristics such as call-and-response in the vocal parts, but is dominated by synthesizers and a disco beat, commonly supplied by a drum box. Lyrics are often in English, although vernacular languages and the latest phrases in township lingua franca are also used....

Article

Moya Aliya Malamusi

Zimbabwean urban popular music style. In the Shona language of the Republic of Zimbabwe chimurenga means ‘fighting in which everyone joins’ but has also been used to mean ‘liberation war’. After UDI (1965), the liberation war waged by ZANU and ZAPU guerrillas from Mozambique and Zambia intensified. In the 1970s a new form of urban music developed in Zimbabwe, drawing together the traditional harmonic patterns of the ...

Article

Robert Pernet

(b Liège, Belgium, Feb 7, 1907; d Wavre, Belgium, Feb 10, 1987). Belgian pianist . After working in cinemas and music halls he performed in Switzerland (1928) and France (1929). In 1930 he toured Algeria and worked in Paris, and from ...

Article

Heather Laurel

Rock group formed in 1991 by the songwriter Dave (David John) Matthews (b Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 Jan 1967; guitar and vocals) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Matthews recruited Carter Beauford (b Charlottesville, 2 Nov 1957; drums and vocals), LeRoi Moore (b Durham, NC, ...

Article

Daniel Avorgbedor

(b Lagos). Nigerian reggae musician. After a series of television appearances in Nigeria in the early 1980s he began a solo career in 1987. Jah Stix was his first band and in 1988 his album Prisoner of Conscience made an international impact. Influences on Majek include musicians such as Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Jimi Hendrix; his late musical style (for example as shown in ...

Article

Jùjú  

Christopher A. Waterman

African popular music genre performed by the Yoruba of south-west Nigeria. Jùjú music combines indigenous praise-singing and proverbs, the flowing rhythms of social dance drumming and the traditional rhetorical role of the Yoruba talking drum with a variety of foreign influences, including electric guitars and synthesizers, African American soul music, country and western music and themes from Indian film music. ...

Article

Stephanie Conn

(b Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb 1, 1978). Somali-Canadian hip hop artist, singer, and songwriter. K’naan (“traveler”) was born in the midst of Somalia’s civil war. His grandfather Haji Mohamed was a famous poet, and his aunt Magool a well-known singer. As a child he became interested in rap recordings sent from the United States by his father. In ...

Article

KLF  

Ian Peel

British contemporary club dance music duo, comprising Bill Drummond (William Butterworth; b South Africa, 29 April 1953) and Jimmy Cauty (b 1954). Drummond was an influential part of the Liverpool music scene in the 1980s, managing Julian Cope and playing in Big in Japan; Cauty formed Brilliant in the early 1980s, an attempt to fuse rock and dance styles. They first worked together under a variety of pseudonyms including Disco ...

Article

(b Abeokuta, Nigeria Oct 15, 1938; d Lagos, Aug 2, 1997). Nigerian pop musician. He formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, in London while a student at Trinity College of Music (1958–63) where he studied the trumpet, music theory and composition. After returning to Nigeria (...

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South African a cappella vocal group. See Isicathamiya and South Africa, Republic of.

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Lara Allen

Term used to describe two developments in black South African urban popular music.

(1) During the 1940s South African big bands started performing local melodies in swing style, evolving a style that became known as mbaqanga or African jazz.

(2) In the early 1960s a second style called ...

Article

Gregory F. Barz

Form of West African guitar band Highlife music from Sierra Leone. Palm wine music (known in Sierra Leone as maringa) takes its name from the alcoholic beverage made from fermented palm sap served in coastal bars, a fairly cheap alternative to bottled beer. Palm wine was first made famous by Ebenezer Calender and his Maringar Band, who were known for their calypso-influenced style that drew heavily on the music of freed Caribbean slaves who had returned to Sierra Leone. Calender recorded extensively in the 1950s and 1960s, singing in the Krio language. The Kru-speaking sailors of Liberia who traded all along the west coast of Africa were accomplished guitarists, and their music may have influenced both Trinidadian calypso and Freetown ...

Article

Bill Dobbins

(b Norwalk, CT, Sept 2, 1928; d New Rochelle, NY, June 18, 2014). American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer. As a child he was exposed to Cape Verdean folk music performed by his father, who was of Portuguese descent. He began studying the saxophone and the piano in high school, when his influences were blues singers such as Memphis Slim and boogie-woogie and bop pianists, especially Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. In ...