An event paying homage to the iconic music of Afrobeat pioneer and human rights activist Fela Kuti will arrive in Shepparton this weekend, marking the 20th anniversary of his death.
As part of an Australia-wide tour, visual artist Lemi Ghariokwu, who was a close friend of Kuti and created many of the performer’s album covers, will present his work and co-host a series of events.
Shepparton is on the itinerary, and will be treated to a free Afrobeat celebration this Saturday, September 16 at St Paul’s African House.
The evening will feature an exhibition of Lemi Ghariokwu’s album covers, and will kick off with an artist talk from the man himself.
Completely self-taught, this Lagos Afro-pop art exponent/Afro-visionary artist gained worldwide fame as the designer of Kuti’s album covers between 1974 and 1993, producing 26 of them.
Following the artist’s talk, local hip hop and African gospel music collective Ignite Project Crew and mentor Momo will take the stage to rock with some original tunes.
The band performs original compositions that fuse traditional Senegalese Sabar music and dance forms with a first-hand Afrobeat authenticity.
The songs flip in and out of traditional-tongue street-pidgin chants and English verse.
Multicultural Arts Victoria executive officer Jill Morgan said the event would bring together local and international talent in an amazing collection of Afrobeat music, art and culture.
‘‘The group includes 15 local young artists from African backgrounds who are extraordinarily talented and creative both on the mic and with the pen,’’ Ms Morgan said.
To wrap up the night, six-piece Melbourne-based band Public Opinion Six will deliver a high-energy set of Afrobeat medicine administered directly to the soul.
Fronted by Senegalese griot musician Lamine Sonko, Public Opinion Six breathes new life into the sound of West Africa and brings a powerful message of resistance to the next generation of Afrobeat.
The concert will take place at St Paul’s African House, 54 Poplar Ave, this Saturday, September 16 from 5pm to 9pm.