Fela Kuti, lately the subject of a high-profile Broadway musical, pioneered Afrobeat in the 1970s. Incredibly, this blazing Nigerian funk music — so confrontationally political it verged on contraband — became one of the most popular genres in the world, profoundly influencing Western artists from Roy Ayers to David Byrne.
The saxophonist Seun Kuti — who recently completed a brilliant new record with producer Brian Eno — keeps his illustrious father’s tradition in circulation as well as most of his band, the seasoned powerhouse Egypt 80. An intensely physical performer and a firebrand player, Seun Kuti unites musical abandon and social conscience into a sheer force of nature. His large combo’s incendiary rhythms and incantatory vocals promise to be among the most visceral sounds to shake local stages this year.