Album release party for The Africa Unplugged EP: Vol. 2
“Sankofa” comes from a proverb in the Twi language of Ghana, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi.”. This translates as: It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten. Djembe master, guitarist and songwriter, Atiba Rorie has not only kept with this principle but expounded upon it in Africa Unplugged’s sophomore release.
With “Vol. 2”, Rorie and fellow percussionists, Lamar Quinn Lewis and Elisha Harris are joined by NC guitarist, William Darity and Nicaraguan bassist, Cesar A Oviedo. This new instrumentation is employed richly to combine both the “village” and “city” drumming styles of Mali with both rural and urban sounds from the African diaspora. Rorie’s disarmingly warm and personal approach to songwriting and arranging takes the listener on a sonic journey from West Africa to the nightclubs and “juke joints” of the US “chitlin circuit” as well as the beach parties and dance halls of the Caribbean within each song.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Africa Unplugged is a dynamic ensemble of accomplished musicians that features traditional instruments of West Africa. Using these instruments they push the boundaries of music, while based in a tradition centuries old but also incorporating musical influences and experiences from places around the world. Africa Unplugged was formed in 2011 by Atiba Rorie and since then this exciting band has enthralled audiences across the U.S. with its smooth melodies, virtuosic playing, and powerful drumming. The band is also constantly creating new and re-inventing old musical ideas. This dynamic band moves and connects modern audiences by melding ancient, West African instruments and musical traditions with contemporary global sounds. With Africa Unplugged, Blues, Funk, R&B, and Soul themes are given new life by the pulsing, pounding hands of a ferocious djembe and dunun section, while catchy guitar riffs, crooning vocals, and familiar grooves give the 21st century ear something it knows, loves, and won’t soon forget. Thanks to the band’s undeniable dance songs and its commitment to the West African tradition of community and audience participation, Africa Unplugged gets crowds singing and dancing as one. In 2014 they released their debut EP self titled ‘Africa Unplugged’. The band also enjoys educating audiences on the musical traditions and history of West Africa and also sharing their contemporary approach to using the instruments.