Cheikh Lô Celebrates James Brown on North American Tour with "Funk-Soul Supergroup" (Boston Globe) Led by Pee Wee Ellis
Senegalese singer/songwriter Cheikh Lô, one of the great mavericks of African music, is back in North America to kick off a ten-day tour with Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill tonight. Lô joins Brown's longtime band leader Pee Wee Ellis and an all-star band the Boston Globe has called "a pancontinental funk-soul supergroup," featuring fellow special guests saxophonist Maceo Parker, who began his career in Brown's band, and Vusi Mahlasela, to celebrate the music of the legendary Godfather of Soul.
As much as the music of Africa influenced Brown’s style, he likewise inspired an entire generation of African artists. Still Black, Still Proud celebrates Brown’s legacy while exploring the deep-rooted relationship between soul, funk, and modern African music. "Since the beat came from Africa," Ellis explains, "we wanted to bring it back by way of combining funk with some African rhythms." The Independent calls it "primally explosive funk."
Tonight's tour-opening event at UNC includes a pre-concert conversation with Ellis in Gerrard Hall , followed by a James Brown dance party on the steps of Memorial Hall, where the concert takes place. The tour heads next to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont; the University of Pennsylvania's Zellerbach Theatre; the Ordway Music Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota; and, finally, Koerner Hall in Toronto.
For additional details and ticket links, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour. To peruse Cheikh Lô's World Circuit / Nonesuch Records catalog, including his latest album, Jamm, released earlier this year, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s at checkout.