The eighth staging of “African Music Now” takes place May 8-9 (7 p.m.) at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo, and organizers Tokyu Group are giving fans of world music the opportunity to attend for free.
Subtitled “Roots of Rhythm,” the concerts brings together African percussionist/composer Wagane Ndiaye Rose and his eight-piece Senegalese sabar percussion ensemble; Gabon-born guitarist/vocalist Pierre Akendengue and his 16-piece group; and Japan’s Masayasu Tzboguchi, a composer who straddles jazz and electronica. His compatriot, guitarist Tsuneo Imahori, will also be guesting with Rose’s sabar ensemble.
Akendengue, who sings political songs in both French and Myene, left the West African nation of Gabon aged 22 for France, debuting in 1974 with the album “Nandipo.” Radio France Internationale described his song “Epuguzu” as “the African chanson of the 1980s.”
Rose is the son of the well-known practitioner of sabar drumming, Doudou Ndiaye, and with his father has taught sabar, a kind of drum from Senegal’s Senegambia region used by villagers to communicate with each other over distances as long as 15 km.
Prior to each performance, introductions to the music will be provided by the likes of actress Takami Yoshimoto, who has previously emcee’d at Africa-related events in Tokyo.
For details on how to win free tickets to “African Music Now,” visit tokyu-group.co.jp/ or call the Tokyo Customer Center at (03) 3477-0109.