Fela Kuti’s Son Brings Father’s Afrobeat Legacy to Helsinki Hudson


Seun Kuti (photo Johann Sauty)

Seun Kuti (photo Johann Sauty)

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Seun Kuti, son of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose name was nearly synonymous with “Afrobeat,” will carry on his father’s legacy, combining swirling African rhythms and gritty textures with horn-laced funk in songs laced with social and political messages performed by his 15-piece band, Egypt 80, the combo formerly fronted by his father, at Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, September 5, 2014, at 9pm.

Kuti’s band boasts a four-member horn section (plus Kuti himself on saxophone), two backup vocalists/dancers, four percussionists, and a full rock band including two electric guitarists playing the incessant rhythms and circular, twisted single-note lines and riffs that came to characterize and define Afrobeat music, as popularized on the public radio program “Afropop Worldwide” hosted by Georges Collinet.

Seun Kuti has worked with Brian Eno, bringing full circle the Afrobeat sounds that mid-career Talking Heads introduced to American audiences on Eno-produced albums including “Fear of Music” and “Remain in Light.” Kuti, however, has found his own idiosyncratic voice as songwriter, singer, and bandleader, with the scorching rhythms and kinetic funk energy that has earned the band worldwide acclaim as one of today’s most incendiary live acts.

With Kuti’s booming, hip-hop-influenced vocal stylings at the forefront, his songs are fueled by call-and-response hooks, breakneck tempos, and combative, topical lyricism which firmly sets the classic Egypt 80 sound in the modern era.

Born in 1983, Seun Kuti first began performing with Egypt 80 at the age of nine, warming up audiences with renditions of his father’s songs. After Fela Kuti’s death in 1997, Seun Kuti stepped up to the front of the band, leading the celebrated combo as both lead vocalist and saxophonist. While his father’s influence cannot be overstated, Kuti was determined to cut his own distinctive musical path, incorporating contemporary influences into the traditional Afrobeat approach.

For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.

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