LSC-O to celebrate Black History Month with free show featuring Jabali Afrika

Jabali Afrika

Kenya has hit the headlines most recently as the ancestral home of the United States’ first African-American president, Barack Obama. But the nation is also home to East Africa’s oldest and most diverse popular music traditions, reaching back to Kenyan musical father Fundi Konde. Jabali Afrika, a dynamic music quartet hailing from Kenya will be stopping by LSC-O Feb. 26 to help the campus celebrate Black History Month.

“Jabali” means “rock” in Kiswahili, Kenya’s national language. Jabali Afrika is a truly multi-faceted group with its own unique mixture of fusion and African rhythms. Original compositions and traditional African rhythms come alive on a wide variety of instruments, accompanied by vocal harmonies that form the foundation of modern rock, jazz, blues and more. Add talented dancing and choreography, topped off with stunning traditional African tribal costumes, and you have a multi-cultural experience that will leave the entire audience enriched, educated, and entertained.

Kenya has also been in the headlines in recent years due to the turmoil around its 2008 election. In fact, Kenyan radio banned Jabali Afrika’s get-out-the-vote single “People’s Choice,” a musical call for democracy and justice to prevail over corruption, during the election violence. However, their 2010 album, “Mayosi,” doesn’t shy away from continuing to protest inequity and celebrate human rights, while at the same time seeking solace from these struggles in songs with uplifting spiritual messages and tunes that celebrate romantic and familial love.

Sixteen years ago, the members of Jabali Afrika would meet on a large rock to plan and dream about their music future. Today, their award-winning, innovative mélange of traditional spirituals and rock-reggae arrangements is a pillar of world music festivals and college concerts worldwide. The band’s 250 shows per year and 98 percent re-booking rate say it all, but there’s no replacement for hearing their authentic African drumming rhythms and electric guitars in a live setting.

Join LSC-O in celebrating Black History Month with Jabali Afrika on Feb. 26 at 12:00 p.m. The show is free and open to the public, and is planned to be held outdoors on the Student Center Lawn, pending no inclement weather. If the weather is not permissible, the show will be held inside of the Student Center Gym.

For more information, please call Wendy Elliott, director of student activities, at (409) 882-3097.