Hot times, summer in the city, can only mean fabulous outdoor concerts, many of them free.
On the 5th of July, I made my way towards Rumsey Playfield where the free Central Park SummerStage concerts are held, at the invitation of Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun, who is currently on a North American and Canadian tour with Malian songstress Oumou Sangare and her band.
The sounds of African voices and instruments filled the air on this perfect summer afternoon, which also featured performances by French-Chad group Les Nubians, Nigerian singer Asa and banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck.
“Oumou Sangare is one of the most talented artists I’ve worked with in my entire career. This is the perfect time to work with her and fellow Malian musicians. I’m honored to participate in this tour,” said Calhoun, when I caught up with him backstage.
Sangare, known as “The Songbird of Wassoulou,” writes and composes her songs to bring about social awareness, especially concerning the place of women within society.
New York native Calhoun, the sole American on the tour, has visited Mali to study with Dogon drummers and other master musicians over the past two years. He is also featured playing drums and percussion on Oumou’s critically acclaimed World Circuit / Nonesuch release ‘Seya,’ which means joy.
For more information on Oumou Sangare’s North American tour, visit http://www.nonesuch.com/on-tour/oumou-sangare. For more on her new album, visit http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/seya.
Click on the arrow below for photos and video excerpts from Oumou Sangare’s concert in Central Park.
JULY WED 08- Montreal, QUE Montreal Jazz Festival
JULY THU 09- Ottawa, ONT Cisco Blues
JULY FRI 10- Winnipeg Winnipeg Folk Festival – Main stage
JULY SAT 11- Winnipeg Winnipeg Folk Festival – workshop
JULY SUN 12- Toronto, ONT Afrofest Queens Park
JULY WED 15- Quebec City, QUE City Festival
JULY FRI 17- Burlington, VT Sol Harvest Festivus
JULY SAT 18- Trumansburg, NY Grassroots Festival
Oumou Sangare on North American Tour
Charnette Moffett Trio in Dobbs Ferry Music Series
Multimedia: Asian Pacific American Month Celebration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hanami Daiko at Drom
Charnett Moffett Trio The Art of Improvisation CD Release Party at Iridium
Multimedia: Francis Mbappe and the Tribe at Joe’s Pub Photos
Will Calhoun’s Native Lands Experience Live at the Blue Note in NYC
Francis Mbappe Unplugged with The Tribe at Joe’s Pub
On Ensemble, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe in Taiko x2 at Cerritos Center
Funk Filharmonik at Mirelle
Will Calhoun Tours with Unified Presence and Living Colour in Europe
Francis Mbappe and Will Calhoun Duo at Zinc Bar
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.
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