Since the evolution of juju music in Nigeria in the 1930s, no exponent has made a more lasting impact in the genre than King Sunny Ade. As a singer, composer and guitarist, this two-time Grammy Award nominee and pioneer of modern world music has succeeded in taking this Nigerian social music to international heights.
Ade formed his first band in 1967, had his first hit single a year later, and has been in the limelight in Nigeria ever since. In the years that followed, he continued to forge his own identity in the music, with attention focused on rhythmic integration and more defined lead singing. In the mid-1970s, like all of Africa, Ade was influenced by Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat, and Afrobeat bass lines and guitar riffs were soon incorporated, creating a totally new fusion of the forms.
In 1982, his music reached North America and he was hailed as possibly the “next Bob Marley”, who had tragically died in 1981. Singing in his native Yoruba language, Ade went on to define the terms “Afropop” and “World beat” and open the door to the West for other African musicians.
King Sunny Ade & His African Beats last toured North America in 2005. They will lay down their trademark mix of talking drum-driven grooves, multi-guitar weaves, lilting vocal harmonies, and pedal steel accents, and take their audiences on an intoxicating journey.