In 1996, World Circuit Records’ Nick Gold booked studio time in Havana to record an historic collaboration of some of Cuba’s and Mali’s finest musicians. When the Africans didn’t show up, some local legends were plucked out of retirement as lucky substitutes on what became the Buena Vista Social Club, which has sold eight million copies to date. Fortunately, the African players who missed the plane back then—Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni) and Djelimady Tounkara (electric guitar)—got a second chance to join singer-guitarist Eliades Ochoa. Along with the amazing Toumani Diabate (kora), Lasana Diabate (balafon), and Kasse Mady Diabate (vocals), the hybrid ensemble known as AfroCubism recorded a more or less live album—with a heightened emphasis on laid-back polyrhythms—in Madrid. It’s a spacious sizzler, full of languid downhill riffs, gracefully rustic soloing, and Cuban-country charisma. This show marks the 13-piece group’s U.S. debut.
Tue., Nov. 9, 8 p.m., 2010