the 2010 Celebrate Brooklyn African Festival in pics (Konono No 1, Omar Pene & Super Diamono, more)
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
Konono No. 1 headlined the free annual Celebrate Brooklyn African Festival in Prospect Park on Saturday, July 17th. Other free music in Brooklyn that day included Siren Fest and Jelly's party at the Rock Yard.
"Despite the other big names on the bill, it seemed the crowd in Prospect Park was waiting all day to see Kinshasa group Konono No. 1, since a swell of people appeared close to the stage around the time the sun started to go down over the Bandshell and the group appeared on stage. Despite Konono being over thirty years old, they had all the buzz and jittery eagerness surrounding them on Saturday that a crowd usually reserves for new, up and coming groups of 20-somethings. That's because this music--distinct for its three electric likembé, or thumb pianos--is appealing on so many levels. Their rough, DIY aesthetic is arguably the dominant mode du jour in independent music (just take a gander at a recent Pitchfork review of a Wavves or Ariel Pink album). Also, they are just damn cool with their cowboy hats, stone-faced execution of ten-minute songs, and giant horn-shaped amplifier made of car parts. Finally, this music has been out of reach for far too long and has only reached a large number of American ears in the last few years, so it has the unique combination of sounding brand new and comfortably worn in. And it's about time this music has made it to our shores, because it's exotic and entrancing in a way that exemplifies the best of African culture." [The Afropop Blog]
Konono No. 1 played the next night at (Le) Poisson Rouge as well.
More pictures from the day, which also featured sets from Omar Pene & Super Diamono, Chiwoniso, Meta & the Cornerstones, Garikayi Tirikoti and Djarara, are below...
Meta & the Cornerstones
Omar Pene & Super Diamono
Konono No. 1
Konono No 1 performs "Makembe" on KCRW