For those who opted to spend the evening at the West party last night, I’m afraid you missed out. There was a Nigerian dance party at Millennium Park—an experience that now ranks near the top of my personal list of best musical performances. The king of juju music, King Sunny Adé, put on a show that was truly electric, and Chicago’s entire Nigerian population was there to join in. Adé’s music, which has strong Yoruba influences, was intoxicating and scattered with complex rhythms that quite obviously have deep cultural roots. Local Nigerian-American singer Ugochi, who performed with the band The Afro Soul Ensemble (A.S.E.), was the opening act (also excellent). With the Chicago skyline as a backdrop, it doesn’t get much better than this. A few other FCIL colleagues made it to this incredible concert (Sergio Stone and Victor Essien), and they were as mesmerized as I was.
Photos are of Ugochi and the A.S.E. My phone unfortunately died before King Sunny hit the stage.