On May 24, 1988 Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade played the Lobero Theatre for the first time.
King Sunny Ade, “The King of Juju Music” is one of the true superstars of World Beat Music. He is well-known for his incredibly charismatic stage presence and dance steps.
Since the 1982 release of his best-selling recording Juju Music on Island Records (the label that introduced Bob Marley to the world), he has been called one of the world’s great band leaders. Sunny Adé’s music is characterized by, among other instruments, the talking drum – an instrument indigenous to his Yoruba roots, the guitar, and his unique application of synthesizers and sophisticated recording technology into jùjú music.
His music is in the age-old tradition of singing poetic lyrics (“ewi” in Yoruba) and praise of dignitaries as well components of Juju (traditional African belief) called the Ogede (casting a spell). Hence, Adé’s music constitutes a record of the oral tradition of his people for posterity.
As Trey Anastasio, the leader of Phish and a devout fan of the Nigerian star once said, “If you come to see Sunny Adé live, you must be prepared to groove all night long.”
King Sunny Ade and his band returned to the Lobero in 2009 just in time for that year’s Summer Solstice Celebration, filling the auditorium with infectious grooves and dance moves from his big band and dancers. Read the review from the Independent and enjoy photos from David Bazemore below.
While we wait in the wings for things to return to normal, we hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.
We hope you’re staying safe and enjoying the arts from the comfort of your own home. Go ahead and read more stories below.