King Sunny Ade & His African Beats

9 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. The Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street.

King Sunny Ade & His African Beats

$22.50 in advance, $25 day of show. 314-588-0505.

King Sunny Ade didn't invent juju music, a sizzling mix of African folk music and Western pop, but he became the genre's biggest star and most influential ambassador with his landmark 1982 album, Juju Music. Ade retained the foundation of traditional Yoruba rhythms, but he amped up the guitars to a bubbling boil, employed the pedal steel and sparkling synths, dipped into reggae and dub, and drew liberally from Yoruba poetry to praise peace and human solidarity. Ade dominated world music through the '80s, and, along with Fela Kuti, set the standard for big band explosions of ecstatic African groove music. His two-hour-plus performances are not concerts; they're collective affirmations of the essential rhythms and melodies of life itself.

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