Listen to Super Yamba Band, and you'll find a unique blend of inspiration born of 70s/80s West-African Afrobeat and Psychedelic Funk bolstered by a well-attested aptitude when it comes to live performance. Technically this band formed in Brooklyn, NY, but the foundation is built on the shoulders of four Greensboro natives—all graduates of the Grimsley High School music program—who you’ll remember from The Brand New Life. Put your attention on their debut single, Last Leap, for a taste of what this imaginative group will bring to the Levitt AMP Greensboro stage. After a listen or two, a discerning ear might be able to detect the sounds of Mali and Senegal with a sprinkle of Jamaica, accented by the pulse of talking drum, sabar and djembe, beneath swells of raw keyboards, bright horns and infectious bass lines.
Co-headliner: Diali Cissokho & KairaBa
Starting at 7pm
Combining passionate originality and fierce authenticity, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba take West African dance music into new territory—literally, the North Carolina Piedmont. That’s where Cissokho, a griot born to a family of professional musicians in Senegal, makes his transplanted home.
The repertoire is pure Manding, the centuries-old musical culture of Cissokho’s ancestors. It’s reformulated with modernizing impulses in a rock band format: Agile basslines interweave with the melodic twins of kora and electric guitar, undergirded by an explosive rhythm section of djembe and trapset drums. Kora master Cissokho is also the group’s vocal frontman. His electrifying voice propels songs old and new about timeless themes of mythology, migration and universal love. Irrepressible dance grooves, serpentine guitar work, and Cissokho’s soulful vocals and kora playing illuminate stories of ancient West Africa in a globalizing world. In fact, “universal love” is a rough translation of “Kaira Ba,” a promise the band communicates live. Whenever they play, Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba summon audiences to the dancefloor with a bonanza of euphoric West African grooves, all inflected with funk, soul, rock and music of the Black Diaspora.