Noise An Arts Blog

Catch the excellent Zimbabwean band Mokoomba at Creative Alliance on Friday

May 5

From its roots in Fela's hands as subversive Nigerian protest funk, through its present incarnation as an all-concurring universal party-positive beat, Afro-pop has always contained legions and generations. Melding traditional instruments and musical traditions with western instruments and marketing, Mali's Ali Farka Toure and Salif Keita, aided by Cameroonian radio host Georges Collinet, helped develop the slick, catchy, and often joyous post-imperial musical sensibility that became "world music," which kept developing and folding over on itself into so many incarnations and variations that it finally encompassed everything from the Bolokada Conde's Djembe mastery to the auto-tuned money boasts of Tiwa Savage. Now comes Mokoomba, from a small village near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, on the border with Zambia, fusing the rhythms of Zambezi River life with the melodies of a thousand cultures in six-piece harmony. Since winning the prestigious Music Crossroads Inter-Regional Festival Competition in 2008, Mokoomba has toured 40 countries on five continents, all in preparation for its Baltimore debut. Brilliant. 8 p.m., Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-1651,, $18, members $15 (plus $3 at the door).

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