Tiken Jah Fakoly @ the Apollo Theater, NYC // June 16th
The Apollo Cultural Exchange Series Presents
A Celebration of June’s Black Music Month
African Reggae Star Tiken Jah Fakoly
With Opening Act
The Cannabis Cup Band
Saturday, June 16th, 8PM
Born into a griot family in the Ivory Coast, Tiken Jah Fakoly has always used his music as a vehicle to speak out against the social injustices and oppression in his native country as well as other parts of Africa. He discovered reggae at an early age, assembling his first group, Djelys, in 1987. Concerned by the social and political evolution of his country, it was not long before Mr. Fakoly was writing incisive works on the political environment in Côte d’Ivoire. Most famously, his song recounting the death of Côte d’Ivoire’s first president of Félix Houphouët-Boigny elevated him to popularity among thousands of African youth. He became well-known at a regional level, and soon his music and his reputation stretched across the nation, eventually spreading beyond its borders and, in 1998, Fakoly made his first international appearance in Paris. Soon after that, he solidified himself as certified star, building a huge fan base throughout Europe and Africa. As a result of his outspoken criticism of the government in his native country, Mr. Fakoly was forced into exile in neighboring Mali.
Tiken Jah Fakoly’s Apollo debut will be particularly poignant given all of the changes in West Africa recently, especially with the current political crisis in Mali. Mr. Fakoly has recently released a new video about Mali’s current situation entitled “Amadou.”This year also marks other important changes in the singer’s life, most significantly, his return this past January to a now peaceful Ivory Coast -his first time in his homeland since first being exiled in 2002.