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Tuesday May 23, 2017
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King Sunny Ade



"Following a tragic car accident on March 26, 2010, which left two of his key band members dead, King Sunny Ade and the African Beat's morale has been devastated," the Ark announcement said. "In an effort to find peace of mind and recover, the band feels there is no way for them to continue with any tour plans either domestically or internationally at this time.

"It is with sad regret and apology that King Sunny Ade respectfully withdraws from his scheduled performance...."

* * *

Music from the African continent has broken through to the American consciousness only intermittently. In 1983, though, it reached a high point with King Sunny Ade's tour of the United States, and I was there when the tour came to Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears. You can't hear African music at a venue that size anymore, but I remember the concert well even now. In the way the music filled a vast space with complex interactions, it rivaled an evening with a full-scale symphony orchestra.

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