June 2, 2015
The World Music Institute and 92nd Street Y co-present a rare U.S. appearance by Nigerian superstar King Sunny Adé & His African Beats on Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at 92Y, to kick off WMI’s 30th Anniversary Season, the first curated by recently appointed artistic director Par Neiburger.
WMI is thrilled to announce an exciting opening act for King Sunny Adé. Rising star songwriter/performer/costume designer Wunmi will be the special guest. Currently based in New York, Wumni was born in London and raised in Nigeria. Her presence underscores the “Global Local” initiative that will run through Par Neiburger’s debut season. With her irresistible spirit and radical self-designed fashions, Wunmi effortlessly joins the dots between Nigeria’s Afrobeat heritage, New York’s house pedigree and London’s jazz, broken beat and classic street soul sounds.
“Sunny Adé is Afro-pop royalty.” — Chicago Tribune
WMI also announces an official after party to follow the performance, hosted by Kunle Adé (son of King Sunny Adé), and featuring music spun by two Nigerians: DJ Tunez and Eli Fola. The after party takes place at Madiba Harlem (46 West 116th Street) and runs until 3 a.m. After party tickets are $30.
Legendary singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and master of Nigeria’s hugely popular Juju music, King Sunny Adé and His African Beats—a cadre of 17 musicians and singers and a rotation of 5 dancers—return to the United States for the first time since 2009. The concert is part of a North American tour that will see Adé travel to over 35 cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Montreal.
Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of all time, a trio of breakthrough recordings—including his 1982 album Juju Music released by Chris Blackwell’s Island Records—gained Adé a world-wide following and labeling as “The African Bob Marley.”
Adé, a two-time Grammy nominee and pioneer of world beat, has earned critical praise over his five-decade career for refraining from westernizing his sound—remaining loyal to Juju stylings while releasing more than 120 albums and still innovating with the use of such varied instruments as pedal-steel guitar and synthesizers.
“Adé made his mark on Juju music early on, but since then, he’s resisted the fads and fashions of four tumultuous decades. That confidence and fidelity is what makes him a king, not a mere politician,” wrote NPR in 2009.
An electrified version of traditional, acoustic Yoruban music, with added breadth and inclusiveness that cross ethnic distinctions, Adé’s lush and groove-driven sound is led by the iconic talking drums, mass African percussion, chanting vocals and guitar lines resulting in a hypnotic dance party—emblematic of one of his Nigerian nicknames, “Minister of Enjoyment.”
“We are very excited to kick off an historic 30th Anniversary concert season with King Sunny Adé, one of the greatest living legends of African Music and a true pioneer of modern world music,” says Neiburger. “We’re also proud to co-present this show with the world-class 92nd Street Y, in their beautiful and inviting hall.”
The radiant multitalented Wunmi will open the show on June 26 at 92Y. Born in London, and raised in Lagos, Nigeria through her early teens, her work draws from a childhood steeped in the sounds, style and ethics of Afrobeat as well as the roots movement coming out of Jamaica. As a teen in London, soul, rare grooves, acid jazz/funk, broken beat and drum and bass further influenced Wunmi’s sensibility.
Wunmi’s first recordings were as featured artist on the tracks of some of House music’s reigning producers: Osunlade, M.A.W., Bugz in the Attic, Ron Trent, Pasta Boys. Her first songwriting credits were in collaboration with the legendary Roy Ayers. Wunmi’s work was a major catalyst in bringing afro beat and the work of Fela Kuti into the mainstream in America, participating on such projects as Red Hot and Riot, and New York’s epic Jump n Funk parties. Her first solo album, A.L.A. (African Living Abroad), was lauded by Giles Peterson as ‘an essential release from a unique artist.’ Wunmi’s second solo album SEE ME is due out 2015.
In 2014 Wunmi performed for audiences in Zanzibar, Tanzania; Sao Paolo, Brazil; Zaragoza, Spain; Detroit, Michigan; Queens, NY; and Lagos, Nigeria.
Tickets for the June 26 concert at 92Y, which range from $45-$65 (with 35 & Under tickets available for $25 ) are available by contacting the 92nd Street Y (, 212.415.5500) and World Music Institute (, 212.545.7536).
Par Neiburger, Artistic Director, World Music Institute
Aleba Gartner
Tel: 212/206-1450
Meryl Wheeler
Tel: 212/413-8841

(King Sunny Adé’s son)
@ Madiba Harlem, 46 West 116 St.
Two Nigerian artists—DJ Tunez and Eli Fola—play music until 3 a.m.
After Party tickets: $30
Details at

Street Teams provided by:

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