When British impresario Thomas Brooman first heard the Royal Drummers of Burundi, a remarkable ensemble of twenty Ingoma drums made from hallowed tree trunks that preserves the rural and ritual musical traditions of East Africa, he was so blown away by the “Burundi beat” that he formed the first WOMAD (World of Music & Dance) festival back in 1982. This sparked a huge interest in the group among British rockers of the 1980s such as Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, but the group itself had been featured on Joni Mitchell’s “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” as far back as 1975. Kenya’s Mombasa Musical Party is as urban as the Royal Drummers of Burundi are rural, and is one of Kenya’s most famous taarab groups which seek to combine Middle Eastern and African musical traditions in a contemporary fashion that sparks energetic dancing. (Dennis Polkow)
October 29 at Orchestra Hall.