If you hear similarities between Novalima’s modern Afro-Peruvian music and the rhythms brought from Cuba by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente in the 1950s, you’re on the right track: Peruvians have borrowed a lot from the Africans taken to South America as slaves during the seventeenth century—the drumming and the vocals have that same intense, ardent spirit, and many tunes from the country made their way into the Caribbean. Novalima, however, is not your grandmother’s Afro-Latin music. Formed by musicians based in different parts of the world (including Hong Kong), the band draws inspiration from the sounds of their native country while incorporating elements from electronica, hip-hop, samba and other genres, coming up with something fresh that still is closely attached to their roots. Don’t expect anything to be too traditional, as this is not what these artists seek—their objective is to bring contemporary Peru to the ears of new audiences. If their latest CD “Coba Coba” (Cumbancha) is any indication, they will surely succeed. (Ernest Barteldes)
July 23, Millennium Park, Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.