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Summerfest – Femi Kuti & The Positive Force
June 23 @ 4:00 pm - 11:30 pmVaries
FEMI KUTI & THE POSITIVE FORCE
Femi Kuti was born Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti on June 12, 1962 in London. He is the eldest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, and grandchild of traditional Nigerian aristocrat, political and women’s rights activist Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where at age 15 he started playing saxophone in his father’s band, Egypt 80.
In 1986 Femi formed his own band, The Positive Force, with his sisters Yeni and Sola as the lead dancers, where he began establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. The band’s first show was at the University of Lagos in that same year.
His first record, No Cause for Alarm, was released in 1989 (Polygram) followed by MYOB in 1991 (Kalakuta Records). Four years later he released title album, Femi Kuti (Tabu/Motown), and then in 1998 Shoki Shoki (MCA), which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2000 he opened The New Africa Shrine, his nightclub in Lagos, where he later recorded the live album Africa Shrine (2004). In 2001, he collaborated with Common and Mos Def on Fight to Win (MCA), which garnered Femi’s first Grammy nomination in 2003, and started touring the United States with Jane’s Addiction.
After releasing the live album Africa Shrine in 2004, there was a four year absence from recording due to personal setbacks, and Femi re-emerged releasing Day by Day (Wrasse) in 2008 and Africa for Africa (Knitting Factory) in 2010, both of which earned Grammy nominations. In 2012, he was both inducted into the Headies Hall of Fame (the most prestigious music awards in Nigeria) and was the opening act on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ European Tour. His 2013 album, No Place for My Dream (Knitting Factory), garnered a fourth Grammy nod.
Like his father, Femi has shown a strong commitment to social and political causes throughout his career and continues to fight for a free and fair Nigeria. In 2012, he became an Ambassador for Amnesty International helping the organization to spread its human rights message across the world.
This summer, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force are bringing their high energy Afrobeat back to North America for an extensive tour.