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Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

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Born in Illinois to parents from Uganda and Rwanda, Somi has always felt the pull of Africa. She has visited much of the continent, and in 2008 founded New Africa Live, dedicated to promoting global recognition of multidisciplinary African artists. The following year, spurred by her father’s death, she journeyed “home,” spending 18 months in Lagos. From her detailed journal entries, and with assistance from Nigerian producer and musician Cobhams Asuquo, a musical story emerged.

Upon her return to New York, this album took shape alongside drummer Otis Brown III, pianist Toru Dodo, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Michael Olatuja and backing vocalist Alicia Olatuja. Across 18 tracks, it is a sweeping, powerful portrait of a vibrant culture 20-million strong.

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