Acoustic Africa: Afropean Woman features several genres of music

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African women have power. That’s what the three women featured in the “Acoustic Africa: Afropean Woman” tour that graced the Byham Theater stage for one night only on Nov. 8 illustrated.

“We have power and we can change things in Africa with our voices. We always show Africa with problems like war and other bad things and we want to show the good things of Africa. We don’t always see African women playing guitar and percussion,” said Kareyce Fotso, a Cameroonian singer whose music is a combination of Afro-pop, Blues and African rhythms.

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CAST—Not in order, cast members: Kareyce Fotso, Dobet Gnahore and Manou Gallo.

Presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, “Acoustic Africa: Afropean Woman” took the Pittsburgh audience on a journey into the richness of African vocal traditions with performances by up-and-coming female African impresarios.

The Afropean Woman is the third worldwide tour in the Acoustic Africa series. The initial tour was such a success that the creators saw other installments of the tour as a no-brainer.

“We (brought) four exceptional girls from four different types of music and mixing them together,” said Ronald Van Cutsem.

In addition to Fotso, other women on the tour included Ivory Coast vocalist and dancer Dobet Gnahore, and bassist and vocalist Manou Gallo.

The trio was accompanied by composer and singer Leni Stern who gained worldwide acclaim for her four recordings of African-tinged arias; and Ivorian balafonist Aly Keita and Tchango Kassoung on drums.

“All the music we play in America comes from Africa,” said Stern who moved from her homeland of Germany to the United States in the late 1970s. “When you play with African artists, you can hear the passion in the music! People who come to see the show need to be ready to get up and dance! If you’ve had a bad day, forget about it.”

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