Apollo And Okayafrica Present Chop And Quench 'The Fela Band' & Kae Sun!

Apollo & Okayafrica Present Chop & Quench “The Fela Band” + Kae Sun at the legendary Apollo Music Cafe for the AFRICA NOW! FESTIVAL, April 4th.

We're excited to announce we've teamed up with New York's legendary Apollo to present a night with Chop and Quench "the Fela band" featuring Sahr Ngaujah and band members from FELA! the musical along with a few Queens! Kicking the show off is Ghanaian/Canadian songwriter Kae Sun fresh off releasing one of our top albums of the past year. Our April 4th event is part of the Apollo Music Cafe series, presented as part of the Apollo Theater's four day Africa Now! festival presented in partnership with World Music Institute featuring performances from Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Fatoumata Diawara, and more. Scroll on for more details and find out how you can ENTER TO WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS to the show below. We'll select a winner March 31st.


Apollo And Okayafrica Present: Chop and Quench "the Fela band" + Kae Sun


Friday, April 4th

Apollo Soundstage

253 W 125th St. Harlem

9pm doors

Tix $20 - sign up at for A-List advance tix for $15 Otherwise visit or call 800-745-3000 to buy tix.


6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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