GW’s Lisner Auditorium Concert Series Celebrates African Culture

Five Shows Dedicated to African Music During 2015-16 Season

August 13, 2015

Alt Text

Mahmoud Ahmed

Kurie Fitzgerald: [email protected], 202-994-6461
Maralee Csellar: [email protected], 202-994-7564
WASHINGTON (Aug. 13, 2015)—GW’s Lisner Auditorium will celebrate a range of African music styles, including Ethiopian pop, South African vocal music and West African dance music, during its 2015-16 season. The series begins in the fall with two performances—Ethiopian New Year with Mahmoud Ahmed; and Youssou N’Dour. It concludes in the spring with three shows: Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Johnny Clegg; and Acoustic Africa: Habib Koite and Vusi Mahlasela.
“The African performers coming to our venue this year showcase the diversity of the continent’s music,” said Maryann Lombardi, director of GW Lisner. “These artists are legends in their communities and widely recognized as genre-defining musicians. The music you'll hear ranges from dance rhythms to vocal harmony to acoustic song, and each show will feature vastly different performances.” 
Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed will open the season on Sept. 11 with a show celebrating the Ethiopian New Year. Mr. Ahmed helped shape Ethiopian popular music by combining traditional Amharic music with Western pop and jazz. The evening will also feature Ethiopian cultural activities including a coffee ceremony, a fashion show and craft vendors. This performance will be Mr. Ahmed’s first at GW Lisner. 
Rounding out the fall,  Youssou N’Dour, Senegal’s most beloved musician, returns to GW Lisner for the fifth time on Nov. 17. Mr. N’Dour is known for his high-energy concerts showcasing mbalax, or Senegalese dance music, reggae and internationally influenced music that he developed over his 40-year career. 
Ladysmith Black Mambazo leads the way into spring on Feb. 12 with its uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. The four-time Grammy Award-winning group recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its collaboration with Paul Simon on his “Graceland” album.
Next up is Johnny Clegg, a South African singer, songwriter, dancer, anthropologist and activist. He will bring his infectious crossover music, a vibrant combination of Western pop and Zulu rhythms, to the GW Lisner stage on March 23. 
GW Lisner’s year-long African culture concert series ends with Acoustic Africa, celebrating its 10th anniversary. Acoustic Africa features singers Habib Koite and Vusi Mahlasela. Hailing from Mali, Mr. Koite is a guitarist and composer, named by Rolling Stone as the biggest pop star in West Africa. Mr. Mahlasela, is known as “The Voice” in his home country of South Africa and is celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and his poetic, optimistic lyrics. 
Media interested in covering shows in the African culture music series must contact Kurie Fitzgerald at [email protected] or 202-994-6461. 
Ethiopian New Year with Mahmoud Ahmed
Tickets may be purchased by calling GW Lisner’s box office at 202-994-6800, or by visiting Tickets may also be purchased in person at the GW Lisner box office. Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon-6 p.m. 
Built in 1943, GW Lisner Auditorium is one of the most historic concert venues in D.C. It showcases both world-class and emerging artists in a vibrant educational setting on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus. Lisner is well known as a hot spot for world music concerts. Take a look at Lisner. The world sounds better in here.