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May 2, 2016
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“Sunny Adé is Afro-pop royalty, his huge band sending out waves of percussion
to support the leader's keening vocals and supple, spidery guitar playing.”
— Chicago Tribune



opens its 2016-2017 season with a free summer concert 
presented with WMI's newest partner:
City Parks Foundation's SummerStage


King Sunny Adé

The legendary Nigerian singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist
returns to the United States for the first time since 2009 


Orlando Julius and The Afro Soundz
& Rich Medina

Sunday, July 3, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

SummerStage in Central Park

Doors open at 2:00 p.m.
Entrance is first come, first served until capacity is reached

Presented by City Parks Foundation's SummerStage
in association with World Music Institute

The complete 2016-17 WMI season will be announced in early summer
King Sunny Adé
The World Music Institute (WMI) is thrilled to open its 2016-2017 season with a rare U.S. appearance by Nigerian superstar King Sunny Adé. Presented by City Parks Foundation's SummerStage in association with WMI, the concert also features fellow Nigerian Orlando Julius and The Afro Soundz, and DJ Rich Medina.

The free concert takes place Sunday, July 3, 2016 at the SummerStage in Central Park. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. and entrance is first come, first served until capacity is reached. The concert begins at 3:00 p.m. and is expected to go until 7:00 p.m.

"We are extremely happy to be working with SummerStage to present an artist who is undoubtedly one of the greatest musicians in Africa's history,” says WMI artistic director Par Neiburger of Adé. “To present an artist of this magnitude with one of New York's premier outdoor music presenting organizations is a very exciting way to begin our next concert season.”

King Sunny Adé

Legendary singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and master of Nigeria's hugely popular Juju music, King Sunny Adé and His African Beats—a cadre of 17 musicians and singers and a rotation of 5 dancers—return to the United States for the first time since 2009. 

Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of all time, a trio of breakthrough recordings—including his 1982 album Juju Music released by Chris Blackwell's Island Records—gained Adé a world-wide following and labeling as “The African Bob Marley.”

Adé, a two-time Grammy nominee and pioneer of world beat, has earned critical praise over his five-decade career for refraining from westernizing his sound—remaining loyal to Juju stylings while releasing more than 120 albums and still innovating with the use of such varied instruments as pedal-steel guitar and synthesizers.

“Adé made his mark on Juju music early on, but since then, he's resisted the fads and fashions of four tumultuous decades. That confidence and fidelity is what makes him a king, not a mere politician,” wrote NPR in 2009.

An electrified version of traditional, acoustic Yoruban music, with added breadth and inclusiveness that cross ethnic distinctions, Adé’s lush and groove-driven sound is led by the iconic talking drums, mass African percussion, chanting vocals and guitar lines resulting in a hypnotic dance party—emblematic of one of his Nigerian nicknames, “Minister of Enjoyment.”

Orlando Julius

“Before Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the edgiest,
funkiest man in Nigerian pop music was Orlando Julius.”
— Afropop WorldWide
All-time legend of Nigerian music, Orlando Julius, plays classic Afrobeat with a psychedelic twist, heading into new and exciting directions. Few artists have been more crucial to the invention, development, and popularization of Afro-pop than Orlando Julius. Starting in the ’60s, Julius was fusing traditional African sounds and rhythms with those of American pop, soul, and R&B. Aside from performing and recording in his native Nigeria, he spent many years in the United States working on collaborations with Lamont Dozier, the Crusaders, and Hugh Masekela. His 1966 effort, Super Afro Soul, made him a national celebrity in Nigeria and even went so far as to influence music in the United States. The record’s dramatic, highly melodic incorporation of soul, pop, and funk was very much ahead of its time, and some say that Super Afro Soul helped shape the funk movement that swept over the United States in subsequent years.

Rich Medina

There are few nightclub DJs that have accomplished as much as Rich Medina. Over a two-decade career, Medina has been DJ’ing, producing, writing and creating global music and dance events. From his humble beginnings as a young b-boy-turned-DJ in Lakewood, NJ, to his current status manning the decks as one of the most popular DJ’s in Philadelphia and New York, Medina has been taking crowds on a multiethnic sonic journey through hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, funk and soul. Also renowned as an educator, music producer, spoken word artist, journalist and professional athlete, he is a true renaissance man.

About WMI

“In its 30th season, the World Music Institute breaks new ground.”
— The Wall Street Journal
Since 1985, World Music Institute has been the leading presenter of world music and dance in the United States. WMI is committed to presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world at attainable prices for all, with the goal to promote awareness and engagement of other cultures and to encourage cultural exchange between nations and ethnic groups. WMI collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions to foster greater understanding of the world’s cultural traditions and depends on public and private funding to accomplish its mission.

Under new leadership as of 2015-16—its 30th anniversary season—World Music Institute has introduced an ambitious expansion of concert offerings that include contemporary, experimental and avant-garde presentations, as well as the traditional music that WMI has long been known and admired for. In addition, the institution is thrilled to have launched new partnerships with BAM, 92nd Street Y, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, and Drom—while continuing partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Town Hall, Symphony Space, and the Apollo Theater (the annual Africa Now festival).

To donate or become a member, the public can visit

“a widely copied and influential force in New York cultural circles.”
— The New York Times

About SummerStage

SummerStage, a program of City Parks Foundation, is New York's largest free performing arts festival. SummerStage annually presents over 100 performances in sixteen parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin and world music to dance, spoken word and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City's summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception thirty-one years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage.

SummerStage is presented by Capital One Bank.

About City Parks Foundation

City Parks Foundation is the only independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer programs in public parks throughout the five boroughs of New York City. At City Parks Foundation, we are dedicated to invigorating and transforming parks into dynamic, vibrant centers of urban life through sports, arts, community development, and education programs for all New Yorkers. Our programs and community building initiatives -- located in more than 300 parks, recreation centers, and public schools across the city — reach 425,000 people each year.  Our ethos is simple: we believe thriving parks reflect thriving communities.
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please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or
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