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As the latest edition of Afro-Punk Fest comes to a close, let’s have a look at a phenomenon that has gone global in less than a decade. This year’s New York festival featured such heavyweights as Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones, among others under the Brooklyn sun.  A few weeks earlier, the first ever edition outside of the US took place in Paris to a packed house at the Trianon. The story begins with a young Black American. James Spooner loved a kind of music that many believed was only appreciated by Whites. Punk Rock in the 80s belonged to…

Mahmoud Ahmed, breathtaking

2015-07-23 22.31.07

Cabaret Sauvage’s Black Summer Festival enchants Parisians every summer.  This evening, the auditorium shook to Ethiopian pop rhythms laced with funk. Mahmoud Ahmed, 74 years old and counting, flooded the room with his almost supernatural energy.  His style? The kind of music that takes over your life and limbs. Wearing his national colors, his eyes squinting from his malicious smile while he worked his shoulders as only he can – many tried unsuccessfully to imitate the movement – but I won’t say who – the patriarch literally transported us into his universe.