by Alex Yablon
Globe trotting Afro-Peruvian group Novalima and Malian singer Issa Bagayogo play Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion this Thursday at 6:30.
Reader critic Peter Margasak writes: "The traditional sound [Novalima] hybridizes will be familiar to anyone who’s heard Susana Baca and Eva Ayllon; Novalima jacks it up not only with throbbing dance beats but also with elements of reggae, Cuban son, funk, and hip-hop. . . . Electronic beats provide a backbone for the music of Malian singer and kamele n’goni player Issa Bagayogo as well. His attempts to break into Bamako’s music scene in the early 90s earned him little but a drug habit and a job as a bus driver, but when he returned a few years later he hooked up with Yves Wernert, a French producer who talked him into wedding the circular riffs and gruff, bluesy incantations of his Mande songs to electronic beats and textures—a decision that earned him the nickname “Techno Issa” and eventually made him an international star."