King Sunny Ade | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


A friend of mine, asked once by me what he thought of Sunny Ade's Nigerian juju music, made a face and sniffed, "Too much rhythm." Which I guess makes as much sense as complaining that your lover is too sexy. But then some people are afraid of sex, and some people are afraid of rhythm too. Sunny's rhythm is intricate, timeless, and in its own way every bit as profoundly exultant as a Bach cantata (when last I saw his 17-piece band live, there were fleeting moments I actually felt lifted from the floor). Unlike his formidable countryman Fela Kuti, Sunny keeps his lyrics apolitical. Yet in his all-embracing music (which I count among the world's best), he ends up implicitly reaffirming that most important political truth of all: that we earthlings are all one and had better learn to share a fragile home that spins on its axis with the stubborn regularity of a drumbeat. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 929-5959.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lauren Deutsch.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment