Koku Gonza makes the beauty of the African diaspora audible | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Koku Gonza makes the beauty of the African diaspora audible 

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click to enlarge Koku Ganza

Koku Ganza

Tony Smith

Koku Gonza’s voice is the sound of the African diaspora. Born to a Tanzanian folk-singing father and an American saxophonist mother, Gonza offers an eclectic mix of neosoul, jazz, and Afrobeat that’s as easy as a breeze whistling through a wind chime on a summer’s day. In particular “Aliens Interlude,” from her 2011 album Radiozophrenic, leaves me feeling this way—her soft, airy harmonies complement the sweetness of the underlying beat, rendering the track superdreamy. The video for 2014’s “Clearest Sky,” meanwhile, was filmed on a beach in Hyde Park, but its vibe leans much more toward the Caribbean. Gonza has opened for the likes of Eric Roberson and Saul Williams, and she well deserves her headlining spot tonight.   v

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