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Africa in America: Transatlantic Music

Every year, more and more U.S.-based bands emerge playing African music. Some revolve around talented African musicians living in America, as with Kaleta, the Nigerian singer at the center of Akoya Afrobeat. Others are collaborative efforts between artists living in Africa and the U.S. That's the case with Burkina Electric and Extra Golden. Then there are bands of Americans who simply feel inspired to play African music, as with the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International. And finally, there are those nomadic types who travel to Africa to record, perform, and bring the music — and sometimes the musicians — back to the U.S. That's the case with Markus James.

These acts keep getting better. They don't yet constitute a recognized sub-genre, but they will: The music these groups play is palpably different from any existing homegrown genre on either side of the Atlantic. All five acts are featured on Afropop Worldwide's "Africa in America 2008" program. Click here to find out more about these and other Africa in America bands.

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Banning Eyre