The Artists Collective’s free community concert featuring Les Nubians has been rescheduled to Saturday, January 21, at 8:00 p.m. made possible in part by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, Trustee.
The women of Les Nubians were shaped by many influences. Les Nubians has its genesis in a small town in the South West region of France, where the Paris-born sisters, Helene and Celia Faussart, lived as teenagers after returning from several years’ residence with their parents in the African country of Chad. With a French father and a Cameroonian mother, Helene and Celia experienced cultural dissonance in the rural Bordeaux region. After their father’s death, Celia joined her sister in Bordeaux, and they helped found a cultural collective, Les Nouveaux Griots, a “griot” being a traditional African storyteller and historian, all with the goal of increasing awareness of African and urban cultures.
A chance meeting with jazz legend, Abbey Lincoln, who encouraged the sisters to sing, led to the formation of Les Nubians. Their unique sound led to a recording deal with Virgin Records in 1998 and their debut album, Princesses Nubiennes, was released in Europe with only modest sales. But the album’s innovative mix of hip hop, neo soul and African music found an audience in America,
and Makeda, the first single from Princesses Nubiennes, became an urban radio hit. Makeda was the right sound at the right time, garnering a Grammy nomination, as well as two NAACP Image Awards and two Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards.
In 2003, Les Nubians released their second album, One Step Forward. They sang more in English on this album, largely as a result of their American experiences. In 2005, the sisters released a spoken word album project that also featured other talented spoken word artists.
Their latest project, Nu Revolution, is an uptempo celebration of life, and may be the most impressive representation of Les Nubians “Afropean Soul” to date. Featuring special guests ranging from African music legend, Manu Dibango, whose Soul Makossa classic gets a politically charged make-over to indie soul icon, Eric Roberson, with South African pop stars, Freshly Ground, Ghanian-American, MC Blitz, The Ambassador, and Polish MC, John Banzai. Les Nubians manage to make the blend of so many diverse elements seem logical and organic; it flows naturally from their multicultural lives.
Their pan-African vision remains as vibrant and clear as ever, as expressed on Africa For The Future “Africa is our past, present and future,” from the new album. “Africa is our past, present and future,” Les Nubians asserts. The song is about accepting and rejoicing through our body and mind that Africa is vibrant and 10,000,000 times ALIVE! Africa FOR the future also to say that we have to prepare the future of the continent. It’s in the NOW that we create the future. ACTION time is NOW!!!
Seating is on a first come, first serve basis; there is no reserved seating for Les Nubians in concert on Saturday, January 21, at 8:00 p.m. Call (860) 527-3205 for more information.
This Artists Collective Free Community Concert featuring Les Nubians is made possible with support from: Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, Trustee, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.
The Artists Collective is located at 1200 Albany Avenue (corner of Woodland Street) in Hartford; call (860) 527-3205 for more information.