Kenyan trio Jabali Afrika has had an interesting introduction to the United States.
The members' North American tour has taken them through large cities like New York and Boston and all over the world, but the band has spent the bulk of its time in the United States touring community colleges throughout the South and Midwest.
The band will play at Fayetteville Technical Community College on Monday. An educational session is at 11 a.m. at Cumberland Hall Auditorium. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Horace Sisk Gymnasium.
Jabali Afrika's new album, "Rebellion: 1963 to the Future," will be released next week. Its title highlights the year Kenya declared its independence, and drummer Joseck Asikoye says he hopes it inspires the youth to be wise about their political power. The band has received awards for humanitarian efforts in its native country.
Asikoye says the band has learned a lot from touring the United States in a nontraditional manner.
"The good thing about doing all these Midwestern, small towns is it helps us give these guys a multicultural experience," Asikoye said. "Not only do we showcase where we come from, but also we learn something from them."
The group formed in February 1993 after the members spent time working for the International Theatre in Kenya. Since then, the band has toured heavily, combining traditional, percussion-heavy music from home with influences from Western culture.
Asikoye, speaking during a tour stop in Indiana, said the percussion, dance and vocal band has received a positive response in the these generally overlooked markets.
"It's been great. We've had tremendous responses," Asikoye said. "Sometimes in the smaller towns, we get a better response than the bigger cities, too. ... So far I'd say it's been a good experience for us."
At a handful of stops, the members have been able to present workshops to teach people more about their culture.
Asikoye said he hopes those in attendance gain a better understanding that the problems in Africa aren't singular. Each country and region has its own unique issues that can't be categorized as an African problem.
"We like that - when people want to know where we came from," Asikoye said. "Most of the time people think Africa, or they hear Nairobi or Kenya. They think Africa is one country."
The details: Monday, April 23. An educational session is at 11 a.m. at Cumberland Hall Auditorium. A concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Horace Sisk Gymnasium.
Admission: Free and open to the public
Information: To learn more about Jabali Afrika, go to jabaliafrika.com