Putumayo Kids Presents: African Playground
African beats and dancing feet fill this African Playground, a charming introduction to a continent of music that will teach adults a thing or two, as well as their kids. World music superstar Angelique Kidjo, a native of Benin in West Africa, kicks things off with the contemporary dance-flavored "Battu." From Kenya's Them Mushrooms comes a lesson in Swahili with the reggae-styled "Jambo Bwana," while the rich musical traditions of South Africa are represented by four tracks: The bubbly "Kalimba" conducts a sightseeing tour of the country; Bakithi Kumalo gives a drum-driven lesson on witch doctors in "Sangoma"; the classic "Mbube," performed by the Mahotella Queens, will be instantly familiar as "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"; while the popular mbaqanga invites young and old to dance (don't worry, the song provides instructions). Kids will learn about African instruments, from the kora, an 18-stringed African harp at the heart of Senegalese music, to the bamboo harp known as the valiha in Madagascar. And, of course, there's plenty of occasion to dance with Afro-pop songs from Cape Verde, Congo, and Nigeria. Along with the music comes a guide detailing the history, musical heritage, geography, language, culture, and exotic wildlife found in these countries, making African Playground a fun and educational way to enhance cultural awareness and explore the continent's rich diversity.
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- Putumayo World Music
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