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Lemvo's Crazy Machine Takes Over Mayne Stage

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 4, 2011 10:00PM

Photo Credit: Jeannie Jalbert
Like chocolate and peanut butter, the meshing of pan-African melodies with Cuban clave rhythms are a perfect marriage. The two have equally influenced each other from the Europeans' discovery of the Western Hemisphere to the modern day. Its synthesis has embodied over the years in projects ranging from Dizzy Gillespie's introduction to his longtime conga player Chano Pozo, to highly regarded acts like Senegal's Orchestra Baobab.

Another artist in that vein is Congolese singer and musician Ricardo Lemvo, whose band Makina Loka has been molding Cuban dance rhythms to the soukous music of his homeland and the semba and kizomba of his Angolan ancestry.

Lemvo is a emotive singer, whether in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French of the African dialects of Lingala, and Kikongo. He and the core members of Makina Loka have been together for at least a decade. in a live setting, such as their Sunday appearance at Mayne Stage in Rogers Park, that consistency shows in an exhaustively rehearsed performance. We've seen Lemvo and his band at venue's ranging from Summerdance to Fitzgerald's and never left feeling as though we were ripped off.

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loka perform 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Mayne Stage (1328 W. Morse)> Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance (available for purchase here), $20 at the door.