Event pick of the week

Songs of Africa

If you need an excuse to leave the hot rods and poodle skirts of Hot August Nights behind, head to Fallon for a free concert by Oliver Mtukudzi and his 10-piece ensemble Black Spirits. Mtukudzi is a legendary figure in his native Zimbabwe, where his fans call him “Tuku.” His blend of African styles, from South African mbaqanga to Zimbabwean jit, has been dubbed Tuku music for its distinctive, high-energy sound and his socially conscious lyrics. While he has been an important cultural figure in Zimbabwe for almost three decades, Mtukudzi didn’t get much international recognition until the 1990s when he released several albums in Europe and the United States and participated in the Africa Fête tour. In 1999, world music label Putumayo released Tuku Music, which became a commercial and critical success. Singer Bonnie Raitt also increased his international profile when she covered his song “Hear Me Lord” on her 2002 album Silver Lining. Mtukudzi’s latest album is The Oliver Mtukudzi Collection, which was released in July. The outdoor concert begins 7:30 p.m. at Oats Park in front of the Oats Park Art Center, 151 E. Park St., Fallon. Call (775) 423-1440 for details.—Kelley Lang