In contrast to the venerable singer's lyric meditations on exile, politics, the environment, love, and loss, Lemvo's album has only one message: Enjoy. Produced by Cuban pianist Nino Jesœs Perez, Mambo Yoyo offers a spirit-lifting mix of dance tunes influenced primarily by the music of Cuba, which he visited for the first time last month, and by the Latin scene in Los Angeles. But Lemvo remains indebted to pioneering African musicians like Mangwana. "Sam is like my mentor. He's someone I've looked up to, and it's like a dream come true to go on tour with him," says Lemvo. "For an American, it would be like meeting Frank Sinatra and Sinatra saying, 'C'mon kid, let's go on the road.'"
Sunday's concert in Miami Beach is the last stop on Mangwana and Lemvo's tour. While the pair will have appeared in clubs and theaters in eleven other cities, the Miami show on the sand is arguably the most appropriate venue. Looking out on the ocean that has carried the music back and forth from Africa, spectators will have a window seat on the rumba route while they dance to the Afro-Caribbean groove.
The Afro-Latino Beach Concert takes place Sunday, June 14, beginning at 2:00 p.m. on the sand at 21st Street, Miami Beach. Grupo Nostalgia opens. Admission is free. For more information call 672-5202.