King Sunny Ade – Show Postponed – 2 Band Members Die

To all presenters and fans of King Sunny Ade and his African Beats:

It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the entire 2010 North American tour for King Sunny Ade and his African Beats.

As some of you may have heard by this time, on March 26th 2010 a tragic car accident took the lives of two members of the African Beats, talking drummer Gabriel Ayanniyi and percussionist Omo Olope, who were en-route to a video shoot for a forthcoming recording. The initial response to this accident was a cancellation of all pending Nigerian shows and a period of mourning. While we were unable to reach the artist himself, staff members of the organization assured us that after a period of  mourning the band would continue with their scheduled North American tour.

Over the following two weeks communications with the band and the artist became difficult. When the US Embassy refused to grant visas to replacement members in a timely manner, there was additional confusion about the possible courses of action. As time moved on and we began to see shows cancel one by one, it became clear that the artist and the band had neither recovered from the impact of the tragedy, nor were they able to find consensus on when and how to move forward with normal touring and performance activities.

At this time we feel the only responsible action is to cancel and withdraw from the remaining dates until such a time as King Sunny Ade and his group have sufficiently regrouped and are ready to face the rigors of an International tour again.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the band and the families of the deceased. On behalf of the artist and his band we extend our apologies to all the presenters and fans who will be disappointed by their inability to perform in North America this year.