Posts filed under ‘Nigerian’
Experience Premier Afrobeat as Femi Kuti and The Positive Force Come to Boston: April 21st, Thursday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
Listen to Femi Kuti.
Heralded as “one of the true giants of African music” by Q Magazine, Afrobeat star Femi Kuti and his band The Positive Force will be coming to Boston to promote their latest cd release “Africa for Africa”. This is an especially timely appearance as “Fela fever” is taking the world by storm. Femi is the eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti who’s artistic greatness is currently being honored internationally, not only in the form of the highly successful broadway musical Fela!, but other monumental forms of recognition, as well. Joining Femi and his band, thus adding to this powerful sound energy, will be local Afropop favorite the Uhuru Afrika Dancefloor Explosion DJ Show.
A two-time Grammy nominee in his own right, Femi has never been satisfied with resting on his father’s laurels, and as a result has developed his very own bold yet sophisticated and monumentally successful trademark style. Starting out at the age of 15 he was a member of his father’s bands, but by the mid 80’s had begun to make his own original musical statement with the formation of his own new band The Positive Force. The decade of the 90s saw his emergence into a style of Afrobeat that was truly “Femi” culminating in the release of a solo cd Shoki, Shoki. His style then continued to develop, even showing influences of American hip hop. Then finally in 2008 he recorded his most successful release yet “Day By Day”. However, it remains to be seen if his latest release “Africa for Africa” will top this one. Femi’s main inspiration for this particular recording comes from a desire to artistically recapture some of the flavor of the good old days when he was producing records with his father. In order to successfully accomplish this he returned to the very same old studio back home in Lagos, now virtually run down, where they once recorded together with the band. It is here that he hopes to have produced a sound reminiscent of the original Afrobeat, just as it was in the beginning.
Femi still stoically shares his late father’s distinctly anti-government views with respect to the current leadership not only in his homeland of Nigeria , but also parts of the rest of the African continent, as well. In keeping with this political legacy, he continues to manage Fela’s infamous nightclub “The Shrine” with his older sister Yeni and performs there on a regular basis. Now however, dubbed “The New Shrine”, as the old one was destroyed in a violent raid by government soldiers, it still unfortunately plays host to regular intrusions at the hands of the nation’s leaders who have closed it down on numerous occasions, fortunately not for long though! If you happen to catch Femi’s appearance at the Paradise Rock Club, you’ll not only be treated to first-rate Afrobeat music, but you will also most surly catch some of that feisty, fiery Kuti spirit as well…As they say at “The New Shrine”- Yeah! Yeah!
When: April 21st, Thursday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
Where: Paradise Rock Club (Allston/Brighton)
Tickets: $25.00 (In Advance)
More Info: 617-562-8800
Experience the Thrill as an Afrobeat Legend and His Music Come Back to Life on the Stage in the Broadway Hit Fela!: January 13th (Thursday) & 17th (Monday) @ 7:00 p.m.
Former Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo Kuti was, and still is, idolized by his loyal listeners and fellow professional world music colleagues as well. During the length of his highly successful but politically stormy music career, this legendary composer/performer not only fathered the development of the Afrobeat genre, ultimately giving it the name by which it is still recognized today, but also managed to employ his music as a forceful catalyst in spreading the message of freedom and democracy to oppressed common citizens not only in Nigeria, but throughout the rest of the African continent as well. The musical Fela! brings this incredible life “to life” all to the wonderful sounds of Afrobeat, Kuti style no less! This National Theatre Production (2008), directed and choreographed by Brian T. Jones, won no less than 3 Tony Awards and was a smashing success both in London and on and off Broadway. Now it comes to Boston audiences in its original form in high-definition as a live motion picture, being a part of the critically acclaimed NT Live Series which features some of Britain’s top stage performances. Fela! is part of a worldwide Fela Kuti revival that is currently taking place, spawning re-releases of his recordings, musical tributes given in his name, the production of motion pictures and stage shows featuring his life and music, and the formation of numerous world music ensembles which continue to carry on the Afrobeat tradition. The general public is also embracing the currently ever-present Fela-themed parties, club nights, and T-shirts for sale.
Afrobeat is generally a fusion of jazz, funk (heavily influenced by James Brown), psychadelic rock, and various traditional and contemporary African music elements. Although it is Kuti that is most credited for the development of the genre, he himself stated that without his long time colleague and bandmate, drummer Tony Allen, Afrobeat would never have matured to the level that it did. It is a very complex style consisting of layer upon layer of rhythmic and melodic motifs executed by rather large instrumental/vocal ensembles. Kuti was known for his particular emphasis on the later, thus bringing to the stage the most bizarre and electrifying performances designed to set his audiences on fire. In fact, he was so effective in this regard with his anti-establishment- oriented musical themes that he infuriated the Nigerian government to no end. For speaking out against the military dictatorship that dominated his homeland, Kuti was repeatedly punished and terrorized, suffering severe beatings, the loss of dear relatives, friends ,and supporters, the destruction of private property, arrests, banishments, and even imprisonment. Furthermore, his own bandmates eventually turned on him as well. But Kuti had a soul of steel and continued to perservere through it all, performing well into the 80’s, not only in his native Nigeria but also throughout the rest of Africa, the United States and Europe. Come and experience Fela! on the big silver screen and be prepared to be blown away not only by the music, but the man, himself, as well. Fela Kuti lives again!
When: January 13th (Thursday) and 17th (Monday) @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: Coolidge Corner Theatre (Brookline)
Tickets: $20.00 (General Admission) / $17.00 (Coolidge Corner Theatre members)
Purchase tickets online OR On site
More Info: 617-734-2500 OR Visit their website