FELA OBITUARY Fela was sweet; perhaps not an adjective that would normally be used to describe this tornado of a man, but Fela was sweet to me. The sweetness that I perceived in him emanated from his love for humanity; particularly for those who had drawn life’s short straw. Hundreds of people depended upon Fela for living. Many more than he needed to run his Lagos club, The Shrine, or to play in his band. I saw him as a social engineer, concerned with issues of injustice, corruption, the abuses of power. He was ready to lay his life on the line in defense of such causes, which he did on countless occasions. For his trouble he was beaten with rifle butts, endlessly harassed, imprisoned, … Continue readingTagged fela, fela kuti, kalakuta, lagos, obituary, rikki stein, the shrine |
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Check out this fantastic, crystal-clear footage of The Fela Band — a band comprised of members of the cast and musicians of FELA! the musical (including a certain Mr. Ngaujah). Kudos to OneAntRed Productions for creating this video and sharing it with us. In related news, The Fela Band will be performing at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles this Friday the 13th (spooky?) If you want to RSVP, you can do so on Facebook. Invite your friends + be there or be bored!Tagged afrobeat, elbo room, fela kuti, la, los angeles, musical, sahr ngaujah, san francisco, the fela band, the troubadour, troubadour |
The long list of legends that have made recent appearances at our show continues. First, it was Stevie, Talib Kweli, and Mos Def — now it’s Smokey Robinson. Here he is with FELA! band members Yoshi Takemasa, Brian Vargas, and Dylan Fusillo at LA’s Ahmanson Theatre. If you haven’t heard, we’re heading to Mr. Robinson’s hometown, Detroit, pretty soon. Check out exact dates and score tickets on our Tour Dates page.Tagged ahmanson theatre, brian vargas, detroit, dylan fusillo, fela, fela kuti, los angeles, mos def, smokey robinson, stevie wonder, talib kweli, yoshi takemasa |
Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (you may know him as Mos Def) recently shared the stage with members of the cast of FELA! in San Francisco. Check out this video of the event. Via DDOTOMEN.com.Tagged black star, fela, fela kuti, mos def, san francisco, talib kweli |
The legendary Stevie Wonder was spotted during opening night of FELA! in Los Angeles. Here are a couple of photos from Stevie’s backstage visit with the cast at the Ahmanson Theatre. L-R: Stevie with the cast, Stevie with Yoshi Takemasa (the show’s percussionist), and Stevie with Gelan Lambert (cast). And just for kicks — here’s my favorite Stevie-related clip — an appearance on Sesame Street: Stevie Wonder on Sesame StreetTagged ahmanson theatre, fela, fela kuti, gelan lambert, los angeles, sesame street, stevie wonder, superstition, yoshi takemasa |
If you’ve seen the show and like many, find yourself unable to stop humming along the music in your head, there’s a surefire cure — The Original Broadway Cast Recording. Relive the night of the show by throwing this disc on — or download it here. The cast recording features the voice of Sahr Ngaujah, backed by none other than the preeminent Brooklyn Afrobeat orchestra, Antibalas. It includes a slew of Fela hits like “Zombie”, “Water No Get Enemy”, “Expensive Shit”, “Coffin for Head of State”, among others. You can purchase the recording via the Knitting Factory Records store. And until then, we’ve got something to tide you over — a free download of “Water No Get Enemy”. $0.00. Yes.
Folks – The cast of FELA! just completed a brief but massively successful run in beautiful Atlanta, GA: the local press is so abuzz with news of the show that there were too many articles and videos to post to the Fela! Facebook page, so if you want to read all about it, visit our PRESS section on FELAONBROADWAY.com. That leads us to the question, how did the Washington, DC dates go? Well, here’s some good news — they went so well that we are RETURNING to DC in January for a week-long run at The Warner Theatre! Mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen. And don’t forget to say #yeahyeah!
We’ve caught word that the Original Broadway Cast Recording of FELA! is one of the recordings featured in the iTunes GREAT SOUNDTRACKS sale; a sale that offers listeners iconic soundtracks for the recession-proof price of $7.99! You’ll want to visit the iTunes site for this deal – which is only available for a limited time. For other FELA! merch, you can also visit the Knitting Factory Recordsstore. Or better yet, go to one of the many SHOWS and visit the merch table!
In 1970s Nigeria, only a tiny handful of female artists broke through the backing singer/dancer ceiling to become stars in their own right, particularly if they wrote their own material — And Fela cousins The Lijadu sisters did just that. Their repertoire ranged from love songs and dance anthems to philosophy and political/social commentary. “The music business was hard for women in Nigeria,” says Taiwo Lijadu. “Back then, they didn’t think women had brains.” Twins Taiwo and Kehinde were born in Jos, in northern Nigeria, on October 22, 1948. They enjoyed singing from an early age, encouraged by their mother, who bought them records by a wide range local and overseas of artists. Kehinde and Taiwo remember with special fondness discs by Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, Ray Charles … Continue reading
Felabrations are popping up everywhere this year — as evidenced by the amount of posts we have about it. Though we’ve previously posted about Felabrations in Spain, The Netherlands, France, Brazil, and the UK, our friends in the US demand a comprehensive post about the different parties across the country. Let us know if you have any further information as well. ATLANTA October 15 @ Spread Love 595 North Ave NW Atlanta, GA http://spreadlovefelabration2011.eventbrite.com BOSTON October 21 @ AllAsiaBar 344 Mass Ave in Central Square, Cambridge, MA http://www.allasiabar.com CHICAGO October 14 @ The Shrine 2190 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL http://fusicology.com/event/felabration3 DC October 15 1918 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC OAKLAND October 15 @ The New Parish 579 18th Street Oakland, CA https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=273472476017168
Producer Stephen Hendel writes a letter to President Mahama of Ghana in response to the article featured in Vanguard on 12/4
Video: The Cambridge Youth Dance Program joins FELA! on stage in Boston
Video: Chris Dave’s amazing Fela drum cover
Boston councillor Charles Yancey welcomes FELA! to Boston!
Stream this interview with FELA! producer Questlove on WGCI
Photos: The FELA! Queens have tea in honor of Women’s History Month
Contest: Guess where in Chicago the FELA! van is and win PRIZES!
Guest post by ?uestlove: Music is STILL the weapon
Video + Photos: LA Closing Party featuring the cast of FELA! and Afrobeat Down
Bob Marley & Fela Kuti: Musical giants in a time of revolution, by Vivien Goldman
Video: Ziggy Marley joins the cast of FELA! on stage + Fela Kuti fundraiser sale for URGE
Photos: Ziggy Marley, Taye Diggs + Idina Menzel love FELA!