Archive for the ‘FELA’ Category

>FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI -OUR GREAT NIGERIAN MUSICIAN COMES BACK ALIVE THRU BROADWAY SHOW SHOWING AT HIS AFRICAN SHRINE IN LAGOS!

May 20, 2011

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http://www.nigeriamusicmovement.com/index.php/nigerian-music-nigeria-from-broadway-to-afrika-shrine-a-feast-for-fela-in-lagos
Source: The Sun, Feb 1, 2011

Ordinarily, any public show in honour of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is a crowd puller. Particularly when it holds at the New Afrika Shrine where everyone believes the spirit of Fela still hovers round. And for the British Council Nigeria which played host to Fela! For the first time in the country last Sunday, the screening of the musical show was indeed a cultural feast for Afrobeat lovers.
Although a musical menu prepared and dished in the Diaspora, Fela! was well served in Lagos for his kinsmen and fans who trooped to the Shrine in celebration of the late Abami Eda. The show attracted notable Nigerians, artistes, culture workers and journalists, among whom were Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; former National Planning Minister, Robin Gwynn; British Deputy High Commissioner, David Higgs; Country Director,British Council, Rukki Shein; Fela’s Manager at the musical show tagged Fela Event, Lanre Arogundade; former NUJ chairman in Lagos State and Fela’s children; Yeni Anikulapo – Kuti and Seun Anikulapo – Kuti.
After a brief welcome address by Yeni, the musical opened via a large screen with a number of young female dancers emerging on stage, ahead of their leader and hero-Fela. The dancers wore captivating costumes depicting the essentricity and versatility of Fela’s musical world. They took positions on stage while one of Fela’s classics; Rere Run, played rhythmically at the background. Minutes later,Fela the lead singer/dancer was ushered to the stage in a heroic manner by some male dancers. With his two hands raised, Fela stormed the stage amid a loud ovation, and saluted the crowd with the familiar refrain ‘’Everybody say Yeye’’ . And an elated crowd dominated by whitemen and women responded ‘’Ye-ye’’.
An energetic and boisterous performer, Fela soon dazed the audience with a heavy dose of his music, which he boosted with songs, dancesteps and talks that reminisce on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s vision and philosophy. In the same way, the other male and female dancers complemented his efforts in highly creative and elaborate choreography. At intervals, the dancers sang tunes and wriggled their waists provocatively to echo some of the features of the late Fela’s live shows. And while doing these, some of the best songs of the late musician, such as I No Be Gentleman, Break It Down (BID), Water No Get Enemy, Palava, Teacher, Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and Kerekeke Ji Keke, were creatively played and interpreted through mimes and gestures.
On another level of creativity, the hero of Fela!and the entire National Theatre, London ensemble recalled some of the issues that Fela addressed through his music. Popular subjects like Igbo(Marijuana), 419 (Advanced Free Fraud), ITT(International Thief Thief), Yansh(An euphemism for bottom power), Colonial Mentality and Lagos life were all illustrated by the artistes in the Nigerian context.
Also using the narrative technique, the lead character paused at intervals to engage the audience. His joker in this area was proved by his mastery of Fela’s stagecraft, voice modulation, dexterity on saxophone, his brandishing and inhaling of the long wrapped substance as wellas his simple Afrobeat attire of a long sleeve shirt over a pair of long James Brown (JB) trousers.
On the technical side, the Broadway and award winning show made creative use of virtually all facilities in the theatre. It explored generously the use of the round stage, the staircases, steps, cubicules, the cyclorama and ladders. The huge modern equipment on stage expectedly complemented artistes’ versatility and speed, just as lighting helped greatly in depicting moods and highlighting historical situations and events. The audience also savoured a fair dose of highlife music from which Fela discovered Afrobeat as demonstrated in several scenes that reminded of Fela’s relationship with the Koola Lobitos, James Brown, Tony Allen, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti(His mother) among many others.
At the end of the two-part show, which lasted about two hours, the audience were thrilled beyond expectation. Some of them engaged in a debate over the incredible energy and vigour with which the cast celebrated Fela and his Afrobeat in a single entertaining musical show. They also wondered how the show could have been if some of Afrobeat’s disciples in Nigeria, such as Dede Mabiaku, Kola Ogunkoya and others featured in the musical show. But the fact that it was an entirely a Broadway project seemingly ruled out the possibility of featuring Nigerians in it.
Produced and widely showcased on Broadway in London, Fela! had won three Tony awards including Best Choreography. It explores dance, music and drama to celebrate the life and times of Afrobeat legend who was better known as political activist and lover of the masses. The February 6 screening in Lagos was part of the British Council’s work in the Arts, aimed at showcasing the best of United Kingdom’s creativity overseas while at the same time, working with the best creative talents to develop innovative events and collaborations for artists and cultural institutions across the globe.
Nigerian Music Nigeria Fela Kuti

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Source: The Sun, Feb 1, 2011
<p><iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002AAZM1K&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”><iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002AAZM1K&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”></p>
Ordinarily, any public show in honour of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is a crowd puller. Particularly when it holds at the New Afrika Shrine where everyone believes the spirit of Fela still hovers round. And for the British Council Nigeria which played host to Fela! For the first time in the country last Sunday, the screening of the musical show was indeed a cultural feast for Afrobeat lovers.
Although a musical menu prepared and dished in the Diaspora, Fela! was well served in Lagos for his kinsmen and fans who trooped to the Shrine in celebration of the late Abami Eda. The show attracted notable Nigerians, artistes, culture workers and journalists, among whom were Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; former National Planning Minister, Robin Gwynn; British Deputy High Commissioner, David Higgs; Country Director,British Council, Rukki Shein; Fela’s Manager at the musical show tagged Fela Event, Lanre Arogundade; former NUJ chairman in Lagos State and Fela’s children; Yeni Anikulapo – Kuti and Seun Anikulapo – Kuti.
After a brief welcome address by Yeni, the musical opened via a large screen with a number of young female dancers emerging on stage, ahead of their leader and hero-Fela. The dancers wore captivating costumes depicting the essentricity and versatility of Fela’s musical world. They took positions on stage while one of Fela’s classics; Rere Run, played rhythmically at the background. Minutes later,Fela the lead singer/dancer was ushered to the stage in a heroic manner by some male dancers. With his two hands raised, Fela stormed the stage amid a loud ovation, and saluted the crowd with the familiar refrain ‘’Everybody say Yeye’’ . And an elated crowd dominated by whitemen and women responded ‘’Ye-ye’’.
An energetic and boisterous performer, Fela soon dazed the audience with a heavy dose of his music, which he boosted with songs, dancesteps and talks that reminisce on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s vision and philosophy. In the same way, the other male and female dancers complemented his efforts in highly creative and elaborate choreography. At intervals, the dancers sang tunes and wriggled their waists provocatively to echo some of the features of the late Fela’s live shows. And while doing these, some of the best songs of the late musician, such as I No Be Gentleman, Break It Down (BID), Water No Get Enemy, Palava, Teacher, Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and Kerekeke Ji Keke, were creatively played and interpreted through mimes and gestures.
On another level of creativity, the hero of Fela!and the entire National Theatre, London ensemble recalled some of the issues that Fela addressed through his music. Popular subjects like Igbo(Marijuana), 419 (Advanced Free Fraud), ITT(International Thief Thief), Yansh(An euphemism for bottom power), Colonial Mentality and Lagos life were all illustrated by the artistes in the Nigerian context.
Also using the narrative technique, the lead character paused at intervals to engage the audience. His joker in this area was proved by his mastery of Fela’s stagecraft, voice modulation, dexterity on saxophone, his brandishing and inhaling of the long wrapped substance as wellas his simple Afrobeat attire of a long sleeve shirt over a pair of long James Brown (JB) trousers.
On the technical side, the Broadway and award winning show made creative use of virtually all facilities in the theatre. It explored generously the use of the round stage, the staircases, steps, cubicules, the cyclorama and ladders. The huge modern equipment on stage expectedly complemented artistes’ versatility and speed, just as lighting helped greatly in depicting moods and highlighting historical situations and events. The audience also savoured a fair dose of highlife music from which Fela discovered Afrobeat as demonstrated in several scenes that reminded of Fela’s relationship with the Koola Lobitos, James Brown, Tony Allen, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti(His mother) among many others.
At the end of the two-part show, which lasted about two hours, the audience were thrilled beyond expectation. Some of them engaged in a debate over the incredible energy and vigour with which the cast celebrated Fela and his Afrobeat in a single entertaining musical show. They also wondered how the show could have been if some of Afrobeat’s disciples in Nigeria, such as Dede Mabiaku, Kola Ogunkoya and others featured in the musical show. But the fact that it was an entirely a Broadway project seemingly ruled out the possibility of featuring Nigerians in it.
Produced and widely showcased on Broadway in London, Fela! had won three Tony awards including Best Choreography. It explores dance, music and drama to celebrate the life and times of Afrobeat legend who was better known as political activist and lover of the masses. The February 6 screening in Lagos was part of the British Council’s work in the Arts, aimed at showcasing the best of United Kingdom’s creativity overseas while at the same time, working with the best creative talents to develop innovative events and collaborations for artists and cultural institutions across the globe.
Nigerian Music Nigeria Fela Kuti

Straight From The Source

>FELA ANIKULAPO-KUTI-THE GREAT NIGERIAN MUSICIAN WHO FOUGHT UNTIL DEATH FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE MASSES- COMES BACK ALIVE IN A BROADWAY AMERIKKKAN PRODUCTION BROUGHT HOME TO NIGERIA!

May 16, 2011

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<iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&amp;o=1&amp;p=8&amp;l=bpl&amp;asins=B00005O6OJ&amp;fc1=000000&amp;IS2=1&amp;lt1=_blank&amp;m=amazon&amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;bc1=000000&amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”><iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&amp;o=1&amp;p=8&amp;l=bpl&amp;asins=B00005O6OJ&amp;fc1=000000&amp;IS2=1&amp;lt1=_blank&amp;m=amazon&amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;bc1=000000&amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”>
FELA’S MOTHER WHO WAS A FAMOUS WOMAN ACTIVIST WHO EVEN FORCED AN OBA(KING) TO STEP DOWN AFTER OVER TAXING  MARKET WOMEN!-FUNMILAYO RANSOME KUTI

FELA WITH HIS 22 WIVES!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/may/15/taking-fela-kuti-home

Taking Fela Kuti homehttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002AAZM1K&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Sahr Ngaujah has spent the last two years playing the great Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti on stage in New York and London. Last month he took the production back to Kuti’s native Nigeria. Here, he describes the extraordinary and emotional trip
  • The Observer, Sunday 15 May 2011
  • Article history
  • sahr-ngaujahhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=6302274125&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrStudy of the Music and Social Criticism of African Musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti (Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music)<a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.amazon.com/Black-President-Legacy-Fela-Anikulapo-Kuti/dp/B000OLMHDS?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=bib-05-20&amp;link_code=btl&amp;camp=213689&amp;creative=392969″>Black President: The Art &amp; Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=bib-05-20&amp;l=btl&amp;camp=213689&amp;creative=392969&amp;o=1&amp;a=B000OLMHDS” alt=”” style=”border: medium none ! important; margin: 0px ! important; padding: 0px ! important;” width=”1″ border=”0″ height=”1″><iframe src=”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&amp;o=1&amp;p=8&amp;l=bpl&amp;asins=6305863296&amp;fc1=000000&amp;IS2=1&amp;lt1=_blank&amp;m=amazon&amp;lc1=0000FF&amp;bc1=000000&amp;bg1=FFFFFF&amp;f=ifr” style=”padding-top: 5px; width: 131px; height: 245px; padding-right: 10px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ align=”left” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”>
    Man on a mission … Sahr Ngaujah on the beach near Lagos, Nigeria, in April. Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer
    The air was humid and thick; a constant wind blew in from the sea, sponging up every sweat bead on our skin. A cacophony of sound permeated the air – revving and idling engines, okada motorcycle taxi horns, heavy bass lines and people talking loud. Posters bearing the faces of various smiling politicians were plastered on every inch of space.
    1. Fela!
    2. Sadler’s Wells,
    3. London
    1. Starts 20 July
    2. Until 28 August
    3. Box office:
      0844 412 4300
    4. More details

    In New York and London, our task was to recreate Fela Kuti‘s world in the Nigeria of the 1970s, viewed from within his club, the Africa Shrine. Now we were entering Nigeria to bring Fela back to his own people, to recreate the Shrine of the 70s at a big theatre built by his children and called the New Africa Shrine.As our plane came over Lagos we were keenly aware that today was election day, the first round, with two weeks to go. We were arriving under curfew. It was a sunny day and as we looked out of our windows it was clear the curfew was taken seriously. All of the streets were clear, no movement save the military men at their posts at junctions throughout the city.We disembarked amid a flurry of security personnel, some private, some state, some local. We were ushered on to our buses, and with a full military escort we tore out of the airport and began barrelling down the empty expressway to Victoria Island. Welcome to Lagos! We had no idea what would await us in this infamous African metropolis, but we had a mission and a commitment to complete it.I first visited Nigeria in 2008, just after the off-Broadway production of Fela! closed. I was there for Felabration, a week-long festival that takes place every October to mark Fela’s birthday. I spent my nights at the New Africa Shrine and my days visiting Fela’s house, Kalakuta. I often wondered what sort of impact this type of experience would have on my colleagues after all the effort they’d put into showing other people the world of Fela. Now they were here. We were to play the New Africa Shrine and the Eko Hotel’s conference centre, both holding 3,000. First we had to settle into our new environment and prepare to meet our first audience, the people of Fela’s Shrine.In those early days my routine consisted of a lot of sleep to get over the jet lag, rehearsing my Yoruba pronunciations and running along the ocean in the Lekki district. Some of my colleagues were having their first experience of African markets and haggling, Nigerian style. At night we could be found recounting the day’s adventures in the courtyard of the Eko Hotel, enjoying the open-air bar while paying Midtown Manhattan prices for our favourite drinks, always under the watchful eye of our no-nonsense security escorts. fela kuti Afrobeat king Fela Kuti. Photograph: Guardian Among the richest moments were the time we spent with Fela’s family, with his children Femi, Yeni, Kunle and Seun, along with his siblings, cousins and wives. In 2008 one of Fela’s sons, Kunle, described Fela being buried. He described the scene of thousands of people filling the streets and covering every rooftop in the area. Now here I was with all my colleagues, seeing Fela’s grave. Then they opened the door of his room. His room had been sealed for years. There was his sax, his bed, hundreds of suits, there was everything.Kunle hadn’t been in the room for 10 years. Seun hadn’t been in for three. But they opened that room to let those people who had dedicated so much to keep his memory alive glimpse Fela, my beloved colleagues who had sacrificed so much of their bodies and their blood to bring Fela’s world to life for thousands of people every night on 49th Street in New York.Days later I found myself filing off a bus to stand before the New Africa Shrine with those colleagues. As we crushed our way to the entrance we began to hear the sound that had become so familiar to us over the years through watching documentaries about our subject. We heard the voice of the people, calling for Fela, calling for the Kalakutans – the people of Fela’s Kalakuta Republic, the compound where he lived and recorded with his family and his band. As we crossed the threshold of the shrine it seemed as if everyone in the place agreed on what the first utterance to us should be. From the front door to the stage door, all we heard greeting us was: “Welcome home.” Indeed, we had arrived. We were humbled by the reception and had no idea of the measure of beauty awaiting us for the duration of our stay.Fela Kuti is an immense subject, a bottomless character. Bill T Jones, our director, would say: “Fela was a tornado of a man.” When we first arrived people would say: “How can you bring Fela from America to Nigeria? Fela belongs to us.” Before we left they told us: “Fela has come home.” I don’t think they were talking about us – they were talking about his spirit.We are holding these experiences in our hearts and can’t wait to unleash them on those planning to join us for the adventure in London this summer.• Sahr witnessed landmark elections in Nigeria and wants you to help encourage the trend in the Democratic Republic of Congo (fallingwhistles.com/freeandfair). He wore clothes courtesy of Gozi, creative director of his new favourite brand, UMi-1 (gozi.co.uk).********************************************************************************http://geojane.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/nigerian-virginian/

    Fela Kuti

     Fela Anikulapo Kuti  October 15, 1938- August 2, 1997  Nigerian musician and composer, creator, singer, saxophonist, frontman, inventor, and pioneer of afrobeat music.How do you say his name, Fella or Fey-la?NOVA  Professor of History, Dr. Joeseph Windham, wise and worldly, pronounces Fela like the latter.  Whichever way you say it, his name stands for a powerful and humble man.  A paradox that translates in the music he creates.This is a photograph of Fela Kuti with some of the beautiful women he marries.  These particular women became victims of sexual brutalityBEFORE THEY MET FELA, thus cast out and dishonored in their communities.  Fela uses marriage as a means of protecting the women from discrimination.  He makes it clear that they are heroines, deserved of the utmost respect and honor.   Picture sourced from: http://www.kalamu.comfela 34.jpg 

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