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Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Pick #1: Fela B-Day Celebration

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 9:51 AM

click to enlarge Afrobeat's Ancestor: Fela Kuti
  • Afrobeat's Ancestor: Fela Kuti

It's hard to think of a more iconic artist than Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The founder of Afrobeat, who famously proclaimed "music is a weapon," was both a voice of progressive social change--and often uncomfortably-honest socioeconomic critique--and a musical visionary. Fela's fusing of traditional Yoruban music with American jazz, R&B and funk was ahead of its time, as evidenced by the flowering of the Afrobeat genre a decade after his death and the influence Fela's music has had on a generation of artists--including Afrobeat revivalists (including Kuti's sons Femi and Seun), hip-hop and reggae aficionados, and electronic music heads.

This Saturday, Café du Nord turns into a mini-shrine to Fela, as DJ Jeremiah (aka Mr. Afrobeat) presents a Kuti birthday celebration, featuring a live performance by Afro-soul artist Siji, plus DJ Said and Jeremiah himself. If you like endless grooves with thought-provoking messages,this one's for you.

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Eric Arnold


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