Happy Birthday Fela!!!!!
Don't miss Rich Medina's Jump N Funk party tonite at SOBs! It'll be a special Felabration in conjunction with the Broadway musical FELA opening on October 19th at the Eugene O'Neill theater. This musical is going to be amazing -- choreographed by Bill T Jones with music by Brooklyn's own Antibalas, the NYMag profile of actor Sahr Ngaujah is convincing enough to make you want to check the show if only to see the range and stamina of this phenomenal actor. If you can't celebrate with us in NYC, Jump N Funk's FELABRATION is going on a nationwide tour so check here for the full listing.
Fela Kuti was born October 15, 1938 in Abeokuta, Nigeria, north of Lagos and received his early education in his homeland. In 1958 Fela's parents sent him to London to go to school for medicine, but he opted to register at Trinity College's School of Music where he studied composition and chose the trumpet as his instrument. Fela became influenced by legendary artists such as Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra and formed the Koola Lobitos in 1961. They soon became a fixture in London's club scene. Two years later, he created "Afrobeat", which was inspired by James Brown, the Yoruba culture, high life and jazz. Fela reformed the Koola Lobitos to Nigeria 70 and returned to Lagos. He founded a commune/recording studio called the Kalakuta Republic, complete with his own private nightclub, The Shrine.
Playing constantly and recording at a ferocious pace, Fela and his band now called Africa 70 became huge stars in West Africa and beyond. His music served as a rallying cry for the disenfranchised, critiquing the military government and made Fela not only a pop star but a political figure as well. People took to the streets singing his songs and the military responded by viciously harassing Fela, jailing him and nearly killing him on several occasions. As with any musical icon, his work crossed over musical genres and influenced a multitude of artists. Fela died on August 3, 1997 of complications from AIDS. One million people attended his funeral in Nigeria. His incredible body of work, almost 70 albums, is now available
through public demand all over the world.
FELA! The Musical brings the colorful life of this icon front and center through a provocative hybrid of concert, dance and musical theatre. FELA! features arrangements by Aaron Johnson and Antibalas with direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones.
DJ Rich Medina's renowned Afro-dance party, Jump N Funk, is the world's premier celebration of the life, legacy and music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Armed with an unparalleled love for Fela and an unrivaled collection of Afrobeat records, Rich Medina re-creates the vibe of a Fela Kuti concert. Jump N Funk has been a staple in venues from New York to Berlin for nearly a decade and has established itself as the only DJ-based party dedicated to Fela Kuti and his message of peace and equality through music.
Happy Birthday Fela!!!!!