3138
5 mins read

Can documentary film as a genre do justice to the astounding life of Fela Kuti?

Documentary films truncate an entire life into fleeting bursts of exuberance and somber moments. Any moments that exist in between, however significant they are, are left out completely or brushed over. In making a documentary, on any subject, the director carves a narrative. And at times, the narrative carves itself. The decision then to make a documentary on the astounding life of Fela Kuti is a brave one. What do you exclude? What do you include? And most importantly, what informs these decisions?

2514
11 mins read

Organic Moonshine Roots Music and Fela Kuti: An Interview with Valerie June

Valerie June is the stuff of magical, star lit Tennessee nights. She is a dreaded, animated woman with a lilting Deep South accent doing music that flows out alternately between blues, soul, and country. It’s fitting then that her self-named genre is “organic moonshine roots music.” The aching pangs of love, and the ancient roots of the routes of her melodies echo even after a playlist has ceased.

Less than a minute read

Fela Kuti meets De La Soul

What happens? An 8-track remix compiled from “… dozens of  hand-picked samples from the Nigerian instrumentalist and political figure Fela Kuti, and 8 carefully-chosen acapellas from the Native Tongue rap…..

1 min read

Fela In The Low Countries

The “Fela! The Musical” craze hasn’t reached the Low Countries (yet), but that doesn’t stop Dutch ZAM Magazine from including in its latest issue some old, but previously unpublished pictures,…..

Less than a minute read

When Fela Kuti came to New York City

The Fela revival–lawsuits and all–in New York City rolls on. This time it’s a new documentary about a mid-1980s visit Kuti–then in his prime–made to New York City.  “Fela–NYC: Fresh…..

Less than a minute read

Fela Can't Dance

I am not sure what to make of this. Bill T Jones (creator of the musical “Fela!,” currently playing on Broadway) recently choreographed “Zombie” (a song about military repression) for…..

1 min read

Fela Rolls On

Hot off the heels of Fela! The Musical’s phenomenal 11 Tony Award nominations comes the news (via Deadline New York) that Chiwetel Ejiofor is “formally attached” to play the lead…..

1 min read

Fela! wins on Broadway

Bill T Jones’ “Fela!,” the musical interpretation of the life of the Afrobeat king, is up for 11 Tony Awards–the most of any show this year–including Best Musical.  I haven’t…..

650
Less than a minute read

Abraham Lincoln and Fela Kuti

Some critics went after Bill T Jones for his musical portrayal of the king of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti, on Broadway. Here, in the link below, Mr Jones responds–indirectly–to criticisms of…..