Monday, September 27, 2010

Fela Fever....
















There are many, many reasons to visit the Big Apple and enjoy everything New York has to offer. Culturally, it is a great city for music, and this summer one of the hottest tickets on Broadway is the musical "Fela" which documents the life, music and political activism of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti who died in 1999. The Eugene O'Neill theatre off Times Square is transformed into Kuti's notorious club in Lagos in the 70's, and a 10 piece band welcomes you with some hot African rhythms as you set foot in "The Shrine" - hot because they are Kuti's own invented Afrobeat, and hot because the lyrics are incendiary against the corruption of the repressive military dictatorship. Kuti was regularly carted off to jail for beatings and torture, and his own mother was thrown to her death from an upstairs window by soldiers on a raid. Sahr Ngaujah stars as Fela himself, and it is an unmissable show - due to transfer to the National Theatre in London in the Autumn...




















Also on offer in New York this summer was the fantastic series of free outdoor concerts at the Lincoln Centre. Above is one of my favourite performers, Aurelio Martinez, with his dynamic and infectious music. From Honduras, he plays Garifuna Soul, - Garifuna being an African culture in Central America - predominantly in Honduras and Belize. If you enjoy Garifuna soul then also check out the music of another wonderful exponent Andy Palacio from Belize.





















The headlining act was superstar diva from Peru - namely Susana Baca (pictured above) who captivated the audience with her soaring songs and beautiful ballads....















New York is one of my favourite cities to visit and soak up art, culture and music - if you get the chance to go, don't miss all the wonderful music on offer.....

6 comments:

Fly Girl said...

Ahh, what a wonderful cultural sampling! I was there in NY to see Fela! and it was unforgettable. One of the most impressive productions I've seen. Also a fan of Susana, Andy and Garifuna music. Love the new blog look too!

A Cuban In London said...

Oh noooooo! Another great review of the musical I was planning to see in Novemeber for my birthday. Would you believe it, that the National has scheduled this show on WEEKNIGHTS!? There's only a weekend matinee and it's sold out, so that's me done for now. I still enjoyed your images and commentary. Many thanks. Between you and Fly Girl, you have made feel as if I had attended the show myself.

Greetings from London.

Wendy said...

Love the new design!

Catherine said...

Hi Flygirl, Cuban and Wendy - glad you like the look of the blog and the Fela Musical...it is a hot show - hope you get to see it in London Cuban!! You will jus have to hit it on a Monday night!!

EG Wow said...

I have been to NYC only a couple of times and never long enough to soak in any culture. It sounds like an inviting idea, though!

Catherine said...

hi EG - highly recommend to spend a bit longer in NY....