Events

Celebrate the Legacy of Fela Kuti at London's 'Felabration' With Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra + Very Special Guests

Presenting London Felabration 2016 featuring the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra and very special guests.

Every year we celebrate the life and legacy of Fela Kuti through Felabrations held in major cities across the globe.


This coming October, AGMP, Knitting Factory Records and Okayafrica are presenting London Felabration 2016 featuring the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra and very special guests—including Temi Dollface, Breis, Bumi Thomas, Afrikan Boy, Tiggs da Author, and many more.

Dele Sosimi is one of the leading forces of afrobeat. A longtime keyboardist for Fela Kuti‘s Egypt 80 and bandleader for Femi Kuti‘s Positive Force, Dele Sosimi now regularly plays with his 16-man Afrobeat Orchestra across London.

They’ll be holding down the sounds at London Felabration 2016, an event curated by Rikki Stein, who managed Fela Kuti and whose 46-album back catalogue he continues to administer.

Last year’s London Felabration saw the likes of Tony Allen, 2Face Idibia, Laura Mvula and many others join the band onstage. You never know what surprise guests will jump on this year.

Buy tickets to London Felabration 2016 at the Electric Ballroom.

Enter the promo code FELALONDON2016 for HALF-PRICE TICKETS.  

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.