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D E S I G N : Jack Bell Gallery

May 27, 2015

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London’s Jack Bell Gallery brought two paintings by Ivorian artist Aboudia. Born and based in Abidjan, his work is brutal, layered, and heavily influenced by the clashes that followed Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 presidential election. According to gallerist Jack Bell, “his paintings reference street art and vodou and look at social inequalities in downtown Abidjan.” Aboudia’s works are currently exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, through September 2015. Please visit before it’s too late.
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m u s i c : FINDING FELA Soundtrack & Documentary

July 8, 2014

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Every home should own music from Fela. So here it is Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music by Fela Kuti & Africa 70/ Nigeria 70/ Egypt 80, Koola Lobitos and the Fela! Band (from the musical) with special guest Femi Kuti Out 1 September 2014 (view trailer HERE).

Dogwoof presents
FINDING FELA
A film by Alex Gibney
In UK cinemas 5 September 2014
Plus special preview screening 4 September at the BFI London (part of African Odysseys season)
Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney returns to UK screens this autumn with ‘Finding Fela’, an utterly compelling and hypnotic portrait of visionary Nigerian musician and social activist, Fela Kuti. ‘Finding Fela’ is the story of the man who created the musical movement Afrobeat, and who then went on to use it as a form of political protest against the Nigerian dictatorship, becoming a revolutionary, hero and legend.
Capturing the essence of the documentary film from a musical perspective is the ‘Finding Fela’ soundtrack.  The double album includes 15 of Fela’s classic tracks, together with an interpretation of “Zombie” from the Fela! Broadway musical, and a never-before released, magical live version of “Colonial Mentality”, recorded at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos by the cast of the musical and featuring Fela’s son Femi Kuti on saxophone.
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It was in 2011 when the hit Broadway musical Fela!, directed by Bill T Jones, made its way to Lagos. It would become the first Broadway musical ever to perform in Nigeria. The show’s instigator and main producer, Stephen Hendel, wanting to document this historic journey, approached Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Dark Side, Enron, The Smartest Guys In The Room, The Armstrong Lie, etc.) who agreed to come on board as director. A film crew from Los Angeles, led by producer Jack Gulick, accompanied the eighty-strong group of cast and technicians to Lagos where a local film crew were also engaged.  Hundreds of hours of footage were shot of the preparations, the opening at the Kuti family’s New Afrika Shrine, and at the capacious Eko Exhibition Hall where the full production was to receive a triumphant reception.
However, it soon became clear that, fascinating as documenting this ground-breaking journey may be, the story could not be told without also examining the life, times and bravado of its central character, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. So began the making of ‘Finding Fela’ which explores both his extraordinary courage in the face of implacable opposition, and his exceptional musicianship, told through the eyes of musicians, friends and family members and those that knew and admired him, from near and far.  The result is ‘Finding Fela’, the definitive documentary depicting his life and legacy.
Fela created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan-Africanist politics to the world.  The power and potency of Fela’s message is completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom.
To tell the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the son of a middle-class, well-educated Nigerian family who transformed into musical icon and “spiritual guru”, a man who lived in a sprawling compound and married 27 women in a mass wedding, director Alex Gibney cuts in interviews with family, friends and bandmates; with incredible footage culled from 1,200 hours of film; and then weaves in scenes from the Broadway production of Fela! during its run in Lagos. The result is a colourful and breathtaking film that comprehensively reveals the life of a man, who was both a musical genius and political activist but also unpredictable, explosive and above all enigmatic.
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‘Finding Fela’, which made the Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, will be in cinemas in the UK from 5 September. The official soundtrack album will be released on 1 September.
‘Finding Fela’ Track-listing:
CD 1
1: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Jeun Ko Ku (Chop ‘n Quench)
2: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Opposite People (edit)
3: Koola Lobitos – Highlife Time
4: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Lover
5: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Viva Nigeria
6: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Upside Down (edit)
7: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Egbe Mi O (Carry Me)
8: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Johnny Just Drop (edit)
9: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Vip Pt 2 (Live In Berlin)
CD 2
10: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (edit)
11: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Go Slow (edit)
12: The Fela! Band – Zombie
13: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Power Show (edit)
14: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Beasts Of No Nation (Edit)
15: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Shuffering And Shmiling (edit)
16: The Fela! Band With Femi Kuti – Colonial Mentality (Live At The New Afrika Shrine)
Links:
Fela Kuti
Twitter: @felakuti
Finding Fela
Twitter: @FindingFela #FindingFela
Instagram: FindingFela
Knitting Factory Records
Twitter: @knitrecords

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a r t : Paintings by John Duckworth

April 25, 2014

This is the Tunes and Whispered
Paintings by John Duckworth

An exhibition curated by Franco la Russa

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cueB is pleased to present John Duckworth’s first exhibition in London.
‘This is the Tunes and Whispered’ will feature seven large format paintings that explore a dialogue between Eastern Buddhism and Western consumerism. Each painting is embedded with eastern spiritual and art historical iconography and text, which is juxtaposed with imagery from contemporary Western culture and nature.
Embodying these thematic concepts, the work evokes questions of identity, purpose, and perspective.

‘This is the Tunes and Whispered’ highlights work from Duckworth’s series of the same title – born of the artist’s fascination with Joseph Campbell’s monomyth and the placement of himself along the path of the “hero’s journey.” It is from the ‘Call to Adventure’ stage in which Duckworth began further investigating Eastern philosophies and practices and incorporating these into his daily life and work. The multitude of layers in the paintings indicate the complexity of Duckworth’s process in addition to its visual and conceptual content.

Duckworth’s work is based in processing the vast and overwhelming array of visual stimuli received daily in consumer driven Western contemporary culture and balancing this input with an Eastern contemplative practice. The self-hypnosis of modern
mass-communications, combined with political, environmental, cultural, and social uncertainty has led to an omni-present low-level anxiety that permeates Western society at large. Duckworth’s meditation practice is fundamental to his creative process. For the artist, it is through witnessing the results of a deeper inner awareness of habitual thoughts, words, and actions that he becomes more adept at finding balance in these uncertain times.

For this exhibition at cueB, the gallery will be transformed into an intimate quasi-spiritual space. The large, content and color-rich paintings will surround audiences to create a highly subjective experience that encourages understanding, reflection, and contemplation.

John Duckworth Artist Biography

 

(Born 1972, San Diego, California) John Duckworth lives and works between Charleston, SC and New York City. Formally trained in painting and photography, Duckworth received his B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Charleston after a short foray into biological science – an influence still evident in his subject matter today. Duckworth’s focus driving his artwork is one of quiet and calmness. His process is derived from a desire to seek inner peace and a balance between one’s true nature and the hectic modern world.

 

Channeling his Buddhist practice through a Western lens, Duckworth has produced “Tunes and Whispered,” a series that juxtaposes Eastern and Western iconography through harmonized compositions of screen printing, painting, photography, and drawing.

 

Duckworth has exhibited internationally in more than 30 solo and group shows, and his work resides in private and corporate collections around the globe.

2nd May – 1st June 2014

cueB Gallery
325 Brockley Road
London SE4 2QZ

www.cuebgallery.com

http://duckworthcreative.com

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Transportation has moved on!!! The 20th anniversary of the…

April 10, 2014





Transportation has moved on!!!

The 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide yesterday. These images found at Siris, these photosouvenirs are from Judge E. Gorlia's second journey in theBelgian Congo (ca. 1915 ). Gorlia was a keen amateur photographer and at the time he was acting as an alternate to the public officer at one of the seven tribunals of first instance (sic). In the description text you’ll find the following lines:

The hammock was the only conveyance available for travel on land. It was swung beneath a bamboo pole carried on the shoulders of two strong African men. They could travel 20 to 30 miles a day. In normal time, there were four pairs of men for the hammock, two men carrying at a time. Men strong enough were almost impossible to find because they were likely to go off to work in the mines.

WORDPRESS IS 10 YEARS OLD

May 23, 2013

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FELA KUTI ‘The Best Of The Black President 2’

January 16, 2013

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FELA KUTI

‘The Best Of The Black President 2’

Release date: 4 March 2013

2CD Standard edition (KFR1029-2)/ 2CD + DVD Deluxe edition (KFR1029-5)/ Download (KFR1029-0)
Knitting Factory Records/ Kalakuta Sunrise – Distributed by PIAS

Nigerian icon and Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti passed away 15 years ago but to this day his legacy lives on across the globe with his still-relevant, forthright political views and powerful music. The complete works of Fela, consisting of almost 50 albums, are now being re-packaged, with in-depth track commentaries written by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and prepared for a three-batch re-launch between March and September 2013.

The re-release programme will be spearheaded on 4 March 2013 by the release of The Best Of The Black President 2, a 2CD collection with foreword written by Senegalese-American R&B/hip-hop artist Akon. The twelve tracks (none under 10 minutes) include 1975’s “Everything Scatter”, probably one of the ultimate Afrobeat tracks, as well as an extended version of the classic “Sorrow Tears and Blood”, inspired by the South African apartheid regime’s crushing of the Soweto uprising in 1976. Fela recounts stories such as police having unsuccessfully attempted to charge Fela for possession of weed (“Expensive Shit”) and speaks out about the practise of skin-bleaching among Nigerian women (“Yellow Fever”). Fela’s final period of recording is covered too with 1992’s “Underground System (Part 2)”, inspired by Fela’s friend, Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara and his assassination. A special deluxe edition of The Best Of The Black President 2 also includes a DVD of Fela’s legendary 1984 Glastonbury concert.

In his introduction Akon writes: “Despite everything they threw at him, Fela’s music and his message never lost their way. He was always real and he was always with the people. That’s why we love and miss him all the more.”

Fela was very vocal in his views, with biting, acerbic critiques of European cultural imperialism, corrupt African governments and any forms of social injustice. This did not go down well with Nigeria’s military regimes during the 70s and 80s who routinely harassed and brutalised Fela and his supporters. Two hundred arrests, serious beatings that left scars all over his body whilst fighting for those who had ‘drawn life’s short straw’, never stopped him from coming forward, again and again. “Ah well, they didn’t kill me,” he would say. On 2 August 1997 Fela died – and a million people, the people he fought for, came to his funeral in Lagos to pay their last respects.

Akon, who grew up on Fela’s music, believes “Fela’s political beliefs were ahead of their time in so many ways, not least in their global vision. Today, the most influential protest movements – the environmental campaigners, the Occupy activists – have global perspectives … It is a risky business attributing opinions to people who have passed, but it’s safe to say that Fela would almost certainly have stood alongside today’s environmental and economic activists, and that he would just as certainly have approved of their global outlook.”

And Afrobeat, the music Fela created, didn’t die. Fela’s sons, Femi Kuti with his band Positive Force and Seun Kuti with Fela’s band Egypt 80, both travel the world and release their albums, keeping the flame burning brightly. But it’s not just Nigerian Afrobeat artists who make sure Afrobeat can be heard all over the planet: There are now in excess of 50 Afrobeat bands operating in Europe, the United States, Britain, Japan and Australia.

Fela even made it to Broadway: the Broadway hit musical, Fela!, recipient of 11 Tony nominations and three awards, directed by Tony award-winner, Bill T. Jones, with producer-backing from Jay-Z, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith among others, continues to play in the world’s most prestigious theatres. In 2011 the musical ‘came home’ to Lagos, opening at the New Afrika Shrine (the venue which was opened by Fela’s children Femi and Yeni in 2000 to replace Fela’s original Shrine) and then on to the Eko Center on Victoria Island where it received a tumultuous reception, playing to 3,500 people each night. The show commences touring once more in February 2013 across the United States (see http://www.felaonbroadway.com/) and then culminates with a season during the Chekhov Festival in Moscow.

In recognition of Fela’s burgeoning global stature, Oscar-winning filmmaker, Alex Gibney, is currently making the definitive Fela documentary, due for cinematic release in 2013. Also, a feature film of Fela’s life and times is in the works with Focus Features, directed by Turner Prize and BAFTA winner, Steve McQueen.

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Listen to Everything Scatter 10:31 https://soundcloud.com/knittingfactoryrecords/fela-kuti-everything-scatter/s-wEpVI

Gil Scott-Heron THE REVOLUTIONS BEGINS

January 3, 2013

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The world is a much richer place for the life of Gil Scott-Heron. Not only a truly great artist, but someone who oozed cool without even trying. With so many compilations around and many landing on our desks we tend not to post many, but this………. This you must have in your collection. Ace Records have done it again a 3 CD box set of some unbelivable music.

(Excerpt below from their web site written by Dean Rudland / photo © Chuck Stewart)

The three albums Gil Scott-Heron recorded for Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label are some of the most important in the history of black music. They show a multi-talented artist reaching maturity with his first recorded efforts. ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ transcended its place as an album track to become an aphorism, a slogan on a T-shirt, omnipresent shorthand for alternative culture. Over the years these recordings have been treated in a haphazard way, reissued in cheaply packaged collections that used edited versions of some of the most important tracks. “The Revolution Begins” gathers together every piece of music released by Gil on Flying Dutchman, including a track recorded with Bernard “Pretty” Purdie which has never been previously reissued. We have gone back to the original master tapes, bringing you sound that’s better than you’ll ever have heard and new clarity to Gil’s words and the musical performances. Access to those tapes has also enabled us to assemble an alternate version of Gil’s third album, “Free Will”.

Gil emerged in 1970 as the author of a novel, The Vulture, and a small book of poetry titled Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. Through a contact at his publishing company, he was introduced to producer Bob Thiele, who couldn’t afford to make an album of music, but agreed to make a spoken word record. Titled after his book of poems, and…………….. for the full story / track list and to buy visit the Ace Records page HERE

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Mo Farah CBE Double Olympic champion Mo Farah who won the 5,000m…

December 29, 2012

Mo Farah CBE

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah who won the 5,000m and 10,000m, is honoured with a CBE

Fontella Bass obituary Soul and gospel singer who had a top 10…

December 28, 2012

Fontella Bass obituary

Soul and gospel singer who had a top 10 hit with Rescue Me

Rescue Me has been described as the best record Aretha Franklin never made. This is a somewhat backhanded compliment to Fontella Bass, whose insistent gospel-tinged vocals graced the 1965 single. As none of her other records emulated Rescue Me’s commercial success, Bass, who has died of complications from a heart attack aged 72, was sometimes regarded as a one-hit wonder. However, she embraced a wide range of music during her career, including sacred songs and the politically and artistically radical free jazz of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

She was born in St Louis, Missouri, into a highly musical family. Both her mother, Martha, and her grandmother were…………..

MUST SEE!!! The Architect & The Painter Official Trailer -…

July 16, 2012

MUST SEE!!!

The Architect & The Painter Official Trailer - In UK Cinemas August 3rd