Fela Kuti tribute concert ‘Saluting the Black President’ to be streamed on Okayafrica and YouTube
On Friday, 17 May, a host of artists came together at the 229 Club in central London to salute the Black President – Nigerian icon and Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti, and to celebrate the release of another set of ten CDs (on 20 May) as part of Knitting Factory’s complete Fela Kuti reissue series.
The hugely successful and sold-out show brought together artists who knew Fela well and worked with him – like Ginger Baker (famed drummer and Fela collaborator), Tony Allen (previously Fela’s drummer) and Dele Sosimi (previously Fela’s keyboardist) – and others who simply wished to express their admiration and respect by taking part in this unique concert. Alongside Fela’s contemporaries, a younger generation of artists, who are influenced by the great man – Keziah Jones, Shingai Shoniwa (of The Noisettes), TY, Blak Twang, Afrikan Boy, BREIS, Terri Walker, KOF and Bumi Thomas – also participated. The musicians, singers and rappers offered their interpretations of Fela songs, aided and abetted by the musical backdrop provided by the inimitable Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra.
Thankfully this historic and magical occasion was filmed in full and is now scheduled to be streamed on Okayafrica (https://www.okayafrica.com/) and the official Fela Kuti YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/fela), also on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/channels/540104), starting today, Friday, 7 June, at 4pm GMT, with the opening track of the show, Fela classic “Gentleman” reinterpreted by London rapper Afrikan Boy, together with Dele Sosimi. Watch it now on:
A new video will be added each weekday (until 23 June) giving you the chance to watch the whole concert, including all the highlights such as The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa performing “Lady”, and drummers extraordinaire, Tony Allen and Ginger Baker, sharing the stage again for the first time in decades. So make sure you keep checking Okayafrica and YouTube for more videos…