San Diego (California), USA – WorldBeat Cultural Center will present the 4th Annual Fela Kuti Day on Saturday, November 4th at 8:00pm. The festival features Albino, a 12 Piece AfroBeat Band from San Francisco; and Sene Africa, from Senegal. Tickets: $10.
WorldBeat Center is located at 2100 Park Blvd. in San Diego, CA 92101.
Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was a singer-composer, bandleader, trumpet, saxophone, keyboard player, and politician. Kuti is one of Africa’s most revered names.
He began as a highlife singer in 1954 and during this period developed his own unusual sound which he described as highlife-jazz. In 1968 Kuti announced the arrival of Afro-beat, and within the year was taking his music on a 10-month tour of the United States where he became influenced by the new jazz movement at the time. On returning to Nigeria he opened a nightclub, the Shrine, and changed the name of his band to Africa 70.
His outspoken views and fight for the rights of the common man and woman made him unpopular with the government but a hero to the people and when in 1979 the people returned to power in the country Kuti began his own political party – MOP (Movement of the People). However the military returned to power in 1983 and within the year Kuti was sentenced to five years imprisonment on a spurious currency smuggling charge.
He was released in 1986 after yet another change of government. The band reformed as Egypt 80 included a huge and exciting line-up of singers, dancers, horn section, drummers, percussionists and several guitarists. By the 1990’s he had recorded a prolific amount of work.