New Festival Felabration, Celebrates the Life, Music, and Birthday of Afrobeat Legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti

felabrationsIn support of the Knitting Factory Records re-launch of Fela Kuti’s music catalog, as well as the debut of the FELA! show on Broadway, Giant Step has organized official Felabration events in more than 15 cities across North America throughout the month of October. This schedule of Felabrations will bring together some of the best DJs, musicians, and promoters around to celebrate the life, music, and birthday of Fela Anikulapo Kuti (October 15, 1938 – August 2, 1997). These events will unite the diverse communities across North America that are instrumental in keeping Fela’s music alive.

The original Felabrations date back to the early 1970s when Fela and his band took over the courtyard of the Empire Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, and performed several nights a week to thousands of worshipping fans. “The Shrine,” as the courtyard came to be known, became a very popular nightspot and the audience was made up of everyone from the youths of Lagos to professors, civil servants, government officials and even soldiers. And of course, the Shrine was a center for much more than music. To quote Michael E. Veal in his book, Fela: The Life And Times Of An African Musical Icon, “more than a mere entertainment club, Fela considered it an actual shrine to his ideological heroes – a space in which his political inclinations fused with musical incantations to assume spiritual dimensions.”

Now, Felabration is an annual festival dedicated to the promotion of Afrobeat and African culture and to the preservation of Fela’s legend and artistry. Fela would have been 71 on October 15.

Felabrations October 2009 Event Listings

10/12 – HOUSTON
Rocksteady Mondays presents: Felabration! w/ DJ Sun & DJ Chicken George @ The Flat

10/12 – PORTLAND
Felabration! w/ Rev. Shines, DJ Santo & more @ Someday Lounge

10/14 – NEW YORK CITY (BROOKLYN)
Voodoo Funk & Giant Step present: Felabration! w/ DJ Frank Gossner and Ikebe Shakedown @ The Knitting Factory

10/14 – MIAMI
The Electric Pickle, Champion Sound, & Giant Step present: Felabration! w/ DJs Mr. Brown, Sire Esq, & A-Train + special guest Djinji Brown @ The Electric Pickle

10/14 – OAKLAND
Soul.Profess presents: RECESS / Felabration! w/ special guest DJ Cecil & live performance by Delina Brooks @ AIR Lounge

10/15 – NEW YORK CITY (DOWNTOWN)
Jump’n’Funk, Libation, FELA! & S.O.B.’s present: Felabration! w/ DJ’s Rich Medina & Ian Friday @ S.O.B.’s

10/15 – LOS ANGELES
Afro Funke’ presents: Felabration! w/ DJ Nu-Mark, Amon (on percussion), resident DJs Jeremy Sole & Glenn Red, host Rocky Dawuni + special guests @ Zanzibar

10/15 – SEATTLE
SunTzu & Giant Step present: Blueprint / Felabration! w/ SunTzu Sound DJs, special guest Ohmega Watts, & more @ Grey Gallery & Lounge

10/15 – MEXICO (Playa Del Carmen)
Uhuru Afrika presents: Fela Lives! w/ DJs Adam Gibbons, Sabine, & more @ Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday

10/15 – PHILADELPHIA
Flygirrl presents: Candyland / Felabration Tribute w/ DJ Mike Nyce @ The Arts Garage

10/16 – LOS ANGELES
Footlong Development & Frolab present: Jump’n’Funk w/ DJ Rich Medina + opening set by DJ Marvski @ Tantra

10/16 – CHICAGO
Listen:Up presents Felabration! w/ DJ Ron Trent & DJ Spinna @ The Shrine

10/17 – SAN FRANCISCO
Giant Step presents: Jump’n’Funk w/ DJ Rich Medina @ 330 Ritch

10/17 – WASHINGTON, D.C.
ESL & Giant Step present: Felabration! w/ DJ Day & live performance by The Donvonte McCoy Sextet feat. Mavis Water @ ESL

10/17 – DENVER
Afroblu presents: Felabration! w/ DJ Santos, resident DJs RJ Duran & CES, and special guests @ The Union

10/24 – BOSTON
Uhuru Afrika presents: Fela Lives! w/ DJ’s: Adam Gibbons, Max Pela, KC Hallett aka KCiv, percussion by Sidy Maiga, & special performance by WUNMI @ All Asia Bar

10/24 – ATLANTA
Spread Love, Jump’n’Funk, & Hot Ice present Felabration! w/ Roy Ayers, Rich Medina, DJ Kemit, Mausiki Scales & Common Ground Collective, DJ Ausar @ 595 North

10/31 – NEW YORK CITY (HARLEM)
Uhuru Afrika + Soul Funktion present: Fela Lives! w/ DJs: Adam Gibbons, Offbeat, DJ OBah, live percussion by Sidy Maiga, and live performance by Amayo’s Fu-Arkestra @ The Shrine

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Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central

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