in association with Knitting Factory Records & OkayAfrica
The Official annual celebration of the life, music and legacy of FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI
featuring the DELE SOSIMI AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA
+ VERY special guests
Curated by Rikki Stein who managed Fela Kuti and whose 46 album back catalogue he continues to administer, Felabration 2016 is the only official celebration of the life and music of Fela Kuti in the UK.
Fela Kuti was born in Nigeria in 1938. He moved to England in 1958 where he studied at the Trinity School of Music. In 1963 he returned to Nigeria where he fronted the Highlife and Jazz Band, Koola Lobitos. In 1969 he toured the USA and after meeting the Black Panther Party re-named his groupFela Ransome-Kuti and the Nigeria 70. He created his own unique style of music which he namedAfrobeat.
In 1974, Fela built a fence around his house and declared it to be an independent state: The Kalakuta Republic. Kalakuta was the name of a cell Fela had occupied after being arrested in April 1974. In 1975, Fela changed his middle name to Anikulapo (He who carries death in his pouch).
In 1977, Fela and the Afrika ’70 released the album ‘Zombie‘, a powerful attack on Nigerian soldiers. The government was infuriated and Kalakuta was raided by about 1,000 soldiers, who burnt down Fela’s house and beat many of its occupants, even throwing Fela’s elderly mother out of a window.
Fela Kuti has released some of the best and most important music of the past century and has been revered by musicians the world over such as Paul McCartney, ?uestlove from The Roots, Thom Yorke from Radiohead, Miles Davis, Bono from U2 and many more.
Fela’s death on 2nd August 1997 was mourned by the Nigerian nation, with over a million people attending his funeral.