Generally credited as the godfather of Afrobeat (which in its most simplest terms can be defined as a fusion of African jazz and funk) Fela Kuti was more than just a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, he could probably be best described as a force of nature.

Influenced by the Black Power Movement of the late sixties and early seventies, Fela’s music was often categorized as political and controversial. His stance against the ruling class in his native Nigeria did not come without consequence. A 1977 raid by government forces on his compound led to the death of his mother and the destruction of all of recording equipment, musical instruments and living quarters.

Non-stop grooves(often 20mins. or more live) that often borrow from traditional West African chants and rhythms, punctuated by jazzy horn lines fused together to create an often mystical experience for the listener. This is P-Funk, James Brown and Go-Go all rolled into one. Dig the sounds of Fela!

Related Posts:
Derek Sivers on Fela Kuti

Fela on Broadway

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.