King Sunny Ade – Podcast 193

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itunes-button1Wow! A chance to talk with a legend of African Music, King Sunny Ade!   For me this is a dream come true, there are few musicians as influential as King  Sunny Ade who brought the Juju music of Nigeria to the world.   Here we  speak with him in depth about his life and the roots of his music.

King Sunny Ade came on the scene in 1966 and made his first big record in 1967. He became an international star across Africa during the mid-1980s, touring and gaining a significant audience in the United States and Europe as well.  He is known as “the Minister of Enjoyment” or “the King Of Juju Music.”

If you are new to the music, I  highly recommend you start with his Juju Music or Synchro System albums.  Also for the roots of this music search for “apala” music .  Much gratitute to World Music Institute for arranging this interview!  This episode is supported by the Rubin Museum of Art.

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At home with George Porter Jr.! Podcast 184

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itunes-button1Whoa! This one went viral.  Here is the full hour podcast interview and below is a half hour of video interview with George Porter.  As the bass player of the Meters, George Porter, Jr. defined one of the most influential styles of popular music. It’s now called “Funk.”  Beyond that he’s on a million records including all the killer material coming out of the Sea-Saint studio in New Orleans with cats like Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Lee Dorsey, Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas, The Lastie Brothers and later with people like Paul McCartney and John Scofield, (check out Sco’s Piety Street Album!)

George Porter Jr. and his Funky Friends will be in performing in New York City 

 

Here’s the full half hour of video from the second part of the interview where he teaches how NOT to play “Cissy Strut”

Finding Fela! Femi Kuti and friends remember Fela Kuti – Podcast 110

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Fela used music as a weapon against injustice. He was beaten, arrested over 200 times, married 27 women and was buried in a glass coffin with a spliff in his hand. We’re still trying to get a handle on who he was and what he means. In this podcast we’ll be talking with his son Femi Kuti, Alex Gibney, Academy Award winning director of the new documentary “Finding Fela,” his friend and manager Rikki Stein and producer Stephen Handel. 

Yusef Lateef – An interview with a Legend

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images-3The world of music has just lost the Gentle Giant, Yusef Lateef.  WKCR will celebrate his life by playing his music for 33 hours from the stroke of midnight as January 1, 2014.  His bravery and expansive musical vision is unmatched.  I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Lateef in March of 2013, his longtime collaborator Adam Rudolph joined the conversation.

 

 

Hugh Masekela – Legend of South African Music – A backstage interview – #57

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Hugh Masekela is the most well known jazz musician from Africa.  His first big hit was in 1968 and he has sold millions of albums, won multiple Grammys and worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Dizzy Gillespie. Fresh off a tour with Paul Simon, he and his band are super-refined, with perfect vocal harmonies, deep grooves, and inspired improvisations.    Masekela is considered a legend of South African Music and the apartheid struggle, but that’s not how he see’s it.

I got to spend sometime backstage with him and now so do you!

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Here’s one quote from the interview:

“I never had a career, I had an obsession with music.  And my obsession with it, and maybe a little gift that I had, threw me into the area, but my aim, even when I came overseas, was to learn and to study and everything else is a coincidence.  But I didn’t plan to make it for myself.   If you look at anybody who is out there to make it for themselves they self-destruct.  They become very big and then they self-destruct. As long as you’ve got the “me” thing in your head you’re doomed.” – Hugh Masekela

 

 

 

Thomas Mapfumo – The Lion of Zimbabwe – Podcast 10

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Thomas Mapfumo, of Zimbabwe, is a revolutionary musician in every sense of the word.  Musically, his band was one of the first to experiment with combining the mbira (thumb piano) and electric guitars and he was the first to put his own lyrics to traditional Shona melodies.  Politically,  these songs became the anthems of the freedom fighters during White minority rule.

When the revolution succeeded and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, he continued to be a gadfly.  He questioned the integrity of Robert Mugabe and the current government.  He now lives in exile and while immensely popular his music is banned in the country where he is most beloved.