Tomorrow, October 8th, marks the release of RED HOT + FELA, Red Hot’s second musical homage to the legendary Fela Kuti. The high number of tributary creations inspired by Fela, from the Red Hot albums to the Tony-award winning musical, are a testament to the galvanizing and innovative nature of the man himself. If you’re not already in the know, Fela was the guy behind Afrobeat, establishing and shaping a genre that is now played around the world. He was preternaturally accomplished and prolific in his abilities as a composer and performer, not a mention a human rights activist who continually worked to fight censorship in his home country of Nigeria and beyond. His live shows are also pretty legendary– This summer, while at the Red Hot + Fela concert at Lincoln Center, I spent most of my time seething in jealousy while people recounter their crazy experiences seeing Fela perform. Although pictures don’t do it justice, they give an idea of how incredibly electric he must have been live.
Although we can no longer see Fela live, we can still celebrate his life and the passion he brought to everything he did. Red Hot + Fela is an inventive retooling of Fela classics by a crazy diverse selection of artists including ?uestlove, My Morning Jacket, Baloji, Childish Gambino and many more. If you’re familiar with Fela you already know how awesome this album is going to be, and if you’re not, well, what are you waiting for? Pre-order the album on iTunes HERE.
If you want a taste right away check out Baloji’s video for “Buy Africa” HERE , and while you’re at it be sure to mark your calendars/Smartphone calendar app for My Morning Jacket, tUnE-yArDs, and Alabama Shakes’s performance of “Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel this Friday, October 11th.
And it doesn’t just end with the album– in honor of Fela’s birthday, there will be a FELEBRATIONS (http://www.felabration.net/) around the world all month! If you’re around New York, you should definitely enter to win a pair of tickets for Okayafrica’s Felabration at the Brooklyn Bowl on October 17th which will have performances by a ton of amazing musicians. If you’re not a New Yorker, you don’t have to worry! There will be Felabrations all over the country for the rest of the month, so check out below for a list of the dates and venues. I’ve also handily linked Red Hot + Fela social media profiles, so you can easily stay up to date on Red Hot + Fela news! Don’t miss out on the Felabration!
10/10 – Santa Monica, CA – Zanzibar
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Penn Museum – Jump N Funk w/ Rich Medina
10/12 – Brooklyn, NY – Free Candy – Jump N Funk w/Rich Medina
10/12 – Oakland CA – Geoffrey Inner Circle
10/17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl w/Fela Band
10/19 – Chicago, IL – Maria’s Bar – Afrika Freak Out
10/19 – Atlanta GA – 595 North Event Venue
10/19 – Denver, CO – Cold Crush
10/23 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory w/ EMEFA
11/01 – Austin, TX – Sahara Lounge
11/22 – LA – The Echo – Jump N Funk w/ Rich Medina