Dawoud Kringle reviewing Cecil Taylor’s life and career
On Thursday, April 5th, 2018, one of the most original and innovative pianists of our time, Cecil Taylor, died of natural causes at his home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn at the age of 89.
Taylor was classically trained, and valued European music for what he called its qualities of “construction” — form, timbre, tone color. He brilliantly incorporated them into his own jazz and blues based aesthetic. He once told jazz critic Nat Hentoff “I am not afraid of European influences. The point is to use them, as Ellington did, as part of my life as an American Negro.” Continue reading →
On Tuesday, January 21st, 2018, the music world was saddened to hear that legendary trumpet player, composer, and music activist Hugh Masekelapassed away from pancreatic cancer. Thus ended a career of over half a century. He was 79.
Masekela began playing trumpet in his teens (an apocrypha of his biography holds that his first trumpet was a gift from Louis Armstrong. Another version of the story holds that the instrument was donated by Armstrong to anti-apartheid chaplain Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, at St. Peter’s Secondary School). At the end of 1959, Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), Kippie Moeketsi, Makaya Ntshoko, Johnny Gertze and Hugh formed the Jazz Epistles, the first African jazz group to record an LP. Their 1959-60 concerts in Johannesburg and Cape Town were hugely successful.
March 21st, 1960 the Sharpeville massacre saw 69 protesters killed by police, the South African government banned gatherings of ten or more people, and the brutality of the Apartheid state became intolerable (apparently, the Apartheid government couldn’t understand why human beings refuse to be oppressed and enslaved). With the help of Trevor Huddleston, Yehudi Menuhin, and John Dankworth, Masekela left the country. Dankworth got Masakela admitted into London’s Guildhall School of Music.
On Monday, November 27th, 2017, the musical world celebrated the 75th birthday of one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century,Jimi Hendrix.
To say that Hendrix was innovative is a gross understatement. In the short three and a half years of his career in the limelight, before he tragically left this world, Hendrix’ accomplishments are staggering.
Date: 11/12/2017 Time: 12:30pm Venue: The Public Theater (425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003) Ticket: $20 (for two couples comp tickets are available. Please mail your names to firstname.lastname@example.org) Genre: World/Chanson/French trad.
Since they first got together in 1982, in a tiny village near Angiers, France,Lo’Jo have been one of the most eclectic, eccentric and mesmerizing musical collectives that Europe has ever produced. Like their British contemporaries, The Mekons, Lo’Jo are globetrotting legends and musical shapeshifters who’ve gone through many incarnations, and they’ve incorporated theater and visual art into their music since the beginning.
November is when is we at l’École Fula Flute reach out for your help to continue our music education work in Guinea. In the next few weeks we will be sending many communications about what we do, where we come from, and where we want to go.
Thanks to your help, last year we could leave the streets and bring our activities to an ideal place with a large enclosed courtyard. Now it is humming with activity from morning to night, and six days-a-week classes in French, arithmetic, social sciences, theatre and music are happening there. Our dedicated students often perform plays and concerts for the community and official events (such as the Presidential inauguration). Also, beyond the benefits of the education that our students receive, we contribute jobs for artists, educators, administrators and support personnel, we purchase goods and services, and are anchoring a respectable institution, beneficial to the community.
During this month we will also be presenting our achievements at two fundraising events: Continue reading →