31 Mar 2023, Fri, 8pm
Esplanade Annexe Studio
“There was a deep dynamic for me in my growth as a person an artist, warrior and spiritual being. I want to pay some respect and homage to a great icon, and to this period of transformation in my life.” – Christy Smith
In the early ‘70s, young Christy Smith experienced an event that would remain one of the momentous of his life: FESTAC ‘77, otherwise known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. In this festival, every country in Africa and its diaspora sent representatives to reunite in the motherland, in Lagos, Nigeria. Although not well-covered by Western media then, the American delegation included the likes of Stevie Wonder and Sun Ra; and Christy’s band from Compton, Los Angeles was also part of the contingent. It was in FESTAC ‘77 that he would meet with the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti—the larger-than-life creator of the Afrobeat genre, whose protest songs gained the ire of the Nigerian military. The events that conspired became a turning point in Christy’s life, with a significance far greater than he could fathom and leaving an indelible impact on him both spiritually and artistically.
Part auto-biographical story, part musical tribute to Fela Kuti and mentors, Christy recounts his transformative experience of FESTAC ’77 through narration and his original music. Deviating from the straight-ahead jazz sound that Christy is currently known for, this concert will be one of heavier Afrobeat-influenced music, with drummers, percussion, and a horn section, recreating the vibe of Fela’s old Afrika Shrine.
Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.
31 Mar 2023, Fri
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