6ABC Loves The Arts
Fela! comes to the Academy of Music
CENTER CITY - March 11, 2012 (WPVI) -- Fela! The smash Broadway show about the father of AfroBeat music is coming to Philadelphia's Academy of Music.
When it opened on Broadway in 2010, Fela! was nominated for 11 Tony awards and took home 3. It is the story of the legendary Nigerian musician whose music and message inspired a nation and the world.
In the 1970s and 80s, Fela Kuti became the voice of Africa&urging people to rise up against the oppressive military regime.
"He really was a leader of people and used his music and his art to inspire people to carry his message even further," said Matt Wolf, VP of Programming at The Kimmel Center.
Fela's AfroBeat music is a complex fusion of Jazz, funk and traditional African rhythms, and it became a worldwide sensation.
"It's the type of music that's so energetic you have to dance, you know it just sort of physically embodies you," added Wolf.
Fela started off Broadway where it caught the attention of Philly natives Questlove and Will Smith. They became producers of the show, along with Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z.
"It's driving and colorful and energetic and you know to a certain extent, there's this power but there's also this wonderful explosion of color and life," said Wolf.
Fela was motivated by his mother, a civil rights champion, and devoted his life to the struggle for freedom. When he died in 1997, a million people attended his funeral.
Fela! is coming to the Academy of Music March 20th for a 5 day run. for tickets, go to Kimmel Center.
6abc loves the arts, david murphy
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