September 20, 2018

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Femi Anikulapo-Kuti – The Afro Beat Maestro

Femi Anikulapo-Kuti – The Afro Beat Maestro

Starting out as an alto saxophonist member of his father’s band (Fela Kuti & The Egypt 80 Band) Femi was far from being virtuosic, but he made up for his technical limitations by emphasizing his strengths: Ear for ensemble sound, unique phrasing, and a distinctively fragile tone. During the band’s early years, he jettisoned the slow- tempoed afrobeat that characterized much of Egypt 80’s work for something more introspective culminating in an approach much different from that of his father:

“I knew I would be successful. It was just that I didn’t know how. But I was a young man determined to succeed and my mother greatly supported and financed my band till I ran her account dry. Then, I got my first break in 1988 when the French Cultural Center took me on a cultural exchange to France. That was the turning point of my career,recalled. In retrospect, he is quick to point out that the biggest decision for him was leaving his father’s band. “I just had to take that major step into the unknown…and win the trust of people around me. I just knew I had to leave,” he said. Read more

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