Sunday, September 28, 2014


franktomatozappa mentioned the Classica Orchestra Afrobeat ensemble a couple of days ago.
A fine discovery:

CLASSICA ORCHESTRA AFROBEAT is a chamber ensemble composed of 12 italian musicians, most of whom are from the European classical tradition and boast international acclaim as soloists and ensemble players. Together with an ensemble of "cultured" instruments (woodwind, strings, harpsichord) and other captivating folk instruments such as the Italian bagpipe, the ocarina and African percussions, the orchestra expresses a unique freshness and originality.
The first album, "SHRINE ON YOU, FELA GOES CLASSICAL" ("Sidecar/Goodfellas 2011), is a beloved hommage to Fela Anikulapo Kuti, recorded live in the XIX sec. theater of Russi, Ravenna. It features Fela's son Seun Kuti and Africa 70's guitarist Kologbo. Live acts during past years included Glastonbury 2013.
The adaptation of Bembeya Jazz's "REGARD SUR LE PASSE" represents the second chapter in the orchestra's production. Recorded live at Alighieri Opera House, during prestigious Ravenna Festival in 2013, it's a musical epic opera about the story of the last African Emperor, Samory Toure, who fought against colonialists at the end of XIX sec. Directed by Marco Zanotti, this original adaptation of a traditional mandingo piece of history features griots Sekouba Bambino and Baba Sissoko, in the roles respectively of lead singer and narrator.

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