Jay-Z and Will & Jada Pinkett Smith have enthusiastically joined the producing team of Fela!, the new Broadway musical based on the life and music of African composer and performer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, marking the first Broadway production that these entertainment icons have presented.
The critically acclaimed musical, which played to sold-out crowds dancing in the aisles during its world premiere off-Broadway last summer, arrived on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The official opening is set for Monday, November 23 and will be attended by celebrity producers. Fela! is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening), with a book by Jim Lewis and Bill T. Jones. For more information about Fela! please visit www.FelaOnBroadway.com
Fela Kuti remains a cultural force with an increasing importance. Knitting Factory recently announced that throughout 2010 they will remaster and reissue all 45 Fela titles in unique digi-packs with the original artwork, each with a vinyl release and specially curated box-sets to come. This reissue series will mark the first time all of the titles will be released on vinyl in North America, and also the first official release of the entire catalog of Fela's 1960s highlife band Koola Lobitos. The first release of the series is "The Best Of The Black President," which compiles 13 of the most popular Fela compositions.
The deluxe edition of the CD comes with a DVD featuring segments from the film Music is the Weapon, performances from the Berlin Jazz Festival, Music As A Weapon, Teacher Don't Teach Me No Nonesense, Fela At Glastonbury Festival and interviews with choreographer/director Bill T. Jones and Fela biographer Carlos Moore.