PARTING SHOT (CHRIS AJILO SWINGS)
Here's the legendary highlife bandleader, Chris Ajilo's free styling his 1950's highlife classic, 'Eko O Gba Gbere' (Lagos Takes No Prisoners).
PROJECT UPDATE (FELA TRIBUTE)
We celebrate the life and legacy of Afrobeat pioneer and 'Elder's Corner' featured icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, with a few anecdotes from his close peers and admirers.
Elder’s Corner is musical journey through pivotal moments in the colorful history of Nigeria as told through the lives and careers of the nations foremost music legends. It is a story about the eroding effects of colonialism, bitter ethnic clashes, politics, oil, power, money and their combined effects on a nation that recently celebrated its 50th year of self rule.
Shot against the colorful and gritty backdrop of some of Nigeria’s urban cities particularly Lagos and through the clever use of extensive in depth interviews, archival footage and still photographs, Elder's Corner will take viewers on a musical journey through the country's turbulent and colorful history. It will chronicle and showcase the lives and work of some of the leading exponents of the various musical movements that spawned Afrobeat, Juju, Apala, Highlife and Fuji music.
THE PROJECT THUS FAR
Over the course of a year long stay in Nigeria, I put together a small film crew and together we traveled through the country seeking out and interviewing some of the nations leading and iconic musical figures among them, Orlando 'OJ' Julius, Fatai 'Rolling Dollar, Emperor Dele Ojo, Tony Benson, Jimi Solanke and Chris Ajilo.
To date we have been able to capture over 30 hours of amazing interview and performance footage of each icon and gather incredibly rare photographs, memorabilia and other significant source material for the project. We have also interviewed legendary Jazz Pianist Randy Weston, world renowned DJ/Producer and Yoruba Records founder, Osunlade, legendary Vibraphonist and soul funk maestro, Roy Ayers as well as Afrobeat DJ/Producer, Rich Medina and singer, songwriter, performer Wunmi for the project.
Much of this has been achieved largely through self funding, unwavering passion and the kindness and generosity of close friends and family who strongly believed in the project from it's onset. We now need further help to get us through the next 6 months of filming in Nigeria.
WHAT WE NEED AND HOW WE INTEND TO SPEND IT
We have set ourselves a minimum fund raising goal of $20,000 to help keep the project afloat. There are a number of significant musical figures particularly from the eastern and northern parts of the country we have yet to interview as well as key contributors including journalists, musicians, historians and political figures.
Additionally, we have a series of collaborative, live music performances and recording sessions to arrange and film between some of the featured icons and musicians from the present generation including myself, (SIJI) and the likes of Ade Bantu, Keziah Jones and Nneka among others.
All donated funds will go directly towards helping to pay for some of the huge production costs associated with filming. Among them; equipment hire (camera, lights, sound, remote power supply, hard drives), personnel and crew fees, travel and accommodation expenses as well as location permits, honorariums and gratuity fees.
CAN WE EXCEED THE FUNDING GOAL?
I sincerely pray we do! Any additional funds we're fortunate enough to raise will go towards helping to push the project further along. Additional expenses to be met include archival footage, music licensing and photography clearance fees, the recording of a "kick ass " film soundtrack, post production & finishing costs, legal and insurance fees.
WHY ELDER'S CORNER?
In a country with a rich oral tradition where vital historical information is handed down from generation to generation in the form of poetry, praise songs and music, the critical need to capture and preserve the stories and journeys of these legendary, musical griots cannot be overstated. This was driven home during the early stages of the project when our intensive research efforts yielded very little by way of archival material (aural, visual or otherwise) on any of them.
The ground breaking efforts of these iconic figures helped define the sound of an era and that of the African continent. They collectively influenced a great number of musicians, artists, poets, writers, actors and music lovers the world over and represent the very last of a bygone era.
Elder's Corner will act as a noteworthy, modern day, oral and visual archival document from which the present and successive generations of music lovers the world over, can benefit and learn from for decades to come. By showcasing the rise to prominence and notable achievements of these icons, we can help to raise awareness about the urgent need to preserve their work and honor their legacies. Additionally, Elder's Corner will provide a unique way of understanding the history and dynamics of Africa's most populous nation.
Kindly lend your support to this historical film by making a pledge and helping to spread the word about it by SHARING it with your all your friends through your associated social networks globally.
Once again, ese'un pupo (many thanks),
- (40 days)