“This world is a world of higher forces, and people must realize it. You do it by yourself in your home, by knowledge of your culture or the background of your family or your people. Higher forces give you the gift of music, of musicianship. It must be well-used, for the good of humanity.”
Fela Anikulapo Kuti (1938 — 1997)
“It has to be so strong, this Jewishness, that nothing in the world should move them, to ‘un-Jewish’ them. On the other hand, it has to be completely connected to every human being in the world.”
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925 — 1994)
Zion80 explores the music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach through the lens of the Afrobeat funk master Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Led by Jon Madof (Rashanim, Matisyahu), the 13-piece band arranges Carlebach’s beautiful melodies using the polyrhythmic intensity of Afrobeat, blended with the madness of the Downtown scene. Madof’s most ambitious project to date, Zion80 is blazing hot and tight as a drum. Spiritual, grooving and endlessly exciting, this is essential Jewish music for the 21st century.
Shlomo Carlebach was a rabbi, religious teacher, composer, and singer. Although his roots lay in traditional Orthodox yeshivot, he branched out to create his own style combining Hasidic Judaism, warmth and personal interaction, public concerts, and song-filled synagogue services. At various times he lived in Manhattan, San Francisco, Toronto and Moshav Mevo Modi’im, Israel. Carlebach is considered by many to be the foremost Jewish religious songwriter of the 20th century. In a career that spanned 40 years, he composed thousands of melodies and recorded more than 25 albums that continue to have widespread popularity and appeal. His influence also continues to this day in “Carlebach minyanim” and Jewish religious gatherings in many cities and remote pristine areas around the globe. read more at wikipedia.org »
It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he’s more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac. His death on August 3, 1997 of complications from AIDS deeply affected musicians and fans internationally, as a musical and sociopolitical voice on a par with Bob Marley was silenced. A press release from the United Democratic Front of Nigeria on the occasion of Fela’s death noted: “Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa.” This is as succinct a summation of Fela’s political agenda as one is likely to find. read more at allmusic.com »