Monday, February 20, 2012
Afrakans in America History Month - Jazz Legend Randy Weston
Afrakans in America History Month Special Featuring Jazz Legend Randy Weston on His Life and Celebration of his autobiography "African Rhythms"
For the past six decades, Randy Weston has been a pioneering jazz musician incorporating the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa. His 1960 album, "Uhuru Afrika," was a landmark recording that celebrated the independence movements in Africa and the influence of traditional African music on jazz. "Uhuru Afrika," begins with a freedom poem written by Langston Hughes.
Randy Weston visited Africa for the first time as part of a delegation that also featured Nina Simone. The trip would transform Weston’s life and lead him to eventually move to Africa in 1967. On Democracy Now! Weston talks about his collaboration with Langston Hughes, how Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson influenced his life, and his friendship with the Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti. Randy Weston also discusses his success in demonstrating the impact of Afrakan culture, especially its music, on the world. "Having the people understand the impact of African rhythms in world music, whether it’s Brazil or Cuba or Mississippi or Brooklyn... If you don’t have that African pulse, nothing is happening," Weston said.