Freedom Principle Black History Month Special: Congolese Rumba – The Rhythm of Independence

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With respect to February’s Black History Month, The Freedom Principle presents four programs of musical genres borne from diverse origins. In doing so, we continue a tradition here at CJAM of recognizing the contributions to the arts of peoples from the African diaspora, experiences which impact and help define our global culture. Click for the first part and second part of the series.

The backlash of Cuban son montuno across the Atlantic had a profound impact on the African continent. Nowhere was this more the case than Belgian Congo where it played a strong role during the Congo Crisis (1960-1965) and after independence. Pioneered by Joseph Kabesele (Le Grand Kalle) who composed “Independence Cha Cha” and nurtured by the sorcerer of the guitar, Franco Luambo and his T.P.O.K. Jazz, Congolese Rumba stormed the continent to be adopted in countries from Kenya to Cameroon. The music represented an Africa free of colonial rule and served as evidence of the excellence which could be derived from Africa’s own in expressing freedom from oppression.

Discover the sounds of Congolese Rumba Friday February 21, 2014 from 5:00-6:30pm.

Revolution Rock Celebrates Black History Month: Grant Greens’ Solid

Grant Green SolidFebruary is theme month once again for Revolution Rock! For more information, visit the always intriguing and informative, Revrock.blogspot.ca. Click to learn more and listen to the first and second part of the series.

Grant Green is often viewed as an unsung hero of Jazz guitar and was very underrated during his lifetime. Green has been on a multitude of recordings both as a sideman and solo artist, which were primarily released through the Blue Note label. Solid was one of two albums recorded in 1964 (the other album being Matador), yet they remained unreleased during Green’s lifetime. The musicians on Solid were pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, both of which made up two thirds of John Coltrane’s rhythm section. Some felt that this album contains some of his Green’s finest work, but it remained unreleased for fifteen years before getting a proper release in 1979. This episode of Revolution Rock will feature a selection of tracks from this album, as well as a mixture of other genres in celebration of Black History Month.

Check out this episode on Tuesday February 18th, 2014 from 10:30AM to noon.

Freedom Principle Black History Month Special: Chimurenga (Music of Struggle)

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With respect to February’s Black History Month, The Freedom Principle presents four programs of musical genres borne from diverse origins. In doing so, we continue a tradition here at CJAM of recognizing the contributions to the arts of peoples from the African diaspora, experiences which impact and help define our global culture. For the first part of the series, Desert Blues – A New Generation of Griots, click here.

In 1970s Rhodesia, a cultural reawakening occurred which brought pride back to the Shona majority. The cry of revolution against the British administration was led by the music of Thomas Mapfumo. Recorded in the midst of a guerilla war to overthrow the white minority leadership, the soundtrack was released as “Hokoyo!” meaning “Watch Out!” Borrowing from traditional Shona songs, Mapfumo transcribed the sounds of the mbira (African thumb piano) to guitar and the tripping rhythms of the hosho (cowrie shells tied around the ankle) to the drum kit hi-hat. The resulting ‘Chimurenga’ music (chimurenga means struggle) propelled a revolutionary war resulting in independence. Free elections were held in 1980 followed by a celebratory performance by one Bob Marley in the newly established Zimbabwe.

The Chimurenga (Music of Struggle) Special airs on Friday February 14, 2014 from 5:00-6:30pm.