ALBINO! is pleased to be doing a benefit at Elbo Room in San Francisco on Friday, August 16th in support of Friday Jumbo, the legendary percussionist of Fela Kuti's Africa 70. Much of the renewed interest in Bay Area Afrobeat can be directly attributed to surviving members of Africa 70 such as Friday Jumbo, among others who reside in the Bay Area. He was a founding member of various Bay Area Afrobeat groups including Fulanis Afrobeat, Albino!, Lagos Roots, and Black Water Gold. For this benefit, Albino! and Black Water Gold are bringing the community together in support of this exceptional musician, who will be sitting in with both bands.
Check out the video about Friday Jumbo and his history at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjAMq5xPrPY
The SF Music Award winning band ALBINO! is a San Francisco Bay Area-based 9-piece Afrobeat ensemble that honors the fiery legacy of Afrobeat inventor Fela Kuti by melding tightly crafted arrangements and jazz-tinged harmony with propulsive, high energy grooves. Whenever this funk-fueled juggernaut performs, ALBINO! re-acquaints listeners with what it feels like to truly groove, and infuses audiences with an ecstatic energy that pours forth from the stage. Witnessing the nine members of this garish behemoth locking into choreographed step is as much of a feast for the eyes as the band's deliciously layered funk is for the ears. Plus, ALBINO's lyrical messages offer scathing sociopolitical commentary and urgent calls to civic action, in keeping with the revolutionary spirit central to Fela Kuti's Afrobeat legacy.
With the Tony Award winning Broadway musical "FELA!", produced by Will Smith and Jay Z raising American awareness and curiosity about Afrobeat music, and the upcoming film about his life, directed by Steve McQueen, ALBINO!’s wild San Francisco-style spin on the genre is sure to please even those new to this engaging music. ALBINO! will be celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, and with a new album in the works for early 2014, the band will be performing musical previews exclusively for the benefit in August. A show not to be missed!
Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZXdFgvEZkh0
About Friday Jumbo
Friday Jumbo is a Nigerian born percussionist, original member and co-founder of highly influential groups such as the legendary Afrobeat band Fela Kuti’s Africa 70, Monomono (Joni Haastrup), and The Nigerian All Stars (OJ Ekemote). He has toured the world performing and recording with the likes of Ginger Baker of Cream, Paul & Linda McCartney, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, among others. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1985 he performed with Babá Ken Okulolo and Kotoja, Babtunde Garaya, the African Rhythm Messengers, and the Oriki Theater.
Friday Jumbo was born on July 21, 1942 in Bommy Island, Eastern Nigeria. He is one of 12 siblings. He attended the Port Harcourt Baptist Boys High School. In 1962, at the age of twenty, he played bongos in his first musical project—Zeal Onyia & His Hotlips—a highlife group. In the late 60s, he worked with Victor Yuwiafo. In 1971-2 he made the switch to congas and co-founded Africa 70 with Fela Kuti.
Friday Jumbo recorded (though was not always credited) on virtually every Fela Kuti release between 1970 and 1973 including: Why Black Man Dey Suffer (1970); Live! With Ginger Baker (1971); Na Poi (1972); Open and Close (1972); Roforofo Fight (1972); Question Jam Answer (1972); and Gentleman (1973). Many of the later recordings feature songs that Friday had performed previously alongside Fela such as Expensive Shit, Everything Scatter, He Miss Road, etc.
At the age of 70, Friday Jumbo still performs whenever possible with Black Water Gold and other Afrobeat groups in the area. In recent years his health has diminished, and he suffers personal ongoing medical issues. With little to no income, he has had difficulty paying his medical bills.
About Black Water Gold
Black Water Gold is an Oakland-based Vintage World Funk collective comprised of upwards of 14 veteran Bay Area musicians on a mission to explore grooves from around the world. Inspired by Nigerian Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti, Black Water Gold often performs its rhythmically intoxicating sets with legendary percussionist Friday Jumbo—co-founding member of Africa 70 and right-hand man to king of the Afrobeat rhythm, Tony Allen.
Further African influences abound. Black Water Gold sets include songs by Ethiopian Jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Malian Afro-Latin Super Bamako Rail Band, Cameroonian Afro-Jazz hero Manu Dibango, and Ghanaian highlife and funk guitarist Ebo Taylor. On the other side of the Atlantic, the music of Black Water Gold connects the dots between New Orleans Afro-Funk icon Louis Villery, Dominican and Haitian Kompa and Rara grooves, Appalachia, Samba, and the Jazz Salsa of Eddie Palmieri. Black Water Gold members themselves come from an array of cultural backgrounds including Iran, Palestine, China, Ecuador, and Chile as well as the musical hotbeds of New Orleans, The South and The Bay Area. The sound is big. The layers are many. The groove is authentic, refined, and deep.