Written by: Ali’a B. Edwards
The Africana Music Experience was a delightful live music event held Tuesda, November 19 at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center on the campus of Morehouse College. I attended the concert to feel connected and inspired by the music of my African heritage, with the hope of experiencing a spontaneous wave of creativity that would flow from the musicians through the audience and into me. The program did not disappoint my hopes and provided me many moments of sonically-inspired pleasure.
The Morehouse College Glee Club gained at least one new fan as a result of their performance. I’m proud to count myself among their new and continuing admirers. Before they gave their ovation-worthy performance, the Morehouse College Afro Pop Ensemble with Special Guests did a wonderful rendition of Fela Kuti’s “Water Get No Enemy.” With far fewer players than in Kuti’s renowned, dozens deep bands, the sound they created filled the hall with musical goodness.
The Ensemble set the arc of the concert that the Morehouse College Glee Club followed with “Betelehemu” by Olātúnji. Their choreography was bold and powerfully performed and their acapella song was done in perfect pitch, tone and harmony. Kudos to the directors of these fine ensembles.
The show finale brought us dozens of kalimba players who formed the Kalimba Ensemble, together with the Morehouse College Quartet and the aforementioned groups performing a traditional song, “Lithisikiya.” As a new loyal fan, I will be attending future live music events produced by the Morehouse College Division of Creative and Performing Arts and encourage fellow ATLiens and visitors to join the audience at your next opportunity.