Latest Elbphilharmonie season to shine spotlight on "Afrofuturism"
Afrofuturism will take centre stage when the Elbphilharmonie’s latest season begins on Wednesday (August 17, 2022). Over the next three months, music lovers can look forward to the last German concert by the Sons of Kemet and live concerts by the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. The Elbphilharmonie is the first European concert hall to present a three-month exploration of the mainstream of popular culture. The enthusiasm for technology and progress after World War II manifested in space travel, the moon landing and sci-fi novels, but took a different form in African and Afro-diasporic culture. The vastness of the galaxy was a place to escape racism, exclusion and humiliation. Their vision of the future was the utopia of a freer world with different hierarchies and without borders to personal fulfilment. Naturally, this extended to music as well.
Spotlight on Sons of Kemet and Sun Ra
The Sons of Kemet, a jazz supergroup put together by Shabaka Hutchings, will turn up the volume with a special performance in the Grand Hall on Wednesday when they present their album "Black to the Future". Their music blends African rhythms with Caribbean ska, and mixes melodies and scales from the Middle East with hip-hop beats from the United States. The musicians literally stomp and march their way into listeners’ ears. The concert is the last opportunity to see the band in Germany as the Sons of Kemet will be breaking up after their summer gigs. Later on November 13, the Sun Ra Arkestra will take to the stage in the Grand Hall. The orchestra, conducted by Marshall Allen, saxophonist, are considered pioneers of Afrofuturism and stand out with their cosmic free jazz, which is funky to the bone.
Cosmic jazz in a maritime setting
Several younger musicians including the multi-talented Angel Bat Dawids and Tha Brothahood band (September 4, 2022), trumpeter Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (September 12, 2022), saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who is the son of the famous John and Alice Coltrane, will perform on October 13, 2022 while the jazz trumpeter, Theo Crokerm will take to the stage on October 26, 2022. Those who wish to dive even deeper into Afrofuturism can attend screenings of "Space Is The Place" (1972) on August 14, 2022 as well as an interactive lecture with Dr Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo aka Sammus, who is a rapper, producer and professor of music, on October 23, 2022. The entire programme and information about tickets can be found on the Elbphilharmonie's website.