African Divo Arts with Outerglobe.co.uk presents Juwon Ogungbe & Life Force Music in PROGRESS CEREMONY, A Yoruba Ritual for our times, Upstairs at The Ritzy Brixton Oval, London SW2 1JG from 8.00pm til midnight.
Tickets are available via 0871 902 5739 and www.progressceremony10january.eventbrite.com . DJ is Mr K.
Progress Ceremony composed and performed by Juwon Ogungbe is described as a Yoruba Ritual for our times – a prayer for social change. But what does that mean for an audience looking for a brilliant Friday night out? It is a compelling invitation to experience an intriguing and multifaceted event animated by Juwon Ogungbe’s genre defying ‘Afro Popera – where Jazz meets Funk’ music . PROGRESS CEREMONY is a contemporary music theatre ritual inspired by invocations praise and worship, song, dances and gestures from the Yoruba belief system. It comes alive with Juwon Ogungbe’s Life Force Music, described by the New York Times as ‘a flowing bridge between the worlds of pop, soul, classical and African music’, performed by some of London’s finest musicians. Through it Juwon Ogungbe aims to present new perspectives on some African heritage values especially the potential for tolerance and change with a healing narrative. In a cantor styled role Ogungbe leads on keyboards and illuminates invocations and tales about Yoruba deities with his bass baritone voice. The experience is enhanced with visual digital interactions created by Derek Nisbet of Coventry’s acclaimed Talking Birds, which draw on worldwide ancient and contemporary Yoruba inspired imagery to magnify the ritual.
Juwon Ogungbe commands worldwide respect in all the many fields he chooses to work in whether creating the Afrofunkiest band music or the most classical African roots. He has composed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Southbank Centre and has led creative learning projects in international settings. In 2012 his music-led Merchant of Venice premiered at the Harare Arts Festival and he wrote for a large scale community choir for the Olympiad. He recently composed and performed a piece to depict the history of Black people in Canning Town and his debut album Life Force Music on Second Generation Records has received worldwide airplay. Progress Ceremony is a new departure for him combining music, digital visuals and eventually, as it grows, movement and dance.
Juwon Ogungbe said “Progress Ceremony is a music driven theatrical piece rooted in a very specific African tradition. Sometimes I feel that UK African expression is limited to broad brush strokes, as if all Africans experience things in the same way. I want to make a statement that can resonate with audiences of any background in an intimate and personal, yet simultaneously global universal level ” He added “I regularly read a lot of Nigerian blogs and I feel there’s a need for a subliminal healing process for people of my heritage – and indeed everyone else – on a global scale. I hope the music, invocations, affirmations and prayers in Progress Ceremony will somehow help to make a difference through forging new creations, creating trust and understanding amongst us all”
Upstairs at The Ritzy will buzz with Juwon Ogungbe’s genre defying music and Derek Nisbet’s illuminating projections. The crowd will enjoy both a highly polished piece of work and also one in progress. Juwon Ogungbe’s plan for Progress Ceremony is to introduce new elements in an evolving process. Earlier this year Progress Ceremony began as a short evening’s music with guide images. In Brixton following an open rehearsal process and collaboration with multimedia artist Derek Nisbet of Coventry- based Talking Birds, a sequence of images directly related to the music, song and narrative on stage will be revealed. Soon, arising from a residency at Coventry University Yoruba/Santeria inspired contemporary dance will become an integral part of the performance.
Progress Ceremony, presented by African Divo Arts with Arts Council funding and support from Outerglobe.co.uk, is on Friday 10th January 2014 Upstairs at The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, London SW2 1JG from 8pm-Midnight. £5 earlybird tickets are available til 5th January via www.progressceremony10january.eventbrite.com and 0871 902 5739. Concessions, members’ and advance tickets from 6th January are £6 and it’s £8 at the door. Juwon Ogungbe’s website is www.juwonogungbe.com and his Life Force Music CD will be on sale on the night. ‘