Friday, August 28, 2009

Enyenison Enkama CD Release party Sept. 5th Joe's Pub at 9:30PM


Join us on this historic occasion. The first time an Abakua record is made on U.S. soil featuring the talents of Roman Diaz, Pedro Martinez, and Angel Guerrero with special guest Steve Turre. Listen to "Eribo Eriboñe" just one of the tracks off the new album "Ecobio Enyenison".


Habana | Harlem (TM)
Sept 5th 9:30 PM at Joes Pub
The CD Release of Ekobio Enyenison. Don’t miss Enyenison Enkama’s world premiere performance; featuring Roman Diaz, Angel Guerrero, Pedro Martinez and Special Guest Steve Turre.
For press comp's, CD review copy and artist interviews, contact:
Neyda Martinez, Founder/Exectuive Producer, Habana | Harlem (TM) Cell: 917 656 7846;
Onel Mulet, Artistic Producer, Habana | Harlem (TM) Cell: 718 909 6464;
Tickets on sale now! Only $15!,com_shows/task,view/Itemid,40/id,4752
In 2001, after many years of dedicated research and hard work on the part of Dr. Ivor Miller and the members of Enyenison Enkama Nigerian Ékpè and Cuban Abakuá met to display their related traditions, likely for the first time since separation through slavery some 200 years ago. The mutual excitement of this summit meeting, held at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, led to several further meetings, each incrementally larger. When the Obong (paramount ruler) of Calabar visited the USA in 2003, the Abakuá who arrived to greet him received invitations to visit Calabar. In 2004 the Governor of Cross River State, his Excellency Donald Duke, arranged for two Abakuá to visit an Ékpè festival in Calabar, where the Cubans won the hearts and respect of Ékpè leaders. In 2007, the Musée Quai Branly of Paris invited two groups, one Nigerian Ékpè, and another Cuban Abakuá, to perform onstage for a series of five concerts exploring common themes in the music, chants, body masks, and visual signs of each group. The conversation that unfolded onstage demonstrated to both groups the significance of their links.

This recording by Proyecto Enyenisón Enkama features many world class musicians such as Pedro Martinez, Paquito D'Rivera, Oriente Lopez and Steve Turre in a brilliant effort to continue that conversation, using the same form in which both Ékpè and Abakuá have recorded their own histories: ritual phrases with symbolic rhythms. Members of Proyecto Enyenison Enkama have been leaders in the conversation with their African counterparts at each stage in the process, which certainly began before the first encounter in 2001. In 1997, the Havana rumba group Yoruba Andabo’s recording of ‘Enyenison Enkama 2’ (arranged and chanted by ‘Roman’ Díaz’) became the basis for the Brooklyn encounter; it included an historic chant evoking Efí Ebutón, the first Cuban lodge, that Nigerians interpreted as identifying ‘Obutong’, an important Calabar community. In 2000, Angel Guerrero led the creation of ‘Ibiono’ in Havana, the first full length CD devoted entirely to Abakuá ritual chanting that evoked historic lineages in Cuba and the foundation of Ékpè in Africa. Following this trajectory, in ‘Ecobio Enyenison’, Cuban Abakuá chant their history and proclaim their faith in their inherited traditions.

The phrases of each composition describe sacred geographies (maps) of West African source communities, as well as histories (epic deeds) of the African founders. By evoking these inherited chants, members of ‘Proyecto Enyenison Ekama’ praise their teachers, as well as all those Abakuá leaders of the past who maintained their faith in the teachings of those Carabalí migrants who established Abakuá. By chanting within the context of contemporary arrangements played by vanguard jazz musicians, they celebrate a cultural victory of continuity and evolution across time and space, as well as offer a vision of the expansion of their traditions into the future.

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