By Rob Duguay
For the previous three years, a beautiful outside occasion that occurs in Woonsocket through the summer season has been the Levitt AMP Music Series. A plethora of acts encompassing a wide range of kinds take the stage at River Island Park on 95 Bernon Street and it’s enjoyable for everyone of all ages. It’s a celebration of bringing individuals collectively and supporting native companies, which is right as we go down the trail of the COVID-19 aftermath. Bringing a mixture of blues, gospel, funk and soul, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou goes to be performing as a part of the collection along with his backing band The Freedom Fighters on August 13. North Providence singer-songwriter Kim Trusty can be opening up the present at 6pm.
Sekou and I just lately had a speak about his musical upbringing, the connection between music and the church, instructing non-violence and a brand new album he and his band are placing out quickly.
Rob Duguay: You grew up in rural Arkansas, so how did you get into blues and gospel while you had been younger? Was it by means of the church or was it by means of one thing else?
Rev. Osagyefo Sekou: My organic grandfather performed with each B.B. King and Albert King, I additionally began enjoying piano fairly younger. In the cultural custom of rural Arkansas, the concept is to have music be a sonic illustration of how individuals transfer their lives. It’s within the sound of the cows, it’s within the sound of how an individual drives their truck. My musical palate was developed not solely within the black church however it was additionally developed within the sonic panorama of the farm.
RD: As a reverend, what do you assume is crucial facet of the connection between music and the church?
ROS: I feel basically smart, earlier than there was a church there was music. When we take a look at the traditional caves, there’s drawings of musical devices as a result of music supplies sound particularly so people can articulate the best heights and the deepest depths with out saying phrases. It’s a framework of a sure form of musicality that’s deeply vital, it retains observe of that. Secondly, music is for me a releasing modality as a manner that helps us come to know the world in several methods and to see and specific ourselves past our present social circle. Music is the harbinger of pleasure.
RD: You’re a famous activist by means of your instructing of non-violent resistance techniques across the nation. What or who impressed you to show these methods of non-violence?
ROS: I’m a baby of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, also called SNCC, that was based by Ella Baker and at one level led by Stokely Carmichael. My cousin Houston Cobb was the founding father of the SNCC department in Arkansas. I’ve been skilled in nonviolence since I used to be 19 and I see it as a necessity as a result of I don’t assume anybody can win in an armed wrestle within the United States. I additionally don’t need to jail youngsters and tear gasoline the harmless, I don’t need to turn out to be the hate that I’m making an attempt to conquer. Non-violence is one means to perform that within the context of our nation.
RD: Absolutely, I completely agree. It’s nice that you’ve this strategy. During the protests in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, you had been there and made a speech. Was it like so that you can be in that surroundings with a lot unrest all around the metropolis due to police brutality?
ROS: I moved to Ferguson and lived there for 5 years. While I used to be on the protests I used to be arrested 4 occasions and I confronted as much as a yr in jail, together with federal time. It was each a bleak and shiny second in American democracy as a result of it offered us the chance to wrestle with the legacy of white supremacy and the continued torture of black our bodies. The hopeful second felt like a revolutionary second however it’s clear that the revolution didn’t occur.
RD: I can solely think about it being a tense time. It’s been a number of years because you launched your most up-to-date album, Live In Memphis, in 2018. What are you engaged on as of late with regards to music? Can we count on a brand new report from you within the close to future
ROS: We obtained a brand new report that we’re engaged on, it’s taken somewhat bit extra time due to the pandemic however we’ve been again within the studio since late spring. Hopefully we’ll have it out within the fall, this report is gonna be extra funk and soul than gospel and blues. It’s gonna take you thru the course of a weekend, from a barbecue on Friday to a juke joint on Saturday to church on Sunday morning.