This video features interpretations of two iconic African American spirituals (Over My Head & Swing Low Sweet Chariot) by Reverand Gayle Heyward and the Luis Augusta Mosely (LAM) Inspirational Choir on Staten Island.
Steve Bhola of the Steve Massive Rhythm Band performs and discusses the multidimensional rhythms that make up J'Ovuert Rhythm band's with Ray Allen, professor of music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.
The song, Chedoe, performed by Salieu Suso, is like poetry and story that is created by the Jali but it is informed by the community. As a djeli or griot, I am equal part oral historian, poet, storyteller, and musician. My art is found in the music, the story being told, the syncopation between voice, and Kora, and the ability to keep the audience engaged and participate.
The concert featured artists from Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico singing décima verses in the manner of those countries. Décima is a verse form of ten lines consisting of eight syllables each. It originated in Spain in the 1500s but has spread throughout Latin America.
Currently, an "Extempo King" is crowned each year as part of the carnival in Trinidad. Three-time Extempo King Black Sage (Phillip Murray) has performed in New York a number of times along with other calypso masters including Mighty Gypsy (Winston Peters). In this scene, filmed at the Tropical Paradise, a Trinidadian restaurant in Brooklyn, Black Sage duels against a relative newcomer to the scene, Fat Man George. These picong performances preserve an important part of Afro-Caribbean culture and heritage.