The Healing Concert
Healing the collective wounds of slavery through music
(A concept by Noel Ekwabi)
Patronized by Manu Dibango and Quincy Jones
The institution of slavery was both a crime against humanity and a profound moral wrong. It destroyed the lives of millions of enslaved Africans and continues to affect their descendants today. The unhealed, unacknowledged collective wounds of slavery demand acknowledgement and treatment; children of the enslaved and their ancestors, a historically divided people, deeply need one another to assuage these frozen traumas.
The ARK Jammers believe that even though none of us is directly responsible for the wounds of the past, we are ALL responsible for the needed acts of repair. Healing the wounds of slavery requires many consistent, positive actions and interactions over a long period of time. To contribute to the healing process, the ARK Jammers are organizing the Healing Concert.
About the Healing Concert
What: The Healing Concert is a musical fiesta which will bring together well-known artists from the USA, South Africa, France, Brazil and Cameroon on a stage of brotherhood, to remind humanity of an evil past and say, through art, dance and song: "Never Again!"
In addition to having one of Africa's best national soccer teams (with such soccer heroes as Roger Mila and Eto'o Fils), Cameroon, also known as «Africa in Miniature» produces more slap-happy, fingerboard-shredding bass virtuosos per capita than any other place on Earth. Among the many Cameroonians who are first-class players in high demand on the jazz-fusion circuit are Armand Sabal- Lecco, Richard Bona, Noel Ekwabi, and Etienne Mbappé.
It is the important place of the bass in Cameroons' music that inspired this intercultural concert featuring an exceptional musical conversation between bass icon Marcus Miller, and bass virtuoso Noel Ekwabi. During that special moment, An American and a Cameroonian artists, two historically-seperated brothers, will get together, to welcome home over 65 Cameroonian-Americans. A solid and groovy bass, playing Cameroon's complex syncopated rythms, will jam with a solid and groovy bass playing American great melodic slap, to create a unique musical dialogue that will emphasize our message of reconnection, healing, and unity.
This concert is one of the defining activities of the ARK Jammers' Ancestry Reconnection Program (ARP) Cameroon 2011, the second episode of a reconnection effort to bring descendants of enslaved Cameroonians back to their roots. The full program is scheduled to run from December 27, 2011 to January 5, 2012.
When: January 1st, 2012
Where: Palais des Congres.
Why: To foster collective healing of slavery's wounds by:
-Bringing people from Africa, the Americas and Europe to journey together and fostering a spirit of brotherhood and peace.
-Providing an opportunity for a collective apology for the slave trade
-Celebrating the incalculable contributions of enslaved Africans to the world, and honoring their amazing capacity for survival.
-Promoting unity amongst Africans on the continent and Africans in the Diaspora.
- From the USA: Marcus Miller
- From South Africa : Hugh Masekela
- From Brazil : Régina Ribeiro
- From Cameroon : Les Jumeaux De Masao
- ARK Jammers artists: Jay Lou Ava, Donny Elwood, Noel Ekwabi, Avline Ava - And many surprising appearances!
About the Musical Director Noel Ekwabi
Bassist, Guitarist, Percussionist, Drumer, Singer, Arranger, Composer, Producer.
Noël Ekwabi is one of the greatest African musicians of the moment. A truly gifted musician and captivating performer, this gold medallist of the Marseille Conservatoire is considered one of the best bass players in the world. His aptitude for leading a band often gets him to serve as the musical director to many renowned music figures such as legendary Manu Dibango (with whom he worked for ten years, co-producing and co-arranging two of his latest albums). In constant demand, yet humble and discret, Noel has an impressive recording and performance catalog which is noteworthy for its caliber and its diversity. His musical artistry is certainly best expressed in his masterful integration of different musical genres, combining all the varied musical influences which define his artistic personality.
Now serving as the ARK Jammers Connection's co-founder and Vice President, he is also the Music Director of all ARK Jammers concerts, which in terms of quality, makes the organization's special events even more special.