“Grounation Day” marks the landing of Emperor Selassie I in Jamaica on April 21, 1966. Count Ossie (Oswald Williams), the legendary percussionist and founder of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, was among the artists who performed for the Emperor during his historic visit to Jamaica.
In his yard called Rockfort at Wareika Hill on the outskirts of Kingston, Count Ossie had been hosting “groundations” (from groundings, the Rasta concept of mutual teachings) featuring musicians, poets and people from all walks of life. The core of these sessions was a group of drummers playing what he named Nyabinghi, for the House of Nyabinghi, the oldest and largest and Rastafari group. Other players of instruments such as Ernest Ranglin, Cedric Brooks and the members of the Skatalites (Roland Alphonso, Don Drummond, Johnny Moore, Lloyd Knibbs) also congregated at Rockfort along with dancer Lyn Wilks, vocalist Horace Handy and the poet/orator Sam Clayton. The gatherings established Rockfort as a centre of Jamaican music and Rastafari culture, and it is through the groundations that the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari would be born in 1970, as an assemblage of the talents listed above.
The collective was an instant success in Jamaica and beyond, and international music stars such as Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Pharoah Sanders and Randy West started flocking to Rockfort to experience the ensemble. The band would represent Jamaica at the first Pan-Caribbean festival, Carifesta in Guyana in 1972.
The band released several successful singles, but their major statement arrived in 1973 with Grounation, an ambitious coming together of the musical, mystical and political imagination of Rastafari through sound. The album has inspired countless musicians across genres, and remains both exemplary of a pan African imaginary and a highlight of Jamaican music history.
Tribute performance with Shabaka & the Ancestors feat. Teba
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of Grounation, Chimurenga presents a unique performance of the music of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, with Shabaka & the Ancestors featuring the vocalist Teba.
Shabaka & the Ancestors, one of the world’s leading contemporary jazz ensembles, represent the communitarian and pan African spirit of Mystic Revelation of Rastafari. It was founded in 2015 by Barbados born, London based saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings in collaboration with Johannesburg’s leading creative musicians, each of them a bandleader in their own right.
Shabaka & the Ancestors including Siyabonga Mthembu (vox), Mthunzi Mvubu (alto & flute), Kgethi Nkotsi (trombone), Gontse Makhene (Percussion), Tumi Mogorosi (drums), Ariel Zamonsky (bass) and Shabaka Hutchings (tenor & flutes), will join forces with legendary Cape Town MC, vocalist and bassist Teba (The Original Social Worker) for this special tribute of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.
Friday, 24 February 2023
Chimurenga Factory – Woodstock, Cape Town
Pre-sold R200 via Quicket (qkt.io/EvMmff)
For more information: +27 21 4471119 // info[at]chimurenga.co.za