This track is pure happiness and celebration of life. Legendary Afro-Beat drummer Tony Allen was Fela Kuti's drummer for many years, and eventually put out several albums under his own name. Allen's love of jazz and upbringing in Nigeria led him to fuse jazz and Yoruban rhythms to build the foundation of Afro-Beat. Returning to his early influences, he released a jazz album in tribute to the late, great Art Blakey in September of this year.
I purchased and read Tony Allen's autobiography earlier this year, and it was quite inspiring to me, as a drummer, to read about all of his struggles and how he persisted and worked consistently to be who he is today - a drummer who many other drummers still try to emulate. His groove is unmatched in the genre, and he has influenced musicians of different generations across genres. Brian Eno is quoted as calling him "perhaps the greatest drummer ever."
"Celebrate" is from Tony Allen's 2009 album Secret Agent. I can't help but start dancing and celebrating while listening to this song. The chorus of young voices saying "celebrate your life, celebrate your everyday life I say ohhh..." and the funky horn lines over the seamless groove will give you every reason to forget your troubles.
You can learn more about Tony Allen here:
About the Curator, Caitlin Moss:
Drum set player and percussionist Caitlin Moss was born and raised in Los Angeles. She has performed at such venues as the Skirball Center and the Ford Amphitheatre and has toured nationally and internationally, including performances in Mexico and Cuba, with Grammy-winning bands La Santa Cecilia and Quetzal. She performs and records in Los Angeles as a freelance musician and as a member of several original bands. Caitlin is also teaching drum set, percussion, piano, and music production classes at a youth arts center operated by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.