Kool and the Gang to bring funk music to East Africa

Kool and The Gang is set to stage concerts in Uganda and Kenya in November. The American group remains one of the most active touring bands and is currently celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Kool and the Gang. Photo: www.iheart.com
Kool and the Gang. Photo: www.iheart.com

On 12 November, the group will take Ugandan music fans on a trip down memory lane with a spectacular concert experience at the Kololo Air Strip Grounds in Kampala. The full live band will then head to Kenya’s capital where the will stage another concert at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre on 13 November.

In 1964, Khalis Bayyan (AKA Ronald Bell) and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined Jersey City neighborhood friends Robert “Spike” Mickens, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown and Charles Smith to create a unique musical blend of jazz, soul and funk. At first calling themselves the Jazziacs, they went through various names – The New Dimensions, The Soul Town Band, Kool and The Flames – before settling on their moniker.

Over the next several years, they solidified their musical chemistry on the rough-and-tumble East Coast music scene, supporting acts like Bill Cosby, Ritchie Havens and Richard Pryor. Their self-titled 1969 debut album introduced their signature instrumental sound and fierce horn arrangements and spawned their first Billboard R'n'B chart single, ‘Kool and the Gang’.

Speaking to Eurweb media outlet Kool and the Gang's Robert ‘Kool' Bell revealed that the band is working on a new album that will be released in early 2017. Bell further revealed that the album's working title is Legacy.

The 14-track album is expected to have three to four ballad songs while the rest will be funk. Further commenting how the band has been able to sustain 43 years of touring Bell said: “I would tell you – it’s building a fan base and hitting the road in the early days.”

Ugandan entertainment outfit Talent Africa is producing the concert. Speaking about the concert, Aly Allibhai the CEO of Talent Africa stated: “At Talent Africa we are dedicated to bringing the best in worldwide entertainment to the Pearl of Africa. Kool & The Gang is coming with their full band and their stage performance is out of this world. People should get ready to celebrate!”

To date Kool & the Gang has sold over 70 million album copies worldwide and influenced the music of three generations. They’ve earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums.

In Uganda tickets to the concert in can be bought online or at Definition Shop in Acacia Mall, Liquid Silk in Bugolobi and Talent Africa and Yujo Restaurant in Nakasero.

 

 

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