The Jazzcat

Munyungo Jackson and Friends set the World Stage a Blaze!!!

by on Jul.24, 2004, under News


Munyugo Jackson and Friends

Many Additional Photos

Click on each picture to see video of performance

There are moments in life when all things become one. The

elements of the universe come together and in an instant, life is created.

Blessed are those who bear witness to the wonders and marvels of such divine

intervention. A new spirit arises and the sound of a pulse beats with the

rhythm that is unique all unto itself, for this miracle can never be created

exactly the same again.

image Percussion Madness!

Congas, Flute, Guitar, Violin, Bass, Percussion and Poetry

radiate from the epicenter of Lemeirt

Park. Packed wall to wall

and spilling into the streets, the people of the neighborhood of 43rd

and Degnan are summoned to experience the power of the music emanating through

the doors of the World Stage. The Verizon Music Festival sponsored Master

Percussionist Munyungo Jackson and a musical jazz journey took us all over the

world and back.

imageDon Littleton 

From the depths Africa, through Cameroon

to Panama

to and back to South Central, the music from the motherland that has

transcended through hundreds of years beat down upon the tiny four walls of the

World Stage. Its dominating influence was poured right into the open and

willing souls of those who came to quench their beings with an enriching and

everlasting musical experience. It was so thick up in the place! Thunder,

Lightning, Earthquakes, Tsunamis and all other powerful forces of nature could

have been caused by this butterfly effect.

image Derf on Flute


It is so wonderful to see the people in a community come

together to meet and share artistic, cultural and musical experiences with their

neighbors. Imagine how peaceful the world would be if in every community,

music, especially jazz music, was the common thread that wove the seams of all

colors, religions and beliefs into a fabric of love everlasting!

imageKaren on Violin!


Instruments were meant to be played like this! The beats of

the hearts of the people matched those of the powerful drums. Screams and

hollers of elation involuntarily rang out of the mouths of those present like a

healing force reaching in and pulling out pain, misery and despair. Was this

Devil music? No! It was hedonistic, earthmoving, creative, cacophonic musical


imageMunyungo Jackson

Munyungo’s players are like superheroes, each possessing

their own special power as they join forces to rid the world of the evil foes

of bad music. With capes flowing in the wind and musical muscles that protrude

from leather and lycra, the goal of this extraordinary band of players is “to

groove, talk little and have a bunch of fun!” 

The whole band is a rhythm section.On Percussion, Munyungo

Jackson joined with Don Littleton, the great drummer Ndugu Chanceler providing

timeless time on Drums. From Cameroon,

electric bass player Andre Manga displayed some phenomenal melodic and funky

sounds. On Flute, Bottle, and Percussion the always amazing Derf Reklaw with an

unequivocal mixture of yodeling, throat singing and extraordinary African

chants and calls. Wayne Vaughn on piano playing percussive melodies,

complimenting and providing a solid foundation for all miracles to happen. Oh

my goodness, the fierce and dynamic Karen Briggs piercing our souls on Violin

with a tone that reaches up and touches the spiritual center of solar system

and reigns supreme creative energy down upon her disciples. On guitar and

vocals, from Panama,

Rogelio Mitchell plays wonderfully and sings with a joyful voice!

imageMs Iona

Poetic skills abound from Iona Morris, “Ms I”, as she posses

and speaks the truth about the curvaceous kryptonite that can call all men to

attention, drain their power and leave them in a state of blissful weakness!

Sitting in also on guitar, in a duet with Munyungo, was 20 year old soulful

sensation Amanda Dumas, who sings her songs young love and Star Buck


imageAmanda Dumas


This was certainly a special night to remember. Those of us

present to experience such miraculous set of music all leave with a nugget of

joy that bonds us together. People talk about times in their lives and these

stories are passed down on to other generations. The spirit of good music and

good times last forever!

LeRoy Downs



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