KAMASI WASHINGTON - HUB TONES

Directed by
Jenn Nkiru

Channeling the Ikwerre tribe's ceremony: Oboni, dancers tempt the hypnotic state.

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s explosive jazz-fusion cover of a Freddie Hubbard tune is elicited by Director Jenn Nkiru’s exploration of her heritage. Nkiru describes how Hub-Tones gave her an “immediate ecstatic connection,” referring to an invoked sudden desire to delve into the culture of her ancestry: her parent’s Ikwerre tribe.


Describing the background to her video’s homage Nkiru tells of, “a traditional ceremony called Oboni  in the Ikwerre tribe… The idea is through repetition, instrumentation and movement, to channel spirit, going deeper and deeper with the changing of each tone within the music till it becomes hypnotic and transcendent.” The video for Hub-tones replicates this with three female dancers who appear trance like and who we fixate on for the length of the film.


The dancers are dressed head to toe with symbolism as Nkiru considers the solidarity of Pan-Africanism. ‘I included the Pan African Flag For The Relic Travellers' Alliance by artist Larry Achiampong, make-up and crystal adornment in the style of Nina Simone and the lighting seen in the courthouse of the hearings of Anita Hill and of course — the call to Nation Time emblazoned on the sashes of each women. there are other hidden gems too but I’ll allow the audience to uncover them.”



Nkiru is represented by Iconoclast.

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