The 'Red Hot' series is a beautiful collection of CDs with soulful hiphop, mixed alternately with bossa nova, jazz or world music, dating back to the early nineties. It is a project that, besides creating music, is dedicated to raising AIDS awareness. The most recent CD, the fourteenth in the series, is titled 'Red Hot + Riot' and is a tribute to the Nigerian militant Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti. Creative artists like D'Angelo, Macy Gray, Sade, Common, Tony Allen, Kelis, Jorge Ben Jor, Roy Hargrove and Fela's son Femi immerse themselves, in sweltering contributions, in the message Fela Kuti had for mankind.
Not only did Kuti enjoy worldwide success as a musician, he was also a successful spiritual leader who spoke out openly against the Nigerian regime in his politically colored songs. Though this regularly got him into trouble with the authorities - he was arrested more than two hundred times - his viewpoints became even fiercer and he fought vigorously against his country's corrupt rulers. In August 1997 Fela died of AIDS complications. At this time his son Femi, who first played in his father's band and went on to establish his own group, has established quite a musical reputation for himself. Not for nothing is his nickname 'Crown Prince of Afrobeat'. At the Festival he will be performing with his sixteen-headed formation Positive Force, with special guest Roy Hargrove.