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National Museum of African Art Presents Vernon Reid and Artificial Afrika

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art presents musician and visual Artist Vernon Reid (of Living Colour and Black Rock Coalition) performing Artificial Afrika in celebration of Black Music Month. Reid performed in the McEvoy Auditorium at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Saturday, June 25, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A Q&A session led by DJ Adrian Loving took place afterward from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Artificial Afrika is a multimedia exploration of the West's mythologized conceptions of African culture. An up-tempo blend of live guitar and electronic sounds from Reid will complement a multiscreen video exhibit that incorporates digitally manipulated African images.Reid is the founder of the groundbreaking African American rock group and Grammy Award-winning Living Colour. Reid was No. 66 on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has played with artists ranging in style from Mariah Carey to Public Enemy, and from Mick Jagger to jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Born in London in 1958, his family immigrated to Brooklyn, NY, while he was a child; he began playing guitar at age 15, initially studying jazz and progressing quickly. In 1980, he joined drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, a cutting-edge jazz group with whom he appeared on six albums; over the course of the decade, Reid went on to work with a wide variety of experimental musicians—Defunkt, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay and Public Enemy, among others.In 1983 Reid formed his own band, Living Colour. Jagger produced "Glamour Boys" and "Which Way to America," and sent the songs, along with the rest of what would become the group's first album, Vivid, to Epic Records. One year after its release, Vivid went platinum, and the single "Cult of Personality" broke into the top 10. Reid went on to form the Black Rock Coalition in the mid-1980s. After the success of Vivid, Living Colour produced three more albums: Time's Up in 1990, Biscuits in 1991 and Stain in 1993. The group yielded two Grammy Awards, two MTV Music Video Awards, and two International Rock Awards, along with more than 4 million records sold.Reid's next project was a 1996 album called Mistaken Identity, which he produced with a group of musicians who called themselves Masque. Soon after the release of Mistaken Identity Reid was nominated for another Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental, for a song he wrote called "Every Now and Then," which appeared on a Carlos Santana box set. Reid then toured with one of his bands called My Science Project and produced an album in Bamako, Mali, for African singer Salif Keita. In 2003 Reid and Living Colour released another album, Collideoscope. In 2004 Reid produced his second album with Masque, Known Unknown.
Length: 01:46:10


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