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Zoocrü And The Soundtrack For Black Power Worldwide

Zoocrü is a Durham progressive jazz combo embedded in African diasporic music. They describe themselves more simply — Zoocrü is Black American music.Zoocrü drummer Jonathan Curry talks with host Frank Stasio about the music theory and social justice behind Fela Kuti, Max Roach and other influences.

Drummer and founding member Jonathan Curry wants listeners to understand the different lineages in Black American music. Between songs, the audience learns about the band’s influences and intentions — how and why they draw on North Carolina legends like John Coltrane and Max Roach while incorporating rhythms and licks from Ethiopia and West Africa. Their first album, “Lucid,” is a celebration of local stars positioned within the global diaspora, featuring spoken word by Dasan Ahanu along with contributions by trumpeter Al Strong and others.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Curry about the group’s new album, which is ready for release but on hold due to COVID-19, and the lively conversation between Black percussionists worldwide. Alongside Curry, Zoocrü includes saxophonist and keyboardist Alan Thompson, Christian Sharp on bass, and guitarist Russell Favret.

Copyright 2020 North Carolina Public Radio

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Grant Holub-Moorman is a producer for The State of Things, WUNC's daily, live talk show that features the issues, personalities and places of North Carolina.