West& Round 2 with Chop and Quench:

Brooklyn was definitely the place to be Memorial Day weekend. Starting with Dance Africa at Bam/ Bazaar Street Festival, which concluded on Memorial Day.  Following attending the annual show/ festival thriving on the music, dance, fashion, and art of the African Diaspora my spirited was definitely lifted and I wanted to participate. So I figured what better way to end a wonderful evening than with Chop and Quench formerly known as the Fela!?! This was my 2nd time attending Chop and Quench residency at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn. As promised this time around I brought my entire crew pictured below. I needed them see for themselves what I was raving about and of course the band did not disappoint.

Chop and Quench weekly residency concludes June 2nd 2014, so I urge you to attend before it’s too late. Every week the band is joined by a special guest and this week was the Ghanaian-American Powerhouse Abena Koomson.  Abena played Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Fela’s mother) in Fela! On Broadway and also was the former vocal captain. She was right next us dancing and singing along until it was her time to take the stage. She belted out the classic “Lady” and all the ladies and the room owned their Queendom.

The night was absolutely perfect. Watching my friends thoroughly enjoy themselves as the Afro-Beat Rhythms held them hostage. Seeing them dance and smile truly made my night worth it. I couldn’t keep this experience to myself. My Forces of Nature dance sister and Fela Queen (Fela! Tour) Tricia Taitt also owned the stage when pulled up to do a solo. Another major highlight was when the band performed “Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense.” I could not compose myself and to top it off they concluded with the high-octane Fela! On Broadway version of “Kere Kay.” That was it for me!

I have to give a special shout out to two of the beautiful Fela! Queens Oneika Phillips and Shakira Marshall. You ladies gave us every bit of life and were total sweethearts. I could only hope that you felt our energy from the front as we paid homage to art of working our Nyash. Thank you Chop and Quench for yet another incredible show and your unparallel musicianship. We all left the knitting factory elated! Don’t miss out on your opportunity have this experience, there is only 1 last show before Chop and Quench residency concludes and tell them Jerijah sent you!

-J. West


West& Chop and Quench (Formerly the Fela! Band)

Monday Night I treated myself to go see the Chop and Quench during their residency at the Knitting Factory In BK. This weeks special guest was the incredible Les Nubians! Chop and Quench features the musicians from the Tony award winning Musical Fela! along with Sahr Ngaujah (Fela) and 3 of the Queens.

The high octane two hour set had the entire venue drenched in sweat . We all got a few lessons in the art of Nyash. It was impossible to deny the Afro-beat. I was thoroughly impressed by how great the band was. Each musician showcased their tremendous artistry and showmanship during each solo as well did a damn good cover of some Fela Kuti’s greatest hits . The Queens were simply incredible vamping through out the entire night and supporting Sahr with backing vocals. There were way to many moments the Queens had us hype, not to mention that all three woman were gorgeous.

They did it all from “Sorrow Tears and Blood,” “Lady,"Upside Down,” Water No Get Enemy,“and "Zombie” to name a few. My 3 personal highlights was during the audience participation session when my bro Frank and I took solo’s and did what we do best! Second would be the collab of Chop and Quench and Les Nubians for “Water No Get Enemy.” Last but certainly not least when Les Nubians performed my favorite song Africa4theFuture with the Queens singing background. That song is truly the epitome of my life. As a dancer choreographer I am constantly preserving the art of Africa Dance with youth. I was so elated and left the venue full. Long live the legacy of Fela Kuti, Chop and Quench is doing an outstanding job with the preservation of the legend.

All images were taken by yours truly Westampersand: 

Below is footage of “Water No Get Enemy”


I suggest everyone makes it a priority to go see Chop and Quench at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn before their residency closes June 2nd, I know I’ll definitely be back we all my peoples!


Captivated by the Afro-Beat sounds of Chop and Quench. I was so inspired that I had to take a solo at the bands closing night at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn June 2nd  2014.  Special shout out to Dex R. Jones for capturing this great shot of me in my zone. Long live the legacy of Fela Kuti!

Photography: Dexter R. Jones
© All Rights Reserved

 See his full amazing photo set at:


 -J. West