The Gold Griot: a Soundtrack to the Life and Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat

First broadcast date: 22 December 2017

Music played the role of muse and mentor to Jean-Michel Basquiat, in both his life and art. He immersed himself in the avant-garde scene in downtown New York in the late 70s/early 80s. This was the post punk, post Studio 54 New York, where the clubs were more than just places to drink and dance. They were playgrounds for performance art, creative collaboration and cross-pollination. This was the New York that would breed the the birth and germination of house and hip hop culture. This was the New York that spawned a creative revolution that sent a shockwave throughout the world. And perhaps there is no one that epitomises this revolution more than Jean-Michel Basquiat. Artist, poet and musician, he embodied the raw, no holds barred creativity of this short period of history.

This podcast is a celebration of the music that he loved. The music he listened to while he painted, that he played in clubs, that he featured in his artwork. The podcast featureds one of his close friends and fellow artists Fred Brathwaite (Fab 5 Freddy), DJ Justin Strauss who played with him at Area and Francesco Martinelli, and a jazz scholar and contributor to the Boom For Real exhibition at the Barbican.

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Basquiat: Boom For Real is on at the Barbican until January 28, 2018.

The Gold Griot was produced, written and presented by Leanne Wright. Edited by George Haskell. Special thanks to Fred Brathwaite, Justin Strauss, Francesco Martinelli, Trim, Shabaka Hutchings and everyone else involved in the making of this story.

Tracklist

Charlie Parker – Now’s the Time
Robert Johnson Hell Hound on My Trail
Gray – Drum Mode
Blondie – Rapture
Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps
The Slits – Man Next Door (Version)
Max Romeo and Lee ’Scratch’ Perry – Chase the Devil
Liquid Liquid – Cavern
Augustus Pablo – Baby I Love You So
Was (Not Was) – Out Come The Freaks
Taana Gardner – Heartbeat (Larry Levan Club Mix)
Joyce Sims – You Are My All in All
Fearless 4 – Rockin’ It
Fab 5 Freddy – Down By Law
Rammellzee Vs. K.Rob – Beat Bop
Charlie Parker – Ornithology
Miles Davis – Straight No Chaser
Charlie Parker – Koko
Shabaka Hutchins – Basquiat

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