05.04.13The Fight Goes on - "Fela!" Returns to the Ahmanson

Destiny’s Child alum Michelle Williams playing Kuti’s L.A. muse Sandra Isadore

04.25.13Fela Kuti's Muse: A Q&A with Sandra Izsadore

Played by Michelle Williams in Fela!, Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s muse, L.A. activist Sandra Izsadore, has her say.

03.27.13Michelle Williams finds her destiny with road tour of "Fela!"

Williams has appeared on Broadway in "Aida," "Chicago" and the national tour of "The Color Purple." In "Fela!" she plays Sandra Isadore, a politically savvy woman who met the legendary Nigerian singer in 1969.

01.29.13Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child Joins Fela! National Tour Jan. 29

Destiny's Child star Michelle Williams joins the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Fela! as Sandra Isadore beginning Jan. 29 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.

01.18.13Michelle Williams reveals fight with depression

“Sandra is our key for an American audience to look at Fela and understand a bit more where Fela may have been coming from," Garcia said. “And an American audience can very much identify with Michelle Williams because she’s of our time. She really becomes a vehicle for people to learn about Fela and for people to understand why Fela is relevant in the United States."


01.18.13Michelle Williams joining tour of ‘Fela!’

“Fela!" _ a biography of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti _ will then play 16 cities, including Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle and Nashville, Tenn. Williams will play Fela’s African-American lover, Sandra Isadore.

01.06.13 Michelle Williams joins tour for Fela Kuti stage musical

Singer Michelle Williams is putting her former Destiny’s Child performance skills to good use by joining the cast of Fela! on their national tour. Michelle, who previously rocked Broadway in Aida & The Color Purple, will play “Sandra" in the production that kicks off January 29th in Washington, D.C.

01.06.13Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child to Join Fela! National Tour

Destiny's Child star Michelle Williams will join the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Fela! as Sandra Isadore when the production returns to Washington, D.C. Jan. 29 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

12.26.12Afrobeat for Freedom: Nigeria's First Family of Musical Activism By Massoud Hayoun

It was 1969 when Sandra Izsadore first heard Fela Kuti. The Nigerian musical icon, more commonly known as just Fela, was performing at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He sang in his native tongue, Yoruba.

"I asked him what he had been singing about, and he told me, 'I was singing about soup,' so I started laughing," Izsadore said.

10.05.12And the Afrobeat Goes On for Sandra Izsadore

As she reflects on how she fought for social injustice, human rights activist and music composer Sandra Izsadore continues to promote the fight for change in domestic communities and for societies abroad. Recognized historically as the ‘mother of Afrobeat’, Sandra infamously established the genre with the historical, Nigerian music composer and political individualist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela’s relationship with Sandra dramatically influenced the message and sound of his music, his political beliefs and his views on African Americans.

08.14.12 The Strange Love Affair Between America and the Afrobeat Superstar

Los Angeles proved to be an awakening of sorts for Fela. It was there that he met and moved in with singer Sandra Smith (now Sandra Izsadore), an activist and former Black Panther whom Fela often credited with his political education.

07.14.12NY1 Theater Review: "Fela!"

Paulette Ivory as love interest Sandra and Melanie Marshall, playing Fela's noble mother but they're both excellent.

07.14.12Curiocity: Fela! Cast Member On The Man, The Legacy

I play a character, Sandra Izsadore, who was a member of the Black Panthers as well as a Civil Rights activist in the late 70s. And she met Fela when he was touring in Los Angeles.

05.10.12MsAfropolitan EXCLUSIVE Interview with Sandra Izsadore

Even in a society were polygamy is practiced, with twenty-seven wives, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti—one of the greatest men to have lived—had unusually many women in his life. But there are two particular women that the Fela story wouldn’t be complete without. His mother, women’s rights champion Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti and Sandra Izsadore, his lady, and the woman who influenced and inspired Fela towards his activism, the one who “Africanized" him, as Fela himself said.

04.24.12Fantastic ‘Fela!’

“This isn’t one of those ‘Oh wasn’t that wonderful, darling’ theater experiences," said Paul-ette Ivory, who plays Black Panther Sandra Izsadore.

04.13.12The Magic of FELA!

We learn how his music goes from high life party beats to his creation of a new sound called “Afrobeat." We also see how Fela meets Sandra Izsadore, the woman who ended up playing a big part in his life as an activist during his visit to the United States.

03.22.12Becoming ‘Fela!’ — The Afrobeat musical that surprised Broadway

In 1969, Fela and his band made their first trip to theUnited States, and while here he was introduced to the Black Power movement by way of another influential woman in his life, Sandra Isadore, who was involved with the radical Black Panther Party.

02.06.12Afrobeat for Freedom: Nigeria's First Family of Musical Activism By Massoud Hayoun

It was 1969 when Sandra Izsadore first heard Fela Kuti. The Nigerian musical icon, more commonly known as just Fela, was performing at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He sang in his native tongue, Yoruba.

"I asked him what he had been singing about, and he told me, 'I was singing about soup,' so I started laughing," Izsadore said.

12.23.11`Fela!' an energetic celebration of Nigerian music icon

Not to be overlooked is a terrific Paulette Ivory, who plays Sandra, an American who challenges Kuti's ideas of women and introduces him to the teachings of Malcolm X in the song "Upside Down."

12.22.11A most amazing 'Fela!'

Paulette Ivory plays another key character, Sandra, who meets Fela in the U.S. and finds a kindred soul. The woman who inspired the role, Sandra Izsadore, was in the opening night audience and joined the cast in their celebratory curtain call.

12.22.11FELA! Simply fabulous!

While visiting Los Angeles, Fela discovered the Black Power Movement; Sandra, an African American woman, and the Black Panther movement. This meeting impacted his life and his music. That’s when this energetic production took on a whole new life.

12.18.11Review: ‘Fela!’ at the Ahmanson Theatre

He explains that he set out to “marry high-life to cool to jazz," when, in an epiphanic moment, he meets an American named Sandra (Paulette Ivory), who introduces him to Black Power Man. The American political movement would influence his life’s work in Lagos.

12.18.11Fela! — Occupy Africa!

During his travels in the land of the not so free, Fela met the brave Sandra (British-born Paulette Ivory), an African American revolutionary. When Fela proclaims he wants to go to bed with her, Sandra cracks wise about his “skewed idea of a Marxist imperative." The Black militant proceeds to school Fela in Black Consciousness, and there’s a great dance number with hoofers reading books by Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael (who married another great African singer, Miriam Makeba, as is recounted in the great new doc Mama Africa).

12.18.11National Tour Theater Review: FELA! (starting at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles)

Paulette Ivory brings a sinuous sexuality to Sandra, the woman who inspires Fela.

12.18.11Theater review: 'Fela!' at the Ahmanson Theatre

In Los Angeles, his consciousness was raised by a character named Sandra (Paulette Ivory), who challenged his assumptions about women and turned him on to the writings of Malcolm X, Angela Davis and Martin Luther King Jr. (The real Sandra was in attendance Wednesday and celebrated onstage with the cast during the curtain call.)

11.25.11World Footprints Radio Washington DC

Known as the mother of Afro-Beat, music legend Sandra Iszadore has lent her voice to advance humanitarian causes. As a civil rights activist Sandra also helped shape the music and the message of Africa’s revolutionary voice Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

09.21.11In Step with Fela! Yeah-yeah!

Fela! is one of the best productions we’re seen in a long time and it is “must see" theatre. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll certainly sing and dance throughout the play. You’ll definitely leave wanting a little more. Opening night gave us a wonderful surprise – the “real" Sandra Iszadore, who stopped by to join the celebration.

07.22.11Live review: Seun Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80 at California Plaza

Drawing on the frantic combination of funk and West African highlife, juju and Yorumba music, Seun was firmly in control when singer-activist Sandra Izsadore, in a resplendent blue dress and massive afro, came out to sing. Izsadore is best known as Fela's Los Angeles muse, and her role in his L.A. life as a conduit into the Black Panther's philosophies in '69 was given great weight in the “Fela!" musical. As she came onstage, those who understood that past acknowledged the connection.

06.07.11Fela Kuti's voice still rings loud and true

In 1969 he traveled to the U.S. and met Sandra Smith of the Black Panthers at an NAACP gig in Los Angeles. They became lovers. She gave him Malcolm X's biography to read and told him about Black Power.

02.08.11FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SANDRA IZSADORE “QUEEN MOTHER OF AFROBEAT" NIGERIA
Los Angeles, CA, February 7, 2011– Afro Beat creator Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s former Lady Love Sandra
Izsadore is back on the American music scene with a vengeance. After several years out of the spotlight, Sandra
Izsadore is about to release her new CD titled Nigeria. Sandra is a singer-composer who during the early 1970s met
and revitalized Africa’s revolutionary genius Fela Anikulapo-Kuti upon his arrival to America.
Sandra’s new CD Nigeria is dedicated to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and is the rebirth of the Afro Beat sounds and
beyond, created by her and Fela in the 1970s. Sandra uses music as her message to raise social consciousness and
calling for positive changes around the world. Songs entitled “Nigeria", “Tell the Truth Fidel" and “Healthcare
for Profit". Her single “Nigeria" came about after a visit back to Nigeria in 2006. Her hope is that this will
remind the youths of Fela’s message and keeping it alive. “HealthCare for Profit" came about with the wake of
the Obama presidency and the opponents of his healthcare bill. She realizes the importance and need for this bill and
giving a voice on something that she is involved with on a daily basis as a Social Worker.
Her vocals on these tracks are powerful, the music is infectious and listening makes you want to jump up and dance.
There is something for every genre with a mix of R&B, Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Hip Hop & Afrobeat Guitar Rhythms.
It is happy music with deeply rooted positive messages that speak to the soul.
The Tony nominated Broadway Musical FELA! about the life of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has brought on a lot of buzz
about this intriguing, political, musical genius and his then Lady Love Sandra Izsadore back to the forefront. Sandra
was a young, vibrant, socially conscious woman growing up in Los Angeles when she met Fela Kuti. She was very
interested in the struggles of her people so she joined the Black Panther party. She was also thirsty for knowledge of
Africa. Fela, who was already very political and a musical genius, was also fighting for his people’s rights in
Nigeria. He too was interested in all things black and wanted to know about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and
the struggles of African-Americans. Upon meeting, they had an unbelievable connection. While living with Sandra
in Los Angeles, Fela’s music and political ideas radically changed. Sandra and Fela collaborated on developing his
musical talent even further and his lyrical content drastically changed. His sound was now a mix of Jazz, Funk,
World and his native Yoruba...Afro Beat music was born. Sandra is considered the Queen Mother of Afro Beat.
Sandra moved to Nigeria with Fela in the 1970s. She is the only featured vocalist on any of Fela’s music. Her song
“Upside Down" was a hit in 1977 in Africa and Europe. It is still considered a classic of Afro Beat music and can
be heard in clubs and on the air waves worldwide today. The remix of “Upside Down" by DJ Mike Love featuring
Jay Z and Sandra was released in 2008.
We are thrilled that this brilliant songstress is back on the music scene. Sandra happily resides in California with her
husband and daughter and has been busy in the public sector as a social worker. She continues to write and produce
and is currently penning a book about her life with Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
For more information, promo requests or to set up an interview, please contact: SMB Entertainment, Byron
McNeish (323) 229-3032, www.smbent.com (Los Angeles) or Maurine Blake (646) 294-5776 (New York)
###

03.07.10Music Of 1970s Lagos

01.08.10BWW Interviews: FELA!'s Saycon Sengbloh

10.01.06Sandra Izsadore Excerpts of Fela Vol.1

The long awaited, much anticipated eclectic collection of world beats, and Afro Beat sheik rythms, from the Mother of Afrobeat her, Nana Sandra Isadore is here. True to he calling she a giver, and she gives a little something, something for everybody's body. If you like it soft and smooth, e-dey, if you like it hot like "fire" e-day. Food Mood, music for the mind and sounds for the soul of the body, It's ooh so good. You go enjoy!!