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Knitting Factory Records is an independent American music label that is notable for promoting a variety of artists, including the music of deceased Nigerian political activist Fela Kuti.[2][3] The label promotes a variety of music artists including Ages and Ages,[4] Ash Black Bufflo, Cuong Vu,[5] Graham Haynes,[6] Femi Kuti, Gary Lucas,[7] Lumerians, Thomas Chapin,[1] Patrolled By Radar, Joe Morris,[8] Rachid Taha, Seun Kuti, and Shilpa Ray and her Happy Hookers.[9]

Knitting Factory Records
Knitting Factory Records Logo.png
Founded1998 (1998)[1]
GenreAlternative rock
Country of originU.S.

The label was begun in 1998 as a spinoff of the music venues called Knitting Factory and signed artist Thomas Chapin as the first artist, according to the New York Times.[1] Since then, it has promoted a variety of independent artists and groups such as Hasidic New Wave, which featured Jewish musicians combining with Senegalese Muslim musicians in 2002.[10] In 2008, while working as the Night Manager for The Knitting Factory venue at their Leonard St. location in Manhattan, Tim Putnam was approached by Knitting Factory Entertainment CEO Morgan Margolis to form a strategic partnership with Partisan Records. Together they've reissued the Fela Kuti catalogue and revived the Knitting Factory Records label. [11]

With the Partisan Records team behind it, [12] KFR has released six albums from Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti in January 2011.[3] The label released the entire catalogue of Kuti's Universal-controlled music in North America from 2009 to 2011.[13] The late Fela Kuti has fascinated millions, according to the Boston Globe.[14] A decade after his death in 1997, Kuti's music is becoming mainstream,[2] and a Broadway musical titled Fela! was created, which chronicled his life as a political agitator with more than two dozen wives through use of his music.[14] Kuti was jailed over 200 times, and his mother was murdered after being thrown out of a window.[14] His sons Seun Kuti and Femi Kuti[15] have become prominent musicians[16] as well and are promoted by Knitting Factory Records. In addition to releasing music by Fela Kuti and his sons, the label also released the original Broadway cast recording of the musical adaptation Fela! Knitting Factory reached a licensing deal with Universal Music to reissue Fela Kuti's music in the United States during 2010.[17]


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  1. ^ a b c d PETER WATROUS (February 15, 1998). "Thomas Chapin, 40, Raucous Jazz Musician". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-13. ... Mr. Chapin was the first artist signed by the club's record label, Knitting Factory Records.
  2. ^ a b c Korina Lopez (March 5, 2010). "Afrobeat icon Fela finally gets his due in music mainstream". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-05-13. ... Knitting Factory Records put out Fela's...
  3. ^ a b c Mark Kennedy, AP Drama Writer (January 11, 2011). "'Fela!' is being readied for the big screen". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-05-15. The frenetic musical biography of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti ... vinyl box set of six albums that is available next month from Knitting Factory Records.
  4. ^ a b Gordon Gano (2011-04-28). "My Morning Download 4/28/11 – AgesandAges". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-05-15. AgesandAges ... the Portland band’s debut album All Right, You Restless on Knitting Factory Records ...
  5. ^ a b Don Heckman (December 24, 2000). "Don't Overlook These Unfamiliar Names". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-13. ... Cuong Vu ... (Knitting Factory Records)...
  6. ^ a b Don Heckman (May 4, 2000). "Four From the Wide Spectrum That Is Jazz". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-13. Graham Haynes, ... Knitting Factory Records ...
  7. ^ a b "Jeff Buckley". NPR. December 2002. Retrieved 2011-05-15. ... Songs To No One 1991 - 1992 by Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas is from Knitting Factory Records. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  8. ^ a b Howard Reich (January 23, 2000). "New Facets: Joe Morris Offers A Radical Yet Seductive Approach To Avant-garde Jazz". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-05-15. Every time guitarist Joe Morris ... alluring "Many Rings" CD (on Knitting Factory Records) ...
  9. ^ a b "Artists". Knitting Factory Records website. 2011-05-15. Retrieved 2011-05-15. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  10. ^ "From the Belly of Abraham". NPR. March 2002. Retrieved 2011-05-15. ... The Jewish musicians of the band Hasidic New Wave are now playing music with a troupe of Muslim drummers from Senegal. ... The CD is on Knitting Factory Records. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ WMG News: Renowned Indie Labels Partisan and Knitting Factory Records Partner With ADA
  12. ^ Music Business Worldwide: Zena White Named MD of Partisan Records and Knitting Factory Records
  13. ^ Marc Gabriel Amigone (November 6, 2009). "FELA! Pumps New Life Into the Legacy of Fela Anikulapo Kuti". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-15. Fela Anikulapo Kuti ... Knitting Factory Records is reissuing his entire [Universal Music] catalogue in North America over the next eighteen months....
  14. ^ a b c Mesfin Fekadu, Associated Press (April 14, 2010). "Years after death, Fela nears mainstream appeal". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-05-13. Fela, the late Nigerian musician and political agitator, fascinated millions....
  15. ^ "Continuing the Afrobeat Tradition". NPR. July 30, 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-13. As son of Nigeria's legendary Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti has some big shoes to fill... Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  16. ^ NPR Staff (April 27, 2011). "Nigerian Star Femi Kuti Talks Politics And Music". NPR. Retrieved 2011-05-13. ... Fela Kuti. What you may not know is that his son Femi in some ways a bigger star, with a following far beyond the borders of his country. [...] Femi Kuti has created innovative, memorable and invigorating music.... Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  17. ^ Siddhartha Mitter (June 6, 2010). "In afterlife, Fela Kuti is having a moment". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-05-13. ... Knitting Factory Records has bought rights to the Fela catalog and is reissuing 45 titles, in batches, with the original artwork....[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Director's Cuts: Minimalism". NPR: Music. February 3, 2002. Retrieved 2011-05-13. Bill Ware: This groovy vibraphonist can wail with big jazz groups (including his own, Groove Collective), but he can also play crisply in a pared-down setting. Sir Duke is a collection of Ellingon duets with guitarist Marc Ribot on Knitting Factory Records. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

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