Black Fire Art Exhibit slide presentation.
Black Fire Art is a multimedia exhibit of art work associated with the Black Fire record label. The exhibit consists of record album covers, paintings, illustrations, logos, photos and memorabilia created for the record company between 1975 and 1999.
Black Fire Records is an independent music company founded in 1975 in Washington, DC by the late music producer, promoter, entrepreneur, and radio deejay, Jimmy Gray. The company produced and released jazz, funk, African, reggae and spoken word recordings primarily by artists in the DMV, the Mid-Atlantic region around the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Beginning with the critical acclaim of the company’s first LP release, Oneness of Juju’s African Rhythms, Black Fire was able to extend its reach beyond its regional base. With subsequent releases by Oneness of Juju, Wayne Davis, Experience Unlimited and eventually with others, such as creative saxophonists Hamiet Bluiett and Byard Lancaster, the label extended its reach internationally to Europe and Japan. Gray and his partner, J. Plunky Branch, leader of Oneness of Juju, wanted to build a record company that could be a foundation and springboard for progressive musicians and artists from and to the world.
Before forming Black Fire, both Gray and Branch had been associated with Strata-East Records of New York and they had witnessed first-hand how that iconic label and other record companies had been so important to the promulgation of new music. Their vision for Black Fire was to create an independent record label with an eclectic discography that spanned various genres of contemporary Black music combined with visual imagery that promoted progressive political and cultural agendas.
The artworks in this exhibit along with the music created the Black Fire aura and now constitute its legacy. We hope you will be inspired by this 45 year history and by our collective Afro-future.
A black fire burns at the core of Afro-progressivism. It is the shining light of our soul and a source of our power to change the world… – J. Plunky Branch, President of Black Fire Music
Consciousness! Resistance! Forward! Black Fire!