Roots Drummer Questlove Saves School Musical

Musician Ahmir Khalib Thompson, also known as Questlove, has offered to assist to fund the once a year musical at his school, the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Drama Arts (CAPA), it is discovered this week.

Questlove, who plays drums for that Grammy-award winning Hip Hop group ‘The Roots’ (the group presently occupying the position as house band for US chat TV show ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’), is also a highly sought after record producer, music journalist and DJ.

The 42-year-old drummer heard that his old school was being pushed to cancel their 2013 musical because of funding cuts and opted to ensure that next year’s show would not suffer a similar fate.

Thompson it seems that called the college’s principal, Johnny C. Whaley, JR and offered a “sizeable donation” to ensure that the performance would go ahead next year.

As a result of Questlove’s generosity as well as the efforts of other donors (for example local lawyers Charles Peruto and Abe Kasbo) the college’s annual musical tradition is anticipated to resume in 2014.

Whaley told KYW Newsradio that Thompson has “reached out to our school previously and given us goods”, he went on to say that “you’ve got to grasp when we’re an incredibly close-knit association, and when our alumni see things changing, if they have the financial ability to help you, they reach out to us.”

The annual event, which is a necessary showcase both for CAPA as an establishment and for youthful talent in the Philadelphia neighborhood, costs about $65,000 (approximately £42,000) to produce, but is not a part of CAPA’s annual budget. “There’s a particular standard of brilliance we now have,” says Whaley of that cost, “We don’t compromise when it relates to production”

The earlier show was funded by The Home and School Society, following a contribution from The William Penn Foundation.

CAPA is noted to the fostering of imaginative talent and several of the school’s graduates have gone to flourishing professions in arts and entertainment. Notable alumni include record-breaking RnB vocal group ‘Boyz II Men’, author and ‘Scrubs’ co-producer Angela Nissel and former James Brown and Sting bassist Christian McBride also numerous more.

Questlove met and befriended MC and fellow ‘Roots’ cofounder Tariq Trotter (better known as ‘Black Thought’) while both were students at CAPA.


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