Getting it Back: The Story of Cymande
Special Juneteenth Event
Join us for live music by John Lee Wyatt at Eden Bar from 6:30-9:30PM, courtesy of Performing Arts Matter!
They’re the greatest band you’ve never heard of…
The British group Cymande are unsung heroes whose message of peace, love and funk sailed beyond Britain’s shores and helped shape music for five decades. Long after they stopped playing, the music played on, so they returned to play some more.
In the racially turbulent UK of the early 70s, a group of black musicians came together in South London with a common love of rhythms and a message of peace. Cymande – with the dove as their symbol – combined jazz, funk, soul and Caribbean grooves to form a unique sound. Despite success in the USA they faced indifference in their native Britain, becoming disillusioned and disbanding. But the music lived on, as new generations of artists imbibed and reworked their pioneering sounds in fresh ways. From Soul II Soul to De La Soul, MC Solaar to The Fugees, the Dove had spread Cymande‘s message far and wide, prompting their return after forty years. This is their story.
2022, UK, 92 minutes, Directed by Tim Mackenzie-Smith
“I have no words to say about this film beyond WOW and this is going to be on my best of the year list. This film came out of nowhere and just floored me”- Steve Kopian, UNSEEN FILMS
“They will go down in the hip hop archives as one of the sacred crates. If it wasn’t for songs like these there would have been no hip hop”– Jazzy Jay, Founding member of the “Zulu Nation”.
“Nobody Forgets Cymande…Once you’re introduced to it, that relationship is with you for life”– Cut Chemist, Jurassic 5 & Ozomati
“A riveting documentary, exploring how music can span across different generations and success can follow an abnormal path. As well as how the 1970s were not a welcoming time in Britain for Black artists, undermining Cymande’s attempts to reach a bigger audience.”– FILM CARNAGE
“A riveting and groove-soaked documentary that positions the group in terms of the history of some of the music they influenced while diving into their background and adoring fanbase of both celebrities, DJs and record store owners.”– Chris Connor, FLICKERING MYTH