Archive for the ‘afrobeat’ Category

Chicago Afrobeat ProjectAfrobeat music does not stand still. Like their funky African forefathers, the Chicago Afrobeat Project (CAbP) will keep the crowds moving.

The band mixes polyrhythmic, infectious grooves with political awareness and even hints of hip hop with their horns. The group will be strutting their stuff at the Cedar Cultural Center on Friday, October 5th at 8:00 pm in Minneapolis.

At each performance, the percussion and sharp horn lines of CAbP stir up energetic momentum, sweeping listeners directly to the dance floor time and time again. They’ll also be celebrating the release of their new album (A) Move to Silent Unrest. Tickets are $12 in advanced and $15 the day of the show.

You can check out their sounds at MySpace or from their extensive collection of audio files listed at their website.

Listen to Free CAbP MP3s

Chicago Afrobeat Project

Zambi – An alternate album mix with uncensored vocals from Poetree Chicago.
West Ganji – From the band’s Nov. 12th, 2005 CD Release Party at Martyrs Live in Chicago.


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It’s not often when I’m surfing iTunes or looking through CD’s that I wonder, gosh, what would Antibalas listen to? But then I stumbled onto a post from Spinner that answered just that question. They asked Martin Perna, barry sax player for Antibalas, to run down his five favorite albums that fall under the vague label of World Beat:

1. ‘Os Afro Sambas,’ Baden Powell: Baden Powell is one of my favorite Brazilian guitarists. This project was from the ’60s, I think … really lushly orchestrated music of the Afro-Brazilian orixas.

2. ‘Cymande,’ Cymande: One of my all-time favorite bands — Caribbean expats in London in the late ’60s making West Indian hippie music. Find dozens of famous hip-hop samples on this album.

3. ‘Best of …,’ Victor Jara: Jara is the Bob Dylan of Chile, except that he was kidnapped by the army, tortured, dismembered and killed in front of thousands of other political prisoners during the CIA-funded Dirty War.

4. ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense,’ Fela and Egypt 80: One of my favorite Fela tunes — full of subtlety and sophistication. At this point, he had stopped calling his music “Afrobeat” and referred to it as “African Classical Music.” This album will show you why.

5. ‘Concepts in Unity,’ Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino: An incredible summit of legendary Afro- and Afro-Caribbean musicians throwing down on the ultimate diasporic fusion record that doesn’t sound like fusion at all. ‘Chocolate’s Guajira’ is one of my all-time favorites.

Antibalas live in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2004.

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africa.jpgThe Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis will be holding a very special concert on Saturday, August 18, as a part of the first Afrifest in the Twin Cities. 

Afrifest is a pan-African arts, culture, and music festival with the goal of bringing together diverse African, American, and international vendors, musicians, entertainers, and cultural performers to the Twin Cities.  This festival will start a wonderful tradition to educate, showcase, enlighten, and bring together diverse audiences and cultures.
Doors will open for the Afrifest Gala at the Cedar at 6 pm, music will begin at 6:30 pm on the patio stage, and mainstage acts will begin at 7 pm.

Tentative line-up:

6:30 PM Courtyard – Ebwbe & Mila Band (Afri Pop)
7:00 PM Mainstage – Wegegta (Ethiopian soul/hip-hop)
7:30 PM Courtyard – Electric Arab Orchestra – (Afro Pop)
8:00 PM Mainstage – Not Available
8:30 PM Courtyard – Qulombolas (World beat/pop)
9:00 PM Mainstage – Munnah (Liberian R&B)
10:00 PM Mainstage – Maria Isa (Latino hip-hop)
11:00 PM Mainstage – Cyril Paul & the Calypso Monarchs (Trinidad/Soca music)

Due to potential schedule changes, please check with the Cedar or Afrifest for the latest schedule.

Tickets: $6 adv/$10 day of show

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Although the son of Afropop legend, Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti carries his own. He has a different style and view points from his father, but the same command of an audience and band and an energy that allows him to carry the banner of Kuti.

In the United States, most are aware of the political and musical significance of Bob Marley and the Marley family, but unaware of the sacrifice and energy that the Kuti family have brought to the world stage from Lagos, Nigeria. Rather than tell you more, here are two performances from YouTube of Femi in concert.

Femi Kuti performing “Do Your Best” in Clearwater, Florida.

Femi Kuti at the same concert performing “Black Man Know Yourself”

Other Femi Resources
Ink Blot Magazine – Discussion of the Kuti Family Legacy
Femi Kuti Biography

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Nomo Playing LiveNomo, a band from Ann Arbor, played earlier this week in Minneapolis at the Triple Rock Social Club. The band combines a unique blend of jazz, funk, and African rhythms. The band also stopped by the Current to play a couple of songs. It’s a great session, especially their second song, Nutones, which features an electric thumb piano or likembé. Many of the instruments are hand-made by the band.

You can also listen the Nomo on their MySpace site; it features a very funky Africa-influenced sound with a solid horn section.

On YouTube, you can catch the band performance of “Discontinued” at the 555 Gallery in Detroit from May 5, 2005.

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