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Archive for the ‘afropop’ 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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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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Femi Kuti Concert“Greetings from Lagos,” shouted Femi Kuti at beginning of the concert on a packed stage: 5 brass players, lead and base guitar, keyboard, 3 dancers and Femi with lead vocals, alto and bass sax, and keyboard.

With the packed stage on Thursday and more energy than the Minnesota Zoo could hold, the audience was transported on an Afropop experience. The gyrations of the dancers scantily decked in yellow and red beaded bikinis were hypnotic and erotic as their energy and movements transferred to the band members and audience.

The large band was amazing always driving forward chaotically with fat beats and through wild solos that kept quick pace with Fela’s dance moves and spastic hand sways but always in control in a moment’s notice. One glimpse or the flick of Fela’s wrist could bring complete silence. The control at the beginning of the concert worked itself into full frenzy in the end as the group played with also a heavy-metal like power. The chaos, energy, and refined control was pure Afrobeat.

Flying half-way around the world to share the love and uncensored, unabashed musical power of Lagos with the Twin Cities was pure Kuti.

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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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Antibalas Video

…and review. I found a link to a video of the start of Antibalas’ performance at South by Southwest(SXSW) from March 2007. The audio on the clip is a bit fuzzy at times, but the video is crystal-clear.

Also in Austin, Texas, is the blog titled “The Corner” where Thomas Fawcett reviews the latest Antibalas album, Security. The podcast is great to listen to for a little more background on the group and album.

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With the music from yesterday’s concert at First Avenue still in my head, I searched online and found several free Antibalas MP3s and streaming sites.

SXSW Performance – Minnesota Public Radio
Contains around 30 minutes of performance from this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin.

Beaten Metal (Read Free MP3)
The first track from their latest album, Security, along with a review.

Antibalas Security Album Cover

Live performances from Antibalas and other Afrobeat bands from SoundRoots including Antibalas’ performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2003. There are a few broken links on the posting.

CNET’s Music Download Site offers free two songs for download – I.C.E. and Obanla’e.

During the concert, Antibalas gave everyone a chance to relax and be amazed with the song I.C.E. from the Security album. After the great chaos and energy displayed during their earlier numbers, the tightness and control on this song was great to see live.

Finally, Ropeadope has a great page detailing Antibalas’ history.

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