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Archive for the ‘world music’ Category

Eric S.B. - Bassist of Quilombolas“We like to mix it with different languages and different cultures, but everything is based in Mama Africa. Everything in America comes from Mama Africa.”

The message from bassist and lead vocalist of Eric S.B. of Quilombolas perfectly captured the mix the band achieved at the AfriFest Gala at the Cedar Culture Center along with four other bands. Below are photos from Quilombolas that Richard Ooga, a professional photographer with ePix Mobile Studios located in Lakeville and contributor to Mshale, was kind enough to provide me.

Papi U. - Drummer of Quilombolas Matt Levit (Levitt8) - Guitarist of Quilombolas Eric S.B. - Bassist of Quilombolas Percussionist for Quilombolas Percussionist for Quilombolas Quilombolas and Grooving Fans

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Tony and Rachel - KFAIJoin DJ Nite Nurse and Tony Paul each and every Monday at the Nomad World Pub from 5-7 pm as they mix up a version of their KFAI show on the patio. If their sultry Afro-Beat, Reggae, Latin, Boogaloo, Soul, Arabesque, and Bhangra beats are not alluring enough, the Nomad offers 2 for 1 (8 for 4, whatever your pleasure) on everything in the bar including dozens of rare international brews. Also, the pub’s spankin’ clean grills will be lit so you can bring whatever you would like to grill, free of charge. And the Bocce Courts are now open!

The Nomad is located at 501 Cedar Ave. South on the West Bank in Minneapolis.

Shake & Bake can be heard on KFAI 90.3 FM in Minneapolis every Monday, 1-3 pm, and 24/7 online at the KFAI website.

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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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Quilombolas To Perform at AfrifestDuring colonial times the Quilombos of Brazil provided a place of refuge for anyone regardless of background or creed. Quilombolas’ music, infused with vibes of liberty, justice, and equality, establishes a similar musical refuge through its multi-lingual, socio-politically-aware lyrics, driving rhythms, and blending of world musical styles.

As the band’s website describes, “The members have a common love and appreciation for music that grooves, reflecting the fact that the sounds they enjoy all come from Africa and the subsequent African Diaspora. Funk, rock, hip-hop, samba, salsa, reggae, and many other cultural genres are combined with multilingual lyrics representing the spoken languages of the Americas.”

The band cites such inspirations including Ozomatli, Spearhead, and the Police. They’re a great, new sound to hit the Minneapolis scene, and should add a lot of spice to the Afrifest Gala this Saturday evening. Quilombos takes the main stage of the Cedar Cultural Center at 8:00 PM. Doors open for the gala at 6:00 PM, and the main stage bands start at 7:00. Tickets for the AfriFest Gala are $10 at the door for five bands.

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Innocent GalinomaWhenever I am looking for undiscovered international artists in the Twin Cities, Helen of mShale, an African community paper and online site based in the Minneapolis, never fails me.   

Her piece on Tanzanian-born Reggae artist, Innocent Galinoma, is no exception. Innocent has a facinating story and great music.

Innocent begun his music career in Tanzania where he sang in the Church choir with his mother and two brothers. He recalls when a famous choir master attended his Church, St. Immaculate Church in Upanga, Dar es Salaam, and recognized his music talent in front of the congregation. This, he says, is one of many moments he is proud of and also marks the moment when he realized he could really sing. When he was in high school, innocent begun playing the guitar and listening to different styles of music. On occasion, he and a few of his friends got the opportunity to perform at wedding receptions before the main band performed.

It was not until he listened to Bob Marley, that Innocent’s love for reggae music materialized. In the early eighties, Innocent moved to the United States to attend college and pursue his love for music. While studying Computer Science, Innocent confesses that his mind was rarely attentive enough, as his interest lay in music. After a short three years in the United States, he decided to move back to Tanzania and concentrate on his music career.  

Back home, Innocent joined a band, Mionzi – which means sunray – and toured with the band for two years in Tanzania. After a few years home, Innocent once again moved to the United States, this time focusing solely on his music. He lived in New York for a while before a friend living in Minnesota invited him to visit. In a matter of a week, Innocent decided to permanently move to Minnesota which turned out to be a good call on his part.

He joined Les Exodus, a reggae band that performed across America. Les Exodus released a CD titled Kilimanjaro before part of the members decided to go separate ways. Despite this, Innocent’s musical talent didn’t fall short as it won him the Minnesota Music Award for best male vocalist for World Music. This stands out as another proud moment in his career and he lets me know that the award is back in Tanzania at his fathers’ house, well polished and appreciated.

Innocent has a great voice and music to match. You can catch him performing on Fridays in Minneapolis at the Blue Nile. You can also hear him online performing “Vita vya Panzi.” 

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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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