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Antibalas & Rocky Dawuni & Analog Africa Soundsystem

September 15, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

8pm doors, 9pm show

Born in a Brooklyn warehouse in 1997, 12-piece ensemble Antibalas is credited with introducing Afrobeat to a wider global audience, influencing countless musicians and developing a live show that is the stuff of legend. The group has performed everywhere from Central Park to Carnegie Hall to Rikers Island Prison, and that’s just in New York. On the heels of the hit musical FELA!, which several members collaborated on, Antibalas has reunited with former member and producer Gabe Roth, who was at the helm for their first three albums. Daptone Records released the band’s first album in five years, self-titled, on August 7.

Inspired by economic meltdowns and global uprisings, Antibalas piled into two rooms at Daptone’s House of Soul Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn to cut an explosive new set of afrobeat classics. “Dirty Money” launches the propulsive six-song LP with deep, pulsating rhythms, monstrous horns and tight funk. Lead singer Amayo – a native of Lagos, Nigeria and senior Kung Fu master – guides the band through cathartic workouts of call and response, dynamic instrumentals and eruptive solos.

Members of Antibalas served as musical directors and the house band in the Broadway hit FELA! and penned original music for the show. Members have also recently collaborated/performed with Iron and Wine, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Mark Ronson, TV on the Radio and The Roots.

Rocky Dawuni
Reggae music took root in Africa many decades ago, thanks to the ambassadorial power of the great Bob Marley. But few of the continent’s practitioners have matched the ambition, success, and global popularity of Rocky Dawuni, the son of a Ghanaian military cook. His father insisted all eight of his children receive a solid education, but there was more to him than his military service—he was part of the royal family of the Konkomba tribe in a village in the Northern Ghana village of Bunbon Nayili. Rocky moved to Accra for college, where he became immersed in music, digging the Nigerian Afrobeat king Fela Kuti, the highlife of the African Brothers, as well Jamaican reggae and American R&B. More than any particular genre, Dawuni was interested in music with a social message, something he emphasized in his first band Local Crisis, which leaned toward reggae. In the mid-90’s he struck out on his own and began to develop a strong local following, and his listenership went global when some of his songs appeared on Putumayo Records compilations, including his cover of Marley’s “Sun is Shining.” There is no missing the connection Dawuni feels toward Marley. Over the last decade and a half his popularity has grown all over the world and last year he dropped his first widely American release Branches of the Same Tree (Cumbancho), an ebullient, style-bridging collection driven by infectious melodies and an inclusive spirit that earned him a Grammy nomination this year. As Wax Poetics wrote of the recording, “the album’s eleven songs weave together New Orleans funk, reggae, samba, gospel, and highlife and remind me of a very good mole sauce—somehow, deep, rich flavors manage to hold subtlety and edge and deliver all the same.” Dawuni is a worthy inheritor of Marley’s mantle, both in his deep musicality and his righteous inspiration—but he’s following his own path.

Rocky Dawuni
La música reggae se arraigó en África hace ya muchas décadas, gracias al poder de su embajador, el gran Bob Marley. Sin embargo, pocos de los artistas del continente han igualado la ambición, el éxito y la popularidad global de Rocky Dawuni, hijo de un cocinero militar de Ghana. Su padre era más que un cocinero; formaba parte de familia real de la tribu Konkomba de Bunbon Nayili, pueblo rural en el norte de Ghana. El insistió que su ocho hijos recibieran una educación sólida; Rocky se mudó a Accra para realizar sus estudios universitarios, donde se dejó absorber de la música, encantado de la música del rey del afrobeat, el nigeriano Fela Kuti, el highlife de los African Brothers, el reggae jamaiquino y el R&B norteamericano. Más allá de cualquier género en particular, a Dawuni le interesaba la música con un mensaje social, algo que destacó con su primer conjunto musical, Local Crisis, en el que abordaba el reggae. A mediados de los noventas lanzó su carrera como solista y comenzó a desarrollar un importante público local, que se volvió global cuando algunas de sus canciones se incluyeron en una compilación de Putumayo Records que incluía su interpretación de la canción “Sun is Shining” del mismo Marley. Es imposible no percibir la conexión que Dawuni siente hacia Marley. A lo largo de la última década y media, su popularidad ha aumentado a través del mundo y el año pasado lanzó Branches of the Same Tree (Cumbancho), el primer álbum suyo que recibe extensa distribución en América del Norte, exuberante colección de canciones que abarcan varios estilos, impulsadas por melodías contagiosas y un espíritu inclusivo que el año actual le ameritó ser nominado al Grammy. Como dijo Wax Poetics de la grabación, “Las once canciones del álbum tejen el funk de New Orleans, el reggae, la samba, el gospel, y highlife y me recuerdan un buen mole, en el que los sabores ricos e intensos mantienen sutileza y a la vez cierto filo; todo elemento en su punto”. Dawuni es merecedor heredero del legado y la corona de Marley, tanto en su gran musicalidad y su inspiración activista, pero sigue un camino propio.


September 15, 2016
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm


World Music Festival Chicago


Metro Chicago
3730 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613 United States

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