ANTIBALAS AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA
Photo by Michael
("anti-bullets" in Spanish) is a 14-piece-plus collective carrying on the
Afrobeat tradition begun by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Based in New York, the band combines
highlife, jazz, funk, and traditional African rhythms and informs all of it with unabashed
political conviction. The bands sound is rooted in monstrous horns and bass,
polyrhythmic beats and funky breaks, and furious lyrics in English, Yoruba and Spanish.
Every Antibalas show is a dance party and life-affirming celebration. The band has
traveled the world, spreading its captivating sound and potent message.
Antibalas regularly wins over jazz crowds,
rock crowds, DJ crowds, world music crowds, jam band crowds, and anyone else in their
path. They have performed at jazz festivals from Montreal to Montreux to Istanbul. They
have been favorites at multi-genre festivals such as Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, and
Englands Big Chill. They have opened for James Brown, No Doubt, Wyclef Jean, Trey
Anastasio and more.
played many of rocks best-known venues, including Irving Plaza in New York, the
Fillmore in San Francisco, and the Metro in Chicago. They have received plaudits in
countless publications, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the New
Yorker, Rolling Stone and the underground URB magazine. They have also been featured on
National Public Radios "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air." Baritone saxophonist
Martín Perna launched this union of Latinos, whites, African-Americans, Africans and
Asian-Americans in 1998. The group released its first album, Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1,
on the UK-based Ninjatune label in 2001. The acclaimed 2002 follow-up, Talkatif (also on
Ninjatune), was co-produced by Antibalas and Gabriel Roth of Daptone and Desco fame. In
addition, Antibalas appeared on the Red Hot & Riot compilation (MCA), a tribute to
Fela intended to raise money for the African AIDS epidemic.
Since the release of Talkatif, Antibalas has toured relentlessly throughout the United
States, Canada and Europe. But the bands New York roots remain strong. They maintain
a cooperative recording/rehearsal/performance space in their community in Bushwick,
Brooklyn and regularly bring the noise to clubs, outdoor festivals and events throughout
Antibalas Afro Orchestra Links: