Afrobeat 2.0 by contemporary successors to Fela
Intoxicating dance mix
With an intoxicating dance mix of Afro, jazz, funk and Latin, the eleven-man Antibalas has for almost 25 years been keeping alive the spirit of the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. The group around founders Marcos Garcia and Martín Perna was behind the revival of the genre; thanks in part to them, New York – after Lagos – became a new centre of Afrobeat.
The group was partly modelled on Kuti’s band Africa 70, but the broad-minded Antibalas (Spanish for ‘bulletproof’) is not averse to rock, pop, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban percussion, psychedelic, dub and impro. And so it has teamed up easily with artists varying from Angélique Kidjo, Public Enemy, David Byrne, Mark Ronson and The Roots to Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran.
Afrobeat on Broadway
That Antibalas with its Afrobeat 2.0 is the true successor to Fela Kuti was shown by its spontaneous collaboration with his drummer Tony Allen and sons Seun and Femi, and the committed New Yorkers also played the lead role in the award-winning Broadway show Fela!, initiated by, among others, rapper Jay-Z and actor Will Smith. The excellent recent album Fu Chronicles is packed with extended dance tracks, whipped up by battle cries, completely in keeping with the spirit of activist Fela.
Marcos Garcia - Guitar
Marcus Farrar - Vocals, shekere
Andrew McGovern - Trumpet
Nadav Nirenberg - Trombone
Drew Vandewinckel - Tenor saxophone
Steve Baczkowski - Baritone saxophone
Timothy Allen - Guitar
Jake Pinto - Keys
Justin Kimmel - Bass
Reinaldo DeJesus - Percussion
Kevin Raczka - Drums