afrobeat

Afor-Zep & 56 Hope Road @ the Fox Theatre

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present Afro-Zep & 56 Hope Road at the Fox Theatre on Friday, February 11th.

AfroZep is a collective of Chicago musicians that assemble a few times a year to tour- performing a set of all Led Zeppelin tunes but re-done in the style of Afrobeat and Afropop. Some tunes are straight mash-ups of Fela Kuti and Zeppelin; others are Zep tunes but set to original grooves based off the music of artists such as Tinariwen, Thomas Mapfumo and Franco; and others are stripped down arrangements with tons of added traditional African drumming, like their take on 'When the Levee Breaks' which incorporates a rhythm of Malinke decent, called Soli. Arrangements such as this show how the roots of Plant and Page's songwriting can be traced even further back to the roots of blues music itself. The members of AfroZep have toured and recorded with various artists, such as: Chicago Afrobeat Project, 56 Hope Road, Starrunner, 1000 Vertical Feet, the Motet, Seneke West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, among many other of gospel, big band, jazz, rock and drumming ensembles based out of Chicago. Due to the rigorous schedules of its performers, the Afro-Zep is not a full time project and the band only tours a few times a year.  With their first tour taking place in Nov 2009 the band has already traveled to Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.

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56 Hope Road is a band bonded like a family, and as a result, their music has an unmistakable honesty and openness. Uncanny, intuitive communication creates an easy interplay on stage, making even the most layered tunes sound effortless. They allow the joy of spontaneous creativity to color their song-based arrangements - neither losing their musical center, nor restricting its growth. The music is acoustic funk at its finest with sounds reminiscent of G-Love and Special Sauce, Richie Havens, MMW, Grateful Dead, Paul Simon and Gomez. This Chicago-based “acoustic funk explosion” is known for clever songwriting, lush vocal harmonies and one of the tightest rhythm sections on the scene. Formed in 1999, 56 Hope Road is made up of vocalist/guitarist Dave Hamilton, drummer Greg Fundis, upright bassist Chad Sanders, saxophonist Casey Fitzpatrick, and often augmented by vocalist Anne Katzfey, and percussionist Matt Katzfey.

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Tickets are on sale at Fox Theatre Box Office. Call (303) 443-3399 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.foxtheatre.com.

$7 adv / $9 dos

Tickets On Sale – Friday January 21st!

Antibalas 'Who Is This America?' Reissued by Ropeadope

Antibalas is set to have their modern day afrobeat classic, Who Is This America?, reissued by Ropeadope on August 17. While it's common for influential recordings to receive reissue treatment decades later or around specific anniversaries, Ropeadope has made the decision to bring back the Brooklyn-based collective's 2004 album just six years from its initial release for one primary reason: "The questions and powerful social statements on the record are as relevant today as they were in 2004. 'Big Man' is a powerful musical essay on consumerism and the system of continued oppression that it supports, while the title track is even more poignant as our nation continues the struggle for its collective identity in the face of a changing world."

The third album to be recorded and released by Antibalas through that point in time, Who Is This America? was conceived in post-September 11th New York City. As George Bush tried (and later succeeded) in holding on to his presidency, Antibalas was fueling the fires of protest with its powerful musical rhetoric. The 17-piece band simultaneously indicted politicians, ignited a musical tsunami and turned a new generation of listeners on to afrobeat for the first time. In a May 2004 review of the seven-track effort, Pitchfork declared: "Who Is This America?, which in the midst of the current trickle-up afrobeat revival, has Antibalas bringing a more galvanized and urgent righteous noise than ever before, and proving they lead the pack when it comes to the re-imagining and recreating of Fela's archetypal art-form."

Who Is This America? will be reissued on CD with a previously unreleased track produced by Scott Harding entitled "Money Talks." The iTunes version of the reissue will include the exclusive cut, "Paz." Additionally, a special limited edition package featuring the CD, the album download and a reprint of the original Ropeadope "Running Man" t-shirt will be sold at both Antibalas' and Ropeadope's websites.

Formed in Brooklyn circa 1998, Antibalas has shared its dynamic afrobeat and funk sound with 35 countries and over 1000 performances. From humble beginnings at Brooklyn block parties and community benefits, Antibalas has since been featured at prestigious festivals including Coachella, Glastonbury, Montreux, Newport Jazz, and at venues from Riker's Island to Carnegie Hall. Drawing on musical lineages steeped in jazz, funk, Afro‐Caribbean and West African music, the collective is widely recognized for its mastery of and innovation in the afrobeat musical form created in the early 1970s by Nigerian composer/activist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Members of Antibalas teamed up with the Dap‐Kings to create the grooves for Amy Winehouse's multi‐platinum Back to Black and continue to work with producer Mark Ronson. The horn section is featured prominently on albums by TV On The Radio and Medeski, Martin & Wood, while winning a Grammy Award for their work on Angelique Kidjo's Djin Djin. Most recently, members of the collective were at the heart of the Tony Award-nominated musical FELA! Born from a series of workshops with director/choreographer Bill T. Jones in late 2006, Antibalas' musicians Aaron Johnson (musical director), Jordan McLean (assistant musical director) and Stuart Bogie helped create what associate producer Questlove called, "the most uncut funk production ever!" After a triumphant Off‐Broadway run, the show opened on Broadway in November 2009 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra / State Radio: Crazy Co-bill

This was my first time in the old fashioned Theatre of the Living Arts since it has turned into the Fillmore at the TLA, and it was a very interesting bill for me. I am very familiar with the current afrobeat champions from Brooklyn, on the other hand, I've never heard of State Radio so I was interested in seeing a new band.