Nation Beat Set to Release New Album ‘Archaic Humans’ on May 31, 2024

Article Contributed by gratefulweb | Published on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Funk. Bop. Forró. Brass. Pounded by calloused hands, blasted from tightened lips, it calls across time and continents, uplifting hearts and moving hips and feet. It’s the force that blew through Louis Armstrong in the twenties. It’s the power that gets Brazilians dancing in the streets for Carnival. It’s the freedom that sets the music on fire. It’s Nation Beat.

Nation Beat, the vibrant ensemble led by drummer/percussionist Scott Kettner, announces the release of their highly anticipated album, ‘Archaic Humans,’ available on May 31st, 2024. This dynamic collection marries the energetic spirit of New Orleans Brass with the rhythmic allure of Brazilian Forró, promising an upbeat and exhilarating musical experience.

Kettner’s vision for Nation Beat began in 1999 during Carnival in Recife, Brazil, where he discovered the connection between the music of northeastern Brazil and New Orleans. Inspired by his mentor, NEA Jazz Master Billy Hart, Kettner immersed himself in the region’s complex, dance-inducing rhythm, maracatu. This journey of musical exploration reaches its pinnacle with ‘Archaic Humans,’ showcasing Nation Beat in overdrive.

The album's current single, “Give A Little,” features GRAMMY-nominated progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon from Washington, DC. This track is a testament to the group’s innovative fusion of diverse musical traditions, blending Afro Beat, Brazilian rhythms, and DC hip-hop vibes into a seamless and unforgettable soundscape. The song captures a journey of growth and self-discovery, driven by a passion for music and the power of perseverance.

‘Archaic Humans’ connects the rivers of Northeastern Brazil with the parishes of New Orleans, celebrating cultural fusion and creating a universal language of music that transcends borders. The album includes one sweet cover by Tom Jobim and introduces new collaborators like soulful South African singer/songwriter Melanie Scholtz, adding fresh, uplifting strands to the Nation Beat thread.

Kettner has expanded Nation Beat’s sound by incorporating his background in jazz and hybrid drumming, collaborating with tenor saxophonist and arranger extraordinaire Paul Carlon. Their previous album, ‘The Royal Chase’ (2020), injected high-octane NYC bop improvisations into the thunderous grooves of northeastern Brazil and the swagger of parading New Orleans brass, earning critical acclaim and chart success.

With the release of ‘Archaic Humans,’ Nation Beat continues its cross-cultural explorations, leaving an indelible mark on the music scene. “The vision was to create an album of all originals,” says Kettner, “to put our fingerprint on this thread that we’ve been following.” The result is an album that lights up the afterburners on its jazz chops while maintaining the infectious, audacious rhythmic and brass energy of its roots.

Nation Beat’s live shows have become legendary for their ability to lift souls and move feet. Their performances have earned rave reviews from The New York Times and The Village Voice, with accolades from Willie Nelson and NPR’s Banning Eyre. The National Endowment for The Arts awarded Nation Beat a touring grant in 2013 for their project with Maracatu Nação Estrela Brillante, titled “A Tale of Two Nations.”

Join Nation Beat for their album release show at Joe’s Pub on Saturday, June 15th at 9 pm. This event promises to be an unforgettable evening, showcasing the band’s electrifying live presence and musical innovation.

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Nation Beat Members:

  • Scott Kettner: Drums/Bandleader/Percussion
  • Paul Carlon: Tenor Sax/Arrangements
  • Mark Collins: Trumpet
  • Tom McHugh: Trombone
  • Heather Ewer: Sousaphone