Chicago Afrobeat Project
- Friday, March 9, 2012, 8 p.m.
- The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence
- Cost: $9
- Age limit: All ages
As the world’s cultural and political climate evolves, so does its music. Rooted in the turbulence of social change, afrobeat coalesced decades ago from a fiery political landscape of Nigeria in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Now, with the polarized state of the world since the turn of the millennium, afrobeat again grips the world – this time, the American musical climate..... Chicago Afrobeat Project, emerging in 2002 from an industrial, urban Chicago art community, has established itself as leaders in the non-traditionalist side of the afrobeat movement. The 7-14 person ensemble energizes the classic afrobeat influences of juju, highlife, American funk, and afro-Cuban music with a formative infusion of experimental jazz and rock elements that thrive in the Chicago music scene. Inherent in the group’s sound is an expression of world cultural unity and social awareness within a medium of music, dance and rebellious celebration. .... Afrobeat’s range of influences sit in a restless state of hypnotic, dance-compelling energy at times juxtaposed against a left-leaning poignant political message. The CAbP formula injects unique songwriting and solo experimentation to push the group’s sound forward both at their live performances and on studio recordings. The individual players, coming from diverse backgrounds, each hold their own as soloists to add uniquely musically informed characteristics to the performances. .... Melodic and hard-hitting horn lines create a lyrical flow delivered by a cutting, driven rhythm section dynamic. The group disperses complex call-and-response percussion songs throughout the shows. African dancers from Chicago’s Muntu Dance Theatre accompany the band at select performances. Combine these organic musical and visual elements together, and the overall presentation contributes further to the impact and originality of the band’s music. .... Chicago Afrobeat Project has released three albums to date including a self-titled album (2005), “(A) Move to Silent Unrest” (2007), and the newest release, “Off the Grid” (2008). .... The band was nominated for the Chicago Music Award’s (CMA) “Award of Honor for Contribution to World Beat Music” in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and was nominated as Best African Artist in the CMAs in 2004 and 2005. As a natural extension of the group’s ability to connect diverse musical styles through afrobeat, CAbP has featured many notable Chicago guest musicians at its live performances including Howard Levy of Bela Fleck fame, Fareed Haque of Garaj Mahal, seven-time Grammy-winner Paul Wertico, Bobby Broom, Jeff Parker of Tortoise, Kalyan Pathak, Diverse, Ugochi, Morikeba Kouyate and many other Chicago greats. ......