Think you're down with Afrobeat? Well, if you're not familiar with Antibalas, you haven't sampled the real deal. But the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival will change all of that this weekend.
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Based in Brooklyn, the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra has straight-up hijacked the boogie from the Bronx. And while this 14-strong orchestra rolls in the tradition of Fela Kuti, its one-of-a-kind, hip-breaking descargas are also informed by Latin jazz, funk, classical music, soul, and an undeniably Afro-Cuban approach to horns. It's a musical mezcla that fuels the fire of the big band's sound and incites all-out frenzies on the dance floor whenever this troop takes the stage for one of its now-legendary live sets.
Also playing at this Saturday night's installment of the Heineken TransAtlantic Festival is none other than Miami's Cleaveland Jones, whose samba- and tropicalia-inspired tuneage seems like the perfect balance for the fury of Antibalas. Cool as a Caribbean breeze, the local singer-songwriter has a fresh collection of songs from his recently released second album, Tao Jones, a deeply personal nod to his travels, beliefs, and experiences.