In 2012, the world is such a postmodern, postcolonial jungle that in order to make sense of anything, you have to think globally.
Global economies, global trends, global crises. And global music. The collapse of cultural segregation — thank the Internet — has created some curious crossbreeds when it comes to how we humans construct and compose sound.
The Rhythm Foundation's upcoming TransAtlantic Festival in Miami Beach plans to charge head first into some of international culture's best aural amalgamations.
Friday, April 13. The festival begins with a set from Seun Kuti — Nigerian Afrobeat saxophonist, bandleader, and son of African funk legend Fela Kuti — alongside his father's Egypt 80 back-up band.
Last July, Kuti told New Times that as far as he's concerned, "There's no separating the music from the movement." His most recent full-length album, 2011's From Africa With Fury: Rise, is peppered with the anti-capitalist, people-positive philosophies espoused by his famous father. And much like his dad, the 28-year-old bandleader fuses funk, jazz, and Afrobeat like an expert chef preparing grand cuisine.
Meanwhile, opening act Gold Dust Lounge will provide an appropriately subdued appetizer. This jazz trio slinks and swaggers through North American subgenre favorites such as surf rock, spy-movie soundtracks, and spaghetti Western film scores with a dose of wandering groove to keep the audience feeling loose.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Saturday, April 14. The festival's second night features not one, but two headliners. What can we say — Seun Kuti is a tough act to follow. And the collective strength of the individual acts — not to mention the broad range of traditions and cultures they reference — ensures that neither night of this festival is to be missed.
Quantic is a bloke from the UK who ended up in Colombia and now travels the world — often with his Combo Bárbaro in tow — producing, arranging, and performing an assortment of cumbia-derived styles. The globetrotting producer has been known to infuse Latin-based music with electronica and dub. But his recent collaboration, Look Around the Corner, with vocalist Alice Russell (another English expat) is a mostly analog affair that sounds as classic as it does contemporary. For the TransAtlantic Fest, he'll team up with cumbia vocalist Nidia Góngora.
Also atop the bill Saturday night is the Florida debut of Pedrito Martinez's Afro-Cuban quartet. The Cuban percussionist bridges not only geographical but also generational divides, pairing the rhythm of classic guaguancó and rumba with the sensibility of pop and hip-hop.
No doubt it'll be a global affair. Get ready to boogie around the world.