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.
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.