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It’s hard to believe that more than twenty years have passed since Antibalas’s humble beginning as a neighborhood dance / protest band in the block parties and underground parties in pre-gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over the past two decades they have evolved into what The Guardian called “one of the world’s finest Afrobeat bands” while enjoying equal renown for their cross-genre collaborations with legends of popular music. With a heavy balance of experience and new blood, the group leaps into 2020 with their new Daptone Records full-length “Fu Chronicles.”
Founded in 1998 by saxophonist Martín Perna, early incarnations of the group included several members of The Dap-Kings including bassist / producer Gabriel Roth, guitarist Binky Griptite, keyboardist Victor Axelrod, conguero Fernando “Bugaloo Velez,” and trumpeter Anda Szilagyi. As the group expanded, it absorbed younger musicians from the Daptone family including bassist Nick Movshon (El Michels, Black Keys) and other musical natives and transplants from downtown Manhattan and North Brooklyn music scenes.
In 1999, Perna and Roth dropped in at an atelier / dojo belonging to Duke Amayo. They invited him to a neighborhood concert and then reached out to him later as an emergency substitute for a show. Amayo soon became a fixture in the group, first on percussion, then later on vocals, vibraphone, and keyboards and moving to center stage as the group’s frontman and creating the Afro-Spot, the band’s headquarters as well as the home of the first Daptone Records studio.
Over the next few years, the band performed several times a month throughout NYC at the Afro-Spot, at benefits, lofts, block parties, and at their Lower Manhattan weekly residency called “Africalia” with regular appearances by friends including Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and The Sugarman Three. After their second release, “Talkatif” (2002, Ninja Tune), the group began touring heavily throughout North America and Europe including performances at Glastonbury, Montreux Jazz Festival, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Jazz Festival. Over the years, expanded their travels to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South America, and most recently, Hong Kong.
In the late 2000s, after nearly ten years of road touring, Antibalas was chosen by choreographer Bill T Jones, to serve as the band for the Tony-award winning Broadway musical “Fela.” Around the same time, the band began to draw the attention of the Roots. The two groups joined with Public Enemy to perform a live version of the entire “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back” at the 2009 Roots Picnic as well as the Red Bull Battle of the Bands, as well as numerous guest appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Antibalas has also served as the house band for several star-studded tribute shows at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater paying tribute to the music of Aretha Franklin, David Byrne, Paul Simon, and Billie Holiday, backing dozens including Allen Toussaint, Cee Lo Green, Sharon Jones, Santigold, and Angelique Kidjo.
Over the years, different members have traded production and composition duties from album to album. On the new album—“Fu Chronicles”—Amayo leads us through a thrilling sonic journey of kung fu meets Afrobeat, weaving together the strands of Edo and Yoruba cultural memory from Nigeria with his training and study in Chinese martial arts.
Recorded in the Summer of 2018, over seventeen musicians and singers crammed into the storied Daptone House of Soul in Bushwick to record the massive body of work. With live versions and arrangements stretching up to thirty minutes, Perna, Amayo, and Roth worked tirelessly to preserve the hypnotic power of the long-form live arrangements into six concise and powerful album tracks.
“Fu Chronicles” will be the eighth studio album from Antibalas, who have been releasing music over four decades; Liberation Afro Beat Vol. 1 (1999), Talkatif (2002), Who Is This America? (2004), Security (2007), Government Magic (2011), Antibalas (2012), Where the Gods are In Peace (2017), Fu Chronicles (2020)
Antibalas New Album, Fu Chronicles, out on Daptone Records Feb 7th
Los Mocochetes are a Xican@ Funk band from Denver, CO. This colorful cast of characters fuses thoughtfully brazen, socio/politically charged song lyrics, groovilicious melodies and high-energy stage antics to create an immersive experience unlike anything you've ever seen before. Much like a machete, which can be used either as a tool to build or a weapon to kill, they have chosen to use their music to inspire and encourage positive social change. Every show is different, but it’s always a dance party!
Los Mocochetes received the Westword Music Showcase award for Best Latin Band of 2017 and Best Funk Band of 2018 and the Ultra 5280 award for Band of the Year. They were named Colorado Standout for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest 2018 and opened for contest winner Naia Izumi on the Denver stop of his national tour. They have opened for a variety of national touring acts such as The Original Wailers, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Los Lonely Boys, Lil’ Wayne, Ozomatli, Flor de Toloache, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Dos Santos, The Chamanas and Lil’ Jon. They have been featured in festivals including the Westword Music Showcase (local headliner), Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, Colorado Latino Festival, FoCoMX, A Taste of Colorado, Mile High 4/20 Festival, Tribal Visions (NM), and have performed at numerous iconic Denver venues such as the Bluebird Theater, Oriental Theater, Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, Denver Art Museum, Levitt Pavillion, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, Mercury Cafe, Larimer Lounge, Syntax Physic Opera, Aztlan Theatre, Lost Lake, Hi Dive, 3 Kings Tavern, Herman’s Hideaway, Lion’s Lair, and a sold out Ophelia’s Electric Soap Box. The band has a strong connection to New Mexico, often touring the state playing as far south as Acapulco, MX and as far north as Cheyenne, WY.
The current lineup features artists with a wide variety of influences. They are poets, singers, painters, rappers, actors, musicians, dancers, producers, composers, dreamers, doers, thinkers. They are gente who make music together and enjoy all forms of creativity. The Mocochetes are here to ignite a fire in every audience member to enjoy the moment and then go out and make a difference!
Standing Room Only, General Admission Venue
132 Laporte Ave
Fort Collins, CO, 80524