Artist of the Day: Antibalas

posted by Matt Jarrells on 09/29/2017


Afro-beat group Antibalas will be performing at Founders tomorrow night. Catch a couple members of the band in conversation with Johnny Pockets tomorrow afternoon at 1pm, live on WYCE! Formed in Brooklyn in 1998 by Martin Perna, the group began as Conjunto Antibalas and first performed at a poetry slam organized by visual artist Xaviera Simmons. The group grew to encompass eleven musicians from a variety of New York city bands. During this time the group released their first album 2000's Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1.  As their stature grew, the band began to tour the world and collaborate with a variety of musicians including members of Fela Kuti's Africa 70 and Egypt 80 bands.

It was through Kuti's music that the band gained a huge following when in 2009 the band was tasked with arranging and performing the music for the hit Broadway show Fela! Due to their work with the play and touring, the band took a break from recording albums following the release of 2007's Security. They returned to the scene with the release of their 2012 self-titled album. Even if you have never heard of the band, you will most certainly have heard them play. In 2014 the band's horns section were featured in Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' inescapable hit song "Uptown Funk". The band's most recent album Where the Gods are in Peace was just released on September 15th.

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