The Mighty and Relentless Groove of the Funky, Afrobeat Band Antibalas


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The 12-piece plus Afrobeat orchestra known as Antibalas (Spanish for "bulletproof") first made its reputation with hard-hitting, politically charged music in the style of the Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti. In the more than 20 years that they've been playing together, the Brooklyn collective served as the house band and musical directors for the Broadway show Fela!, in addition to being the house band at Carnegie Hall at tribute shows performing the music of Paul Simon (2014), David Byrne and Talking Heads (2015) and Aretha Franklin (2017).

The music of Antibalas comes from an adventurous place where one might find horn-heavy funk, Afro-Cuban music, the loping rhythms of Ethiogroove, Caribbean dance, punk rock, and extra-planetary cosmic jazz all sharing the same playground. For their latest record, Fu Chronicles, Duke Amayo (lead singer, percussionist and composer) and Antibalas founder/baritone saxophonist Martín Perna look back to pre-gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when Antibalas and Daptone Records "spawned out of Amayo’s kung fu dojo.” (Amayo is a senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts. -Bandcamp) Antibalas joins us in-studio to play some of the new tunes. - Caryn Havlik

Fu Chronicles by Antibalas

475 episodes