February 18, 2015 | Byham Theater
Classically trained at Cuba’s premier conservatories, the members of three-time Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre are true modern heirs to the rich musical tradition of their native Cuba. The Miami-based group is celebrated for its sophisticated performances of timba music, an irresistible, dance-inducing mix of r&b, pop, jazz, and Cuban son. Tiempo Libre has introduced Cuban music to new audiences through appearances on shows such as the Tonight Show, Live from Lincoln Center and Dancing With the Stars and concerts worldwide including performances at Tanglewood, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hong Kong’s Kwai Tsing Theatre and Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. Tiempo Libre collaborated on “Para Ti” with violinist Joshua Bell for his At Home with Friends album and frequently plays with leading orchestras. The band recently released My Secret Radio on Sony Masterworks, previous albums Bach in Havana (Sony Masterworks), Arroz Con Mango (Shanachie) and Lo Que Esperabas (Shanachie) were nominated for Grammys.
Tickets and more info: http://trustarts.culturaldistrict.org/production/43196/tiempo-libre#tab=buy_tickets&performance=43216
ANTIBALAS & ZAP MAMA
PERFORMING FIRST-EVER UNIFIED NATIONAL TOUR
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4 | BYHAM THEATER | CULTURAL DISTRICT
Pittsburgh, PA— The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents two world music trailblazers in concert on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 7:30pm at the Byham Theater, located at 101 Sixth Street, downtown Pittsburgh.
The concert will bring together the premier afrobeat band, Antibalas, in a collaborative tour with Zap Mama, Marie Daulne’s international polyphonic vocal group, that returns for their first US tour since 2009.
Antibalas, founded in 1998, evolved out of the same Brooklyn-based musical nucleus as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and emerged onto the world music scene around 2000. After years of heavy international touring the band rose to greater prominence in 2007 for its role in the musical direction of the Broadway musical FELA!
About the Artists
Antibalas (Spanish for “bulletproof”), is a Brooklyn, NY based big band inspired by the golden age of West African and Afro-Caribbean musical styles of the 1970s as well as the jazz and improvised music traditions of their native New York. Members of Antibalas are sought-after session and touring musicians, regularly recording and performing with a spectrum of artists including the Roots, TV on the Radio, Jovanotti, Arcade Fire, Allen Tousaint, David Byrne and St. Vincent, Angelique Kidjo, and Betty Lavette.
Zap Mama, is an all-female troupe of afropop vocalists based in Europe who first created a sensation in the US world music scene in 1991 with their critically-acclaimed self-titled release on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. Marie Daulne, known worldwide as the creative force behind Zap Mama, redefines the word “vocalist” by creatively expressing sound and storytelling through tone and pure voice. Melding afropop and with American and European urban music using ethnic polyphonic vocal structures, Zap Mama is a world-music revue that can transport the listener around the globe in the course of a song.
Tickets and info: http://trustarts.culturaldistrict.org/production/43189/zap-mama-and-antibalas
Touring in support of their newest record, Burnt Offering, The Budos Band brought their own brand of distortion-laden Afro-soul to a packed Rex Theater on Saturday. The evening was to be a loud, boozy experience, melding stoned-out rock and roll with a bold brass element, and tying it all together with rhythmic bongos and psychedelic keys.
Opener Electric Citizen brought enormous energy to the beginning of the evening, delivering loud rock with a retro feel. Organ-driven melodies swirled around fuzzed-out guitar lines as singer Laura Dolan, shaking and dancing, busted out some impressive vocals. Members of The Budos Band were spotted rowdily singing along, appearing to be especially enthused audience members from their spot directly in front of the stage.
The members of The Budos Band filed onstage soon afterward, taking their places behind an array of instruments. They announced they were there for partying and mayhem, and launched into several songs from their newest album as well as a good helping of older material. It was clear that the band members were enjoying themselves, toasting stage-front audience members (and in at least one case, handing over a beer), encouraging the audience to make noise, and moving around the crowded stage to jam together. Or, in the case of the keyboardist, lugging a keyboard from its stand to the front of the stage in not one but two rockstar moments. The energy in the room was infectious, turning the front of the room into a constant flurry of motion as audience members danced along.
The band returned for an encore following their set proper, prompted by an expletive-riddled audience chant led by one of the band members. A cover of “Immigrant Song” caused the audience to lose its collective mind, and a teaser for “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by The Supremes acted as a surprising interlude. At the end of the encore, most of the band left the stage, knocking over a good amount of equipment, leaving their guitarist and bassist onstage to play them out in an evil-sounding wash of feedback. When they decided that they had made enough noise, they left the stage as well, the house lights coming up to reveal a mess of equipment and a thoroughly satisfied audience.
Post and photos by Gesina Phillips.