Antibalas Spring 2018 tour dates on West Coast, Colorado and Idaho. Teaching at Penn State Spring 2018.
this year has gone by real fast. I feel like I haven’t done anything. What do I remember ?
new Antibalas management transition
the Anti Ball and Women’s March in Washington DC
Denver with Antibalas and Galactic and getting to visit Tia Susi and Tío Paco for the first time in 15 or so years
the Aretha Franklin tribute at Carnegie Hall with Antibalas
a working vacation to LA, visiting friends and recording with Jeff Bhasker for the Angelique Kidjo Remain in Light album
playing two shows with Antibalas in Seattle on my birthday
performing in Asheville at the LEaf festival, seeing Plena Libre and Lee Fields and visiting an old friend and eating enchiladas
the Billie Holiday tribute at the Apollo Theater
performing Remain in Light at Carnegie Hall with Angelique Kidjo
a friends wedding in Fort Lauderdale
having a pretty good tomato and pepper harvest and lots of wildflowers
playing in Salt Lake City with Antibalas and Kamasi Washington and eating some good mole
a writing retreat at my studio / home with the entire Antibalas band
seeing a bunch of family at my cousins wedding in Philadelphia
Visiting Bend Oregon and catching up with my uncle and swimming in the Deschutes River and then playing a rough and harrowing show at the Oregon Eclipse Festival
performing at a Hollywood wedding in Ibiza
Playing four shows in Tokyo, waking up at 5 am to go to a fish market
recording some new music in Austin with Adrian Quesada and the Ocote Soul Sounds squad
driving all over North America with Antibalas performing songs from our new album Where The Gods Are in Peace
driving to Utopia Festival and swimming and jumping off a rope swing with the band in a creek outside the house we stayed in
being stuck in traffic outside Austin in a van with the band when we got the news of Charles Bradley’s death
seeing some old friends and mentors in Oakland and performing two shows at the Parish
perfoming a duo doing improvised music and TVOTR songs with Tunde Adebimpe at a beautiful home overlooking the Los Angeles skyline
an artist retreat with the Come to Life collective on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia
spending Thanksgiving with good friends and hanging big acoustic curtains in the studio
a trip to Houston to perform at the Menil Collection with Angelique and Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, DJing at the Flat with DJ Sun, visiting old friends
another trip to Salt Spring to record a record with Arouna Diarra and Biko Casini
a trip to Costa Rica to visit family and friends and do an impromptu salon show with Masauko Chipembere and Roberto Roque in San Jose
spending Christmas Eve and day with my Dad, stepmom, brothers sisters nieces nephews aunts uncles and cousins in Philadelphia and watching the little kids overdose on sugar, fun and gifts while the grown ups catch up and turn up
this is was a very full, fast year with a lot of blessings and a lot of tribulations which I’ll spare you. when I look, back it is the visits with family, friends and good meals (mostly involving tortillas) and making good music that I most treasure. I am grateful for all the kind, charming, hilarious, talented and visionary people in my life. 2018 - more of all that!
The fall leg of the Antibalas tour is over. It was exhilarating and exhausting. We ran through the midwest, Texas, Japan, California. After that I went up to British Columbia for a retreat with fellow musicians and folks from Guayaki to brainstorm and collaborate.
I'm on my way to Houston this weekend for another Remain in Light performance with Angelique Kidjo and company at the Menil Collection, one of my favorite art museums in the world.
I'm also doing DJ sets at the Flat on Friday and again on Sunday afternoon.
What else...lots of work building out a studio, writing new songs, home improvement, Thanksgiving cooking, spending time with family, learning some new tricks...
Thanks for dropping in.
A while back in Paris one thing led to another and I found myself in the studio with my elder and old friend Oghene Kologbo, guitarist of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's Afrika 70 band and performer on so many of the classic recordings.
Kologbo's solo album "Africa is the Future" is finally out via the ParisDJs label. They've just revealed the fourth track from the album "You No Lie" featuring Ghanaian funk/highlife legend Pat Thomas and me on flute.
Preview/preorder/support the album below:
Besides Antibalas stuff I have been doing a lot of writing and recording for the next Ocote Soul Sounds album.
In June I went to perform at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee with Angelique Kidjo's Remain in Light project. It was hot, muggy, and intense. U2's bassist Adam Clayton was there on the side of the stage digging the show. This was a big nerd moment for me as the first concert I attended was the U2 Joshua Tree Tour at JFK Stadium, Philly in 1987. (That's Adam of U2 front left, Angélique Kidjo center stage and me on the far right with the big saxophone).
A few weeks before that I was at Good Child Studios in Brooklyn working with producer Lawson White and Balún, an amazing electro-acoustic band from Puerto Rico. They wrote a beautiful song that featured the Antibalas horns.
When I'm not driving or sitting in a van on the highway, I have been doing lots of vegetable gardening--tomatos, kale, peppers, salad greens, eggplant, herbs, flowers, apples) (pics forthcoming) and building out my studio on the side of a mountain in Appalachian Pennsylvania.
Antibalas announces release of 6th studio album, 2017-2018 tour dates.
I'm honored to play at Carnegie Hall for the sixth time in my career, this Friday with Angelique Kidjo, her band, and the Antibalas horns, doing a radical reinterpretation of the classic Talking Heads "Remain In Light" album.
I will be playing flute and baritone saxophone and did a lot of the writing/arranging of the horn parts that you'll hear onstage and on the album of the same name.
"Garden of the Peaceful Dragon" (dir. Daniel Peddle, prod/editing Karim Lopez) premieres at the Harlem International Film Festival in Harlem, NYC on May 4. I did some original music for the film and contributed some recordings by Ocote Soul Sounds. I can't say enough about the magic and the spirit of this film...the protagonist is one of a kind.
Description, from the Harlem Intl. Film Fest site:
"Opening Night, Thursday, May 4, marks the debut of Daniel Peddle’s GARDEN OF THE PEACEFUL DRAGON, which profiles Burley Luvell Benford III, an elderly African-American veteran who occupies an abandoned piece of government property by the beach in Kauai, Hawaii. After being discharged from the Marines, Benford became one of the first employees of IBM and neighbor to Timothy Leary.
A single acid trip changed his life over-night. Ditching his “suit,” he moved to San Francisco where he fell in with the Beat Poets and witnessed the birth of The Grateful Dead. Legendary music promoter Bill Graham hired him to be a bodyguard for his artists and he spent the better part of a decade jet-setting and hobnobbing with stars.
Looking for another dramatic change of lifestyle, he repaired a schooner and sailed it all the way to Hawaii. Three divorces and four children later, we find Luvell homeless, living out of his pick-up truck on the beach. A man whose incredible life story may have been lost to time is vividly rediscovered in this final chapter of his life.
Preceding the screening of GARDEN OF THE PEACEFUL DRAGON will be the U.S. Premiere of Anneta Lauffer’s short film, AFRO PUNK GIRL, and Eileen Byrne’s short film IRIDESCENCE.
Thursday, May 4
7:30 PM (doors open at 7pm)
I am proud to announce a song/video I collaborated last year on was co-winner of the Global Health Advocacy award from the Pulitzer Center/ Consortium of Universities for Global Health.
- Unicef / US State Department / Peace Corps
- CIAMO (Center for Music and Art-Ouidah), music director Sim de Souza and CIAMO
- Filmmakers Jon Fine, Sarah DuPont
- Musicians from Antibalas
- Dah Kidjo
- Logozo (Beninese rapper)
- Angelique Kidjo
- Gangbe Brass Band
Here's the video (English / Fongbe) : (Version Français / Fongbe LINK)
Here's the behind the scenes / making of:
I was blessed with the role of musical director (and flutist/baritone saxophonist) for this show at Carnegie Hall last Monday, putting together charts and arrangements for Antibalas, the ace house band for 18 of the 22 songs performed onstage that evening, among them:
- Living Colour "Rock Steady"
- Kenny Loggins "Until you come back to me"
- Melissa Etheridge "I Never Loved a Man"
- Ceelo Green "The Night Time is the Right Time"
- Taj Mahal and Deva Mahal "Chain of Fools"
- Ledisi "Daydreaming"
- Ruthie Foster "Natural Woman"
- Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) "Don't Play That Song"
- Don Bryant (Hi Records songwriter/singer) "Drown in My Own Tears"
- Bettye Lavette "Ain't No Way
- G-Love "Think"
- Todd Rundgren "Since You've Been Gone"
- Sarah Dash (of Labelle) "Dr. Feelgood"
- Naomi Shelton "A Change is Gonna Come"
- Little Kids Rock "Respect"
- Rodney Crowell "The Weight"
- Antibalas "Who's Zoomin' Who"
- Full ensemble with Living Colour: "Respect" (Reprise
Here are some of photos collected from the roving eyes of the Internet.
A family portrait from backstage at @carnegiehall last night. @antibalas @livingcolourofficial @saunwillshine @coldiehawn @ttimmyjames @rajakassis @coreyglover @vurnt22 @willcalhoundrum @amayo66 @reinaldodgsus @kevinraczkaa @systemdialingrecords @stuartbogie @martinperna @kingmarcoos #arethafranklin #carnegiehall #antibalas #livingcolour #anticolor Not pictured: @willrast @morganjprice
Not just one of the greats, Aretha is The Great!! “The Queen of Soul wasn’t in attendance, but Aretha Franklin would have certainly been thrilled by the musical tribute paid her at Carnegie Hall on Monday night (March 6). Featuring a roster of estimable musicians performing songs recorded by the 74-year-old singer, who has recently announced her upcoming retirement, The Music of Aretha Franklin shook the rafters of the venerable auditorium.” - Billboard 📷 by Bobby Bank/WireImage ・ ・ #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul #CarnegieHall #TheMusicOfArethaFranklin #Benefit #Charity #SarahDash #RodneyCrowell #CeeLoGreen #MelissaEtheridge #CoreyGlover #LivingColour #NYC #Soul #Legend #Respect #NaturalWoman #Antibalas #Gospel #RandB #SamMoore #NaomiShelton #TajMahal #BettyeLaVette #Ledisi #RhiannonGiddens #RuthieFoster #SweetRelief #MusicHeals
#anighttoremember #tribute #arethafranklin #carnegiehall #allenstone #antibalas #martinperna #bettyelavette #ceelogreen #donbryant #glove #kennyloggins #ledisi #livingcolour #melissaetheridge #naomishelton #richardthompson #rhiannongiddens #ronpope #ruthiefoster #sammoore #sarahdash #tajmahal #devamahal #toddrundgren
I don't know who decided I deserved these seats. Amazing celebration of Aretha Franklin. Among the people on stage: Bettye LaVette, @melissa_etheridge, @ceelogreen, Sam Moore, @livingcolourofficial, @antibalas, @thekennyloggins, @allenstone, and Taj Mahal #musicofarethafranklin #carnegiehall #musiceducationmatters
New collaboration with La Banda Bastön (Mexico) and members of Antibalas (NYC) for their latest album "Luces Fantasmas"
Words Without Borders translates literature and writing from all around the world. They're doing a party/fundraiser to continue their noble efforts in New York City on November 1 at Three Sixty, 10 Desbrosses St. NY NY at 8:30PM. Click on the image above for the event's Facebook link.
I'll be spinning records-- all vinyl -- lots of new, wild wonderful stuff from all of my excursions.
Please come, dance, and support.
A few weeks back I got a call from my friend Will Holland aka Quantic asking me to join his four-piece band for a bunch of dates all across North America in October. The group will include vocalist Nidia Góngora and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Wilson Viveros!
Here is Nidia with a Quantic's Ondatrópica group:
How could I say no? I'll be playing flute, tenor saxophone, percussion, and some keyboards. Come and hear us play.
After a brief respite in August, we are back out on the road, debuting unreleased songs from our upcoming album and some old surprises
- July 12: Lowdown Hudson Music Festival (Brookfield Place, NYC) with Antibalas and the Roots (FREE)
- July 15: SESC Pompeia Choperia (São Paulo, Brazil) with Antibalas
- July 17: Instrumenta Brasilia Festival (Parque da Cidade, Brasilia, BR) with Antibalas
- July 22: Amsterdam Bar and Grill (St. Paul, MN) with Antibalas (Info/Tickets)
- July 29: Lincoln Center Out of Doors (Lincoln Ctr, NYC) with Antibalas, in collaboration with Davido. (FREE)
- August 10: Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn) with Ocote Soul Sounds, opening for Brownout.
On June 8, we staged a live debut of Bosco Mann's "Fugue In Soul," which we recorded at the Daptone House of Soul a few months back for Daptone's 100th 45 rpm release. Present here are the horn sections from the Dap Kings, Antibalas, Lee Fields and our extended family of musicians.
Here's a fan video of the performance from June 8, 2016 for the inauguration of Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Stay tuned for the 45.
New 45 single release by Ocote Soul Sounds feat. Quantic and Chico Mann. Out 6/17/2016 on Wonderwheel Recordings.