We’ll be performing in the US, Canada, Western Europe and Nigeria this spring, still adding and filling in dates. See below for the full schedule:
Back in Louisiana visiting family, doing research, writing, walking, observing and making new friends. Shaking off the old year.
Louisiana is at all times the most beautiful and ugliest place in the United States. All of the strands of this country’s history ever present.
Congratulations / felicidades to Orquesta Akokán for the Grammy nomination for their latest release on Daptone records. I was honored to have to privilege of writing the album’s liner notes.
Read / listen here: https://www.orquestaakokan.com
highlights from last few months…
Emerald Cup (Santa Rosa, CA) with Antibalas (12/16/2018)
This was a beautiful cannabis culture event in Sonoma County. It was pouring rain and I was in full business mode so I didn’t sample any of the world class (and legal) cannabis, but I did get to see an entire set by the ever-amazing Dirty Dozen Brass Band who played right before us.
Trópico Festival (Acapulco, MX) with Antibalas (12/8/2018)
I wish all festivals were like this—right on the beach, super laid back, the stage was walking distance from our hotel rooms. The lineup was really cool—Nicola Cruz, De La Soul, Celso Piña and Giorgio Moroder were my highlights. They don’t do festivals like this in the US.
Art Basel: PAMM (Miami, FL) with Antibalas (12/6/2018)
This was a jump off concert for the Perez Art Museum-Miami for Art Basel 2018. We played on a beautiful stage right on Biscayne Bay. I also got to make a visit to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens to discuss proposals for some interpretative history projects.
Complete Last Waltz (Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY) (11/17/2018)
I get to do this every two years with an amazing crew of friends that includes my Antibalas horn mates plus John Altieri on tuba, the amazing house band, and singers including Nels Cline, Binky Griptite, Nicole Atkins and a bunch of other people.
Fall touring with Antibalas all over—Calgary and Edmonton, DC, Brooklyn, Richmond VA…
And lots of time spent in California with my man Gabriel Roth and bandmate Amayo mixing the new Antibalas album for Daptone records.
Whoa! Our trip Bogotá was beautiful. So intense, dynamic and delicious, and as always, fleetingly short.
I went with Antibalas to perform at Rock al Parque, a three-day (FREE!!) festival produced/funded by the city of Bogotá, featuring three stages, probably 100 or so regional, national and international bands, and over 300,000 people coming through.
It was so much fun but not without its challenges. Each band only had 50 minutes to perform--we're just getting warmed up and into our third or fourth song by then. Bogotá is also (8,660 feet) above sea level. The altitude was no joke when it came to singing and blowing air through a horn. The cold weather (55F) was not ideal for tropical music but nonetheless it was a jam and a privilege to rock for such a great audience.
Seeing Javier Bonilla and his group present Afro-Colombian music at Bar El Chaman. Arepas, of course, and lots of good coffee. Some delicious vanilla-steeped rum at bar Matik Matik with insane vinyl DJS, hanging out with one of my favorite bands--La 33-- at the birthday of Santi, the pianist, meeting master quena/flautist Fabian Triana and receiving a beautiful quena as a gift along with his music, digging for second hand vinyl in the flea markets thanks to tips from Quantic.
UPDATE: We hit our and exceeded our goal!
Antibalas has just 24 hours to meet our Kickstarter goal of $50K to film our upcoming musical pilgrimage to Lagos, Nigeria.
In the past 29 days, over 421 supporters around the world have gotten us over 90% of the way there. Please help us reach this goal, and thanks to everyone who's already generously contributed.
I was honored to be invited to the studio with the Antibalas horns, recording arrangements by trumpeter and Antibalas bandmate Eric Biondo for the song "Pulsos."
The rough mixes of the record sounded fantastic and otherworldly. I'm so happy this crew is making music and that this record will be soon out in the world.
Antibalas is celebrating our 20th year as a band and making a musical pilgrimage to Lagos, Nigeria this December. We just launched a Kickstarter project to put together funds film our trip so we can share it with you. We have until August 11 to raise $50,000.
If this music has at some point moved you, please contribute!
About 15 years ago I was passing through Austin Texas on my way back from México. My man Adrian Quesada introduced me to musician (and at that time grad student) Alex Chávez. I moved to Austin and lived there for several years, and got to collaborate on a few occasions with Alex and the group MITOTE.
The years went by...Alex earned a Ph.D and is now a professor at Notre Dame and a few years back got an exciting new project called Dos Santos up and running out of Chicago.
Last fall, while on tour with Antibalas, we linked up again and recorded two songs for the new Dos Santos album. The session was a trip: we had very little time in between soundcheck and the gig, so they built an impromptu recording studio across the street from Thalia Hall at 606 Records. Amidst the bins of vinyl and sips of very good tequila, the four of us--Jordan McLean and Eric Biondo (trumpets), Morgan Price (tenor sax) and myself (baritone sax) knocked out the two songs with great charts by Nick Mazzarella.
Thanks to Dos Santos for inviting the Antibalas horns to be a part of this beautiful work.