KALETA & SUPER YAMBA BAND ϟ
Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by legendary Afrobeat veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The singer, guitarist and percussionist from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Kaleta performed and toured the world with the two most popular musicians from Nigeria, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, along with Majek Fashek and recently Lauryn Hill.
Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country. Super Yamba takes its cues from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, El Rego and The Funkees all legends in their own right for pioneering the classic styles of Afro-Funk and Afro-Rock in Benin and Nigeria. Super Yamba Band have dialed in the nuances of some of the rarest grooves out there with a timeless sound that will move everyone in the room to dance!
Kaleta got his start in the late 70s performing in church and was soon after picked up by iconic Juju master and world music pioneer King Sunny Ade. A few years later Fela Kuti came calling. Kaleta would go on to tour the world playing guitar for the King of Afrobeat in his band Egypt 80 through the 1980s and into the 1990s. Audiences will hear Kaleta sing in several different languages native to West Africa including Fon, Goun, Yoruba and Ewe, along with French and Pidgin English, "the official language of Afrobeat" he says with a grin.
Super Yamba Band's live performances with Kaleta are absolutely explosive. Afropop Worldwide said "their ace-up-the-sleeve: the singer Kaleta, whose James Brown grunts have got to be some of the best in the business." With Kaleta at the helm Super Yamba Band have recently erupted onto stages at Paste Magazine's Emerging Music Festival, World Music Institute's Masters Of African Music Series, The Untitled Action Bronson Show (Viceland TV), Secret Planet APAP 2018 Showcase and more, giving audiences an unforgettable experience of world-class Afro-Funk dance music.
LADAMA is an ensemble of women musicians from across the Americas who, as well as performing as a touring band, strive to engage youth in their respective communities in the process of music-making, composition and audio production through collaboration and performance workshops. They are Mafer Bandola (Venezuela), Lara Klaus (Brazil), Daniela Serna (Colombia) and Sara Lucas (U.S.). With rhythm and percussion driving their original compositions sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English they combine disparate, traditional roots music with pop. The result is a sonic experience through which we can view our future as a world that communicates across continents and cultures, with sound and story. LADAMA has performed at TED, the Skoll World Forum, on ESPN, and at dozens of prestigious venues and festivals around the world. In January 2018 they were featured on NPR's All Things Considered which praised their "irresistible spirit and universal appeal." Their self-titled debut album (released on Six Degrees Records, 2017,) reached #1 on both iTunes and Amazon's Latin Music Charts.
THE ILLUSTRIOUS BLACKS ϟ
Once upon a time in a galaxy not far away, there lived two kings. Each was the ruler of his own deliciously glorious planet. The first king, Manchildblack, was well known throughout the cosmos for his ethereal vocals, celestial sonics and earthy musical messages. The other king, Monstah Black, was a star in the solar system for his gravity defying performances, gende bending fashions and spacey disposition. One magical night, an inexplicable ultragnetic pull forced the two planets to collide. A technicolored explosion occurred, turning night into day, with a feast of aural and visual delights. It was then that the universe was changed forever. Manchildblack and Monstah Black united and became The Illustrious Blacks. With inspiration from extra terrestrials like Prince, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Boy George and George Clinton, The Illustrious Blacks have arrived with a mission to fuse futuristic funk, hypnotic house and cosmic pop into pulsating positivity for the planet. The real life married couple are not only c-pilots on their artistic voyage, but are united in their fantastical journey through life. In 2017, The Illustrious Blacks released their highly anticipated debut EP, NeoAfroFuturisticPsychedelicSurrealisticHippy, on Concierge Records. The EP features the high energy single "Blast Off," the seductive "Red Light," the thought provoking "Delusions of Grandeur" and the anthemic "Black Like Jesus." In the same year, the dynamic duo also found time to work with producer Nickodemus on a remake of the 90s dance floor classic "Funk That!," which spawned a popular music video. The acclaimed duo found even more praise for their epic live shows, which fuse music, dance, theater & fashion as the ingredients to expand minds, shake bootys and save the world one beat at a time. Toward the end of summer 2017, The Illustrious Blacks landed their live show Hyperbolic for a three month residency at the legendary Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. If their music and live shows are meant to elevate you into the stratosphere, then The Illustrious Blacks radio show, "On Air w/The Blacks," is an opportunity to experience their inner space. The entertaining and often hilarious weekly series invites listeners onto the mothership of the charismatic couple, where they discuss the latest happenings in global pop culture on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York. Individually, Monstah Black and Manchildblack illuminate the galaxy with equal magnitude. Together, as The Illustrious Blacks, they have combined their powers and metamorphosed into supernovas, blazing through the Milky Way like a comet, with their own unique brand of cosmic freak nobility ϟ