The Daily Page: “First Beat Thurdays with Chicago Afrobeat Project”

October 4, 2007

This article originally appeared in the The Daily Page in Madison.

Chicago Afrobeat Project has been touring the country for the past five years playing festivals and clubs from coast to coast. Throughout the journey the band has really built a stong following and found a home away from home in Madison, which made it an obvious choice of cities to expand the First Beat series to. On the first Thursday of every month for the rest of the year the band will perform two long sets at Cafe Montmartre.

Several years ago Chicago Afrobeat Project began playing the first Saturday of every month at the Note in Wicker Park. The shows started late and lasted until 5AM. A few shows in, the series became known as “First Beat.” It has since moved to the Kinetic Playground in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Due to its great success the band decided to expand First Beat beyond Chicago and into other cities. Every first Wednesday they play at Otto’s in DeKalb and beginning October First Beat comes to Madison. Cafe Momo, as its referred to, was the club that hosted Chicago Afrobeat Project’s first Madison show many years back.

Chicago Afrobeat Project’s high-energy explosive live show fuses African percussion rhythms, intricate jazz solos and most of all a strong beat that can get any music fan of any age out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. While the size of the group varies from show to show, you can expect a tight rhythm section, tons of percussion, a powerful horn section and occasional vocal chants. Their live show will consist of material from their new album as well as other other released and unreleased originals. They also might throw in a Fela cover or two and ‘afrobeatized’ versions of rock, hip-hop or jazz tunes.

In other news, Chicago Afrobeat Project will be releasing their second full length studio album a few days before the First Beat Kick-Off show. The street date for (A) Move to Silent Unrest is Tuesday October 2, 2007. The album contains seven lengthy original tunes and as with all Chicago Afrobeat Project releases, a portion of album sales benefits Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria (JAAIDS), a non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria that develops creative communication programs to help combat the spread of AIDS in Nigeria.

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