This article originally appeared in the Illinois Entertainer.
Carrying the torch for Afrobeat genre founder Fela Kuti, Chicago Afrobeat Project fuse jazz with African tribal music. Primarily instrumental, this nine-member group are best known for blowing people’s minds with their live show. Along with the ensemble and solo works of drums, keys, horns, and guitars you’ll hear traditional African instruments such as the kora. The group is donating part of the proceeds from the sale of this seven-song CD to JAAIDS (Journalists Against AIDS Nigeria), which is just as cool as their music.
We’re joined by Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, who argues that the U.S. government is not prepared to protect citizens from disasters. Then, we bring you the personal story of one soldier’s time in Iraq and the experiences that caused him to change his opinion of the war. And, Chicago Public Radio’s Lucia Mauro talks with a man whose roots in Vietnam shape the dances he choreographs.
Plus, we talk to Sadhu Johnston, Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Environment, about what the city is doing to help residents deal with the high cost of heat, and the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne tells us why high electricity costs may be bad news for the Great Lakes. Plus, we find out why some environmentalists are opposed to dredging the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Chicago Afrobeat Project: 9 p.m., Jan. 20, Hangar 9, Carbondale. A unique combination of rock, jazz and funk mixed with African drum beats. Cover charge: $4-$5. For more information, call (618) 549-0511.
The Chicago Afrobeat Project, a nine-member 70s funk- and jazz-infused ensemble, has developed a sound combining rock, jazz, funk and African percussion into a unique percussion-heavy sound that draws audiences from all walks of life — and gets them dancing.
Political activist Fela Kuti created the urban, contemporary sound of Afrobeat that was influenced by artists such as James Brown and Parliament. According to project member and trombone player Mark Thomson, Afrobeat is a “mix of American funk music and jazz originally developed in Africa, but it has more percussion.”