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Monday, June 17, 2013

BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech Preview:
Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat

By Robert Wood

The BAM R&B Festival at MetroTech—BAM's free summertime showcase of heavy hitters from R&B, reggae, funk, and other genres—runs this year until August 8, with concerts happening (almost) every Thursday at noon. That means lunchtime for most, so for the full MetroTech experience, we suggest bringing takeout from a nearby restaurant and making an afternoon (or a long lunch break) out of it. Check back every week for these previews, which will also suggest appropriate eats to enjoy along with the music, and pigeons, in Downtown Brooklyn.

Kaleta & Zozo Afrobeat
Thu, Jun 20 at 12pm
MetroTech Commons | map

In a nutshell:
A 13-member Afrobeat ensemble in the tradition of the great, politically outspoken Nigerian bands from the 70s and 80s.

Afrobeat, Nigerian juju, highlife, funk

What to Know:
The group’s leader, the Benin-born singer and guitarist Kaleta, grew up playing guitar in Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé’s bands. In other words, Zozo's music has been washed in the blood of the Nigerian groove gods themselves.The group also carries on the Afrobeat tradition of pull-no-punches political commentary, speaking out against the injustices of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, the proliferation of guns, and other relevant topics. “Politics is essential to Afrobeat music,” says Kaleta. “We speak truth to power.”

Kaleta performs songs in no fewer than seven languages: English, Pidgin English, Yoruba, Goun, Fon, Ewe, and French.

You might like them if you like:
Fela Kuti, Antibalas, Tony Allen, King Sunny Ade

Appropriateness for getting down / getting it on:
90% / 10%

What to do about lunch: 
Without any Nigerian food in the neighborhood, you’ll have to get creative. How about this: “Zozo” comes from the Goun and Fon word meaning “something hot,” so we suggest Mexican. Fast & Fresh Burrito Deli (84 Hoyt, between Atlantic and State) is cheap and good, serving chorizo tortas, adobo and jalapeno-smothered pork tacos, and plenty more that fits the spicy bill. 

1 comment:

  1. I’m a big fan of R&B music and when I discovered Palm Beach Broadcasting’s R&B station, I was the happiest person on earth. My stereo is always tuned on X102.3 . You can stream live or download all your favorite R&B music.