The musical collective known as Antibalas (Spanish for bullet-proof or anti-bullets) was conceived of in
Mexico City and formed in Brooklyn New York. The early nucleus of the group was composed of the
band's founder Martín Perna and included several members from the Soul Providers / Dap Kings band,
performing their first show in May 1998 in Harlem, NY. Soon after, Lagos, Nigeria native Amayo joined
the band after seeing the band at a neighborhood concert. Fluent in the afrobeat music of Fela, he began
composing and performing lyrics and assuming the role of the group's lead vocalist / frontman. The band
began rehearsing and composing at Desco 41st street studios and later at the first Daptone Studios at
Amayo's Afro Spot venue. They spent their first year performing exclusively in noncommercial spaces in
lofts, community centers, parks, art galleries. In August 1999, they created a weekly residence called
Africalia at Tribeca club NoMoore that ran for 18 months, where the band and repertoire expanded.
In 2001, following their debut record (reissued independently, then licensed to Ninja Tune) they began
touring internationally, from Glastonbury, Montreux to Newport Jazz and other renowned rock, jazz and
world music festivals. Around 2003, following their third album "Who Is This America," the Dap Kings and
Antibalas both became very busy, each group developed its separate full-time lineup although the groups
would remain close, later reuniting with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Charles Bradley for the
2014 Daptone Super Soul Revue across summer festivals and theaters in Europe and culminating in a
three night run at New York's Apollo Theater. The group toured heavily performing over one hundred
shows per year spread across North America and Europe between 2002 and 2007 with the releases of
their third album, "Who Is This America", and fourth, "Security".
From 2007-2012 many members and former members of the Antibalas participated in the Tony-Award
winning Broadway musical FELA!, including the show's musical director Aaron Johnson, lead saxophonist
Stuart Bogie, and assistant MD trumpeter Jordan McLean. In 2011, the group returned to the Daptone
House of Soul to record their most recent album, "Antibalas" produced by emeritus member Gabriel Roth.
The group toured heavily throughout the US and Europe, and later that year, performed songs from the
album live on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Antibalas has recorded five studio albums on the Daptone, Ninja Tune, Anti-, and Ropeadope labels as
well as a number of singles and EPs. The band is currently finishing their sixth studio album due out in
mid-2017. Though recognized for their fluency in Afrobeat and funk music, the band is known to
collaborate with diverse groups and artists, from Angélique Kidjo to Jovanotti to Medeski Martin & Wood
to Public Enemy, and served as the house band at Carnegie Hall in 2014 (Music of Paul Simon), 2015
(Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads) and most recently 2017’s Music of Aretha Franklin.
The Antibalas horns have performed on Grammy award-winning albums by Angelique Kidjo, and Mark
Ronson and dozens of albums, sound tracks and live guest appearances with artists including The Roots,
My Morning Jacket, TV on the Radio, Santigold, Jovanotti, Nneka, Ed Sheeran, Alabama Shakes, The
String Cheese Incident and numerous others. Former Antibalas members have gone on to record and
perform with The Dap Kings, Arcade Fire, Mark Ronson, the Black Keys, the Arks, Menahan Street Band,
the El Michels Affair, Iron and Wine, Bat For Lashes, and Imogen Heap.
Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon. The ensemble's sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960's and 70's, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles. Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia. Ethio Cali's first EP will be released in Spring 2014.
Ethio Cali features:
Todd Simon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Director
Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Alan Lightner – Steel Pan
Damon Aaron – Guitar
Pat Bailey – Bass
Steve Haney – Percussion
Te'Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Percussion
Dexter Story – Drums