Archive for the ‘Chopteeth’ Category

with Very Special Guests: All Mighty Senators
and old school tunes spun by DJ Guilherme
Sat, March 10, 2012
In a city with a celebrated funk scene and distinct go-go tradition, Chopteeth’s brand of Afrofunk is the pulse of the city” –—Planet
Bursting with old-school big band power, Afrobeat crew Chopteeth know how to turn skeptical foot-tappers into shirt-whirling, wolf-whistling believers. Joined for a double-bill by Baltimore based All Mighty Senators who Billboard Magazine calls “Hot Hot Hot!”, no rear will be left unshaken at the U Street Music Hall on Saturday, March 10th, 2012. After picking up two Wammies recently (World Music Group and World Music Vocalist), bringing their total to nine, Chopteeth will be in a celebratory mood. This is their final area show before making their New Orleans debut at the Congo Square Rhythms Fest at the end of March.

The Washington Post hails Chopteeth as as “A sensation—the dozen-plus member outfit cooks up a scintillating stew of Afrofunk, rumba, salsa, ska and funk.  There’s no other band in the area with as funky and wide-reaching a sound.” Combine that with the Rock & Soul sound of All Mighty Senators for the evening and a party is brewing!

For Chopteeth, even a dance party can be a deep exercise in tracing musical lineages. Over  many sweaty gigs, the band honed a late Fela piece of fugue-like complexity (see a live video of Question Jam Answer) and spent months calling Nigeria to find an unsung master of African funk. They dug through record store bins, trolled the internet, and mined the vinyl of die-hard African record buffs to find lo-fi and neglected gems.

These gems harken back to the golden age of African pop, the 1970s. In rough-and-ready studios, musicians laid down heady mixes of James Brown-inspired funk, complex chord changes, and local rhythms. They reacted to soul and rumba, to jazz and rock, to harsh political realities and deep roots. Though some musicians of this generation rose to international prominence, many languished, only recently rediscovered by dedicated African music fans, labels, and collectors.

The band’s live vibe channels all the heavy-duty intensity of a good old big band, something increasingly rare in this age of mp3s and streaming files. “The truth is people don’t often hear big bands playing dance music live anymore,” muses Chopteeth bassist Robert Fox. “You hear a song like Fela’s ‘J.J.D.’ in person, and it just feels different. It’s a shocking experience for the audience.”

Check out this video of Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band performing Fela Kuti’s J.J.D. from the Rock and Roll Hotel.  Craig Considine, who will be performing with both Chopteeth and All Mighty Senators plays a killer solo on the video.

All Mighty Senators is a rhythm fused quintet from Baltimore, which has toured the United States and Canada extensively. AMS released their first recordings under Baltimore indie Merkin Records before releasing four albums under their own Dog Eat Dog Records to both critical and popular acclaim.

Their live shows, fronted by the charismatic Landis Expandis and guitar-god Warren Boes, have remained one of the most revered on the East Coast, and have established AMS with a diverse and rabid following, ranging from indie-philes to rave cadets to festival freaks. Their genre defying sounds have drawn comparisons to such disparate acts as Sly and The Family Stone, Frank Zappa and Beck.

Fela’s Afrobeat and All Mighty Senators have some unexpected elements in common: political ferocity, a day-glo intensity, and serious creativity. They both evolved in reaction to Western R&B or pop rock, and leaped off in radical (and radically different) directions.

Chopteeth and All Mighty Senators know how to meld the retro savor and the fresh take, with unrelenting energy and onstage flair.

Chopteeth lead vocalist and primary songwriter Michael Shereikis offered, “We’re really looking foward to getting back into U Street Music Hall with its slamming sound system, and just as psyched to finally be sharing the stage with Almighty Senators. It’ll be a wicked good time, guaranteed”.

Praise for Chopteeth:


Winners of 9 Wammie Awards from
The Washington Area Music Association:
2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 & 2007
World Music Group
Artist of the Year
Debut CD of the Year
2010, 2008
World Music Recording
2011 World Music Vocalist
A storming powerhouse of big-band African funk,
Chopteeth is smart, tight and relentlessly driving…a definite don’t-miss.” –The Washington Post
“Thunderous… potent.  Chopteeth’s debut CD takes the band from upbeat Swahili lyrics over a South African pulse one second, to spaghetti Western-inspired instrumentals the next.True to the political essence at the heart of Fela’s music.” –Billboard
Wonderfully fresh. With absolutely no reservations, this is an outright success” –Allmusic.com

“Afrofunk with lunatic energy.”— National Public Radio



Read Full Post »