Chicago Afrobeat Project and Aurelio Co-Headline 18th Annual Afro Roots World Music Festival 9/3

Art & Culture
"Chicago Afrobeat Project and Aurelio Co-Headline 18th Annual Afro Roots World Music Festival 9/3"


The 18th annual Afro Roots World Music Festival, one of the area’s longest-running concert series, will take place on Labor Day Saturday, September 3, 2016, at the historic North Beach Bandshell (7275 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139). Co-headliners Chicago Afrobeat Project and Honduran Garifuna artist Aurelio Martinez will be supported by locals Uma Galera plus DJ Moses. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the first act will go on at 5:30 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $15 and available online at at that price until September 2. Admission on the day of the show is $25; all ages are welcome.

The Chicago Afrobeat Project has emerged as one of the genre’s most prominent and successful touring American acts, having mastered a sound that successfully weaves the uniqueness of the Chicago music scene with a distinct Nigerian style of music. The group previously collaborated with drummer Tony Allen (Afrobeat granddaddy Fela Kuti‘s drummer), and are currently promoting their latest release Nyash Up!, which is their fourth official album. It incorporates elements of hip-hop, orchestra-like musical arrangement, rock, jazz and funk.

Also featured at this year’s festival is Aurelio, who was born in the tiny coastal hamlet of Plaplaya on Honduras’ Caribbean coast. He may be one of the last generations to grow up steeped in the Garifuna tradition, which encompass the African and Caribbean Indian roots of his ancestors. Specifically, he is a descendant of a group of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with local natives on the island of St. Vincent who were deported to the Central American coast in the late eighteenth century. The artist also served his community for years as a legislator.

Local openers Uma Galera are an experimental reggae band who play Latin-tinged grooves laced with rock, funk, ska and more to create what they call “world soul music”. Their fitting name means “one crowd”, as their bouts of musical improvisation inspire unity and grow good vibes. Spinning the best from the different eras and sub-genres of world music will be DJ Moses, a mainstay of the festival for more than ten years now.

The festival is produced by local non-profit organization Community Arts & Culture  and is generously bering underwritten by the Knight Foundation, theFlorida Department of Cultural Affairs, the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council. Event sponsors include Ocean Terrace Holdings, Blackwell Rum, 7th Circuit Productions, and the Rhythm Foundation.

There’s an official all-ages festival kick-off party at the North Beach Bandshell called “Road to Afro Roots”, scheduled for Wednesday, August 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., with live music by Zona de Bomba and several food trucks. Admission is free.

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