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Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Thursday, September 23, Fox Theatre, 303-443-3399; Friday, September 24, Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 303-297-1772.

Brooklyn-based collective Antibalas (Spanish for "bulletproof") is the proud musical descendant of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. The Nigerian-born singer/activist is known as Africa's Bob Marley and credited as the creator of Afrobeat, an amalgam of West African horn-heavy highlife, funk and jazz. Working within the framework established by Kuti and enhancing it with hip-hop, Latin jazz and other contemporary influences, Antibalas creates sweaty, funky jams with a decidedly political slant. The ensemble's fifteen members make their joyful joints on this year's Who Is This America?using dozens of percussion instruments, guitars, horns, keyboards and bass. Toastmaster and bari-sax player Martín Perna leads the orchestra through sprawling, extended, polyrhythmic grooves that cover a lot of musical ground -- from Baaba Maal to James Brown -- without ever losing the beat. Since 1998, Antibalas has established a reputation for exhilarating, steamy live shows, lighting up the party while touring close to 300 days a year.

 
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