Friday, July 2, 2010

International Music Explosion this summer at the Iron Horse! Four superb shows.

Grupo Fantasma, plus DJ Bongohead of Latin Night, Tuesday, July 13th at the Iron Horse at 7 PM

Grupo Fantasma is the funkiest, finest & hardest working Latin band to come out of the US since Ozomatli. Their trademark sound is guided by the deeply rooted traditions of cumbia, salsa, funk, & psychedelia. This masterful 11-piece Austin-based ensemble has forged a fresh new standard of excellence in Latin music. The song “Gimme Some” for example starts with some wondrously plump, boisterous notes on the baritone sax, the band kicks in behind it with sinuous guitar, a sharp horn arrangement and a crackling Latin funk groove; the result resembles a summit between the Godfather of Soul and Santana circa its first album. With a cheerfully mercenary chorus that echoes the latter's "Evil Ways," the group chants, "It's time to pay up / We're tired of working, of working so hard / Give us some money / Whatever you got." Then it's into another fiery break with Maceo Parker, one of the linchpins of the James Brown sound, taking the lead.

African Highlife from …Chicago? Yes! Occidental Brothers Dance Band Int'l featuring Samba Mapangala at the Iron Horse on Friday, July 23rd at 8:30 PM

Chicago’s Occidental Brothers Dance Band Int’l plays classic Central and West African dance music—specializing in soukous, Highlife, Rumba, Dry Guitar, and other delights from the great continent. The multi-racial band mixes their backgrounds in traditional African music, jazz, and underground rock to bring these classic sounds to life. The group has been winning over a diverse audience of listeners, dancers and rockers, and causing a buzz among established African music critics. Word of the group’s electrifying live shows is spreading as they play sold-out shows with Afropop legend Oliver Mtukudzi and art-pop superstar Andrew Bird.

Vieux Farke Toure, son of great Malian bluesman Ali Farke Toure, brings his desert blues and astounding dexterity on the fretboard to the Iron Horse on Tuesday, July 27th at 7 PM

Vieux Farka Toure’s has flourished with the historic passing of the torch from father to son. A highly talented guitarist, singer, songwriter, and percussionist, Vieux has crafted a global-minded style all his own. With flourishes of rock and reggae amidst Saharan Blues and traditional Malian melodies, Vieux Farka Touré ushers in the next generation of Mali blues. “Vieux Farka Touré's beautifully realized debut recording both honors and extends the life work of his father, Ali Farka Touré: to explore and promote the rich music of Mali's desert north.” - Afropop Worldwide

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba at the Iron Horse Sunday, August 1st at 7 PM

Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of a precursor of the banjo, the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West and. Bassekou toured with Ali Farka Toure as the band's solo ngoni player and was one of the key musicians on his posthumous album 'Savane. He has played in the Symmetric trio alongside Toumani Diabate (kora) and Keletigui Diabate (balafon), was a part of Taj Mahal's and Toumani Diabate's 'Kulanjan' project and features prominently on Youssou N'Dour's latest album 'Rokku mi Rokka' and Dee Dee Bridgwater's 'Red Earth' Quotes: "..a genius, a living proof that the blues comes from the region of Segu." - TAJ MAHAL "..a MUST for anyone seeking new musical adventures." - DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER "...ancient and utterly contemporary .... like some African answer to Hendrix." The Guradian UK

Tickets for all four shows are available at Northampton Box Office, 413-586-8686, and online at

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