The passing of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in 1997 sparked a wave of renewed interest in the sound, as Fela's politically motivated Nigerian funk movement began to work its way into the sample-based worlds of hip-hop and house music. New York-based multi-instrumentalist Martín Perna decided to take it a step further with his vision of a fully realized Afrobeat ensemble that would tour the world spreading the unity message that was at the core of Fela's music. Seven years and three albums later, Perna's crew of "Afrobeat Soldiers" has grown to 13 members (the extended family numbers more than 30) and toured the globe while sharing the stage with the likes of James Brown and The Roots. The Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra brings the politics, backbeat and heavy brass to Trees as part of the Who Is This America? tour.
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