Listen to the Spotify playlist below that highlights some of the best funky world music bands that borrow from diverse cultures to create fun, complex music that makes you move your body. Watch a couple of outstanding live performances that show just how talented these groups are…
See Moses Boyd’s Exodus & their modern, genre-bending Jazz…
Listen to & follow this Spotify playlist of
Funky, Jazzy Genre-Bending Global Grooves…
Thrilling, Genre-Defying Funky Music
Prolific, Brazilian big band, Bixiga 70, are like unstoppable music making machines! Every year, they come out with an amazing new release, and they tour like crazy. Their third album, III, won my favorite record of 2015.
And now, they put out an intense Dub version of some of the tracks: The Copan Connection: Bixiga 70 Meets Victor Rice. The music swells, ebbs, flows, deconstructs and then blissfully reconnects in completely unexpected ways. The result is not a mere companion piece to III but a completely new, stand-alone sonic experience. Get it on vinyl here.
Iconili from Belo Horizonte masterfully mix Jazz, Afrobeat, Rock, and Brazilian music on their energizing album, Piacó. “Odanio” is the perfect example of how they put it all together into extended, impressive jams.
Nomade Orquestra released a captivating album of genre-bending, modern Jazz & underground Brazilian music hybrid on Far Out Recordings. “Humaitá” is a modern Jazz Funk masterpiece with a feel-good flute Funk groove, joyful brass section, and a healthy dose of wah-wah on top of the laid-back boom-bap drumming.
Listen to it below, click their link in the playlist to hear this entire remarkable record. Then buy the vinyl here.
Andre Sampaio & Os AfroMandinga appear thanks to Far Out Recordings, passionate curators of the best Brazilian music. This diverse band explores the dialogue between traditions of the African matrix and modern music with electrified instruments, in a language that mixes Afrobeat, Samba-Rock and Dub. “Ecos de Niafunke” is like a Malian music Brazilian hybrid that really shows off Sampaio’s intoxicating guitar playing. Listen to more of their astounding music here.
Abayomy Afrobeat Orquestra is a thrilling Afrobeat ensemble from Rio de Janeiro. They blend the best of Brazilian music with a heavy dose of Nigerian influence, creating captivating music you can’t resist. Their powerful “Peleja” drives the Brazilian/West African funky groove straight into your being, finishing it off with a breathtaking berimbau solo.
Jungle By Night
Jungle By Night, from Amsterdam, plays searing psychedelic Afrobeat & dramatic deep Funk. “Hannoman” is a fiery song inspired by the Hindu monkey god’s irascible energy. Listen to more of their provocative music here.
The Seven Ups Make It Funky!
The Seven Ups from Melbourne, Australia love a healthy dose of Afrobeat with their down & dirty Funk. Unrestrained solos, horny horns, and a remarkable rhythm section combine to deliver a funky, irresistible, dope instrumental hybrid. This 7-piece party band consistently lays it down!
“The Boss” comes from their outstanding, self-titled 2015 debut. It’s awesome, modern Afrobeat with fast, Funk guitar. Their almighty horn section and profound percussion join in to create an exuberant Afro-Funk supernova.
Sons of Kemet
Hailing from the murky world of the London post-jazz scene, Sons of Kemet, deliver a distinctive street music feel, bearing influence from the dynamic vibe of New Orleans music to the percussive intricacy of West African drum music with some Caribbean Dub flavors thrown in for good measure. “Play Mass” highlights their New Orleans vibe with a heavy brass band groove that blends with their West African inspirations to create unique & lively music.
Moses Boyd Exodus
Moses Boyd is a young Jazz drummer, composer, and producer with a bright future. With his band, Exodus, these London based musicians create intriguing, genre-bending Jazz. “Axis Blue” is a spacey modern Jazz number featuring prodigious guitar playing, and rousing musicianship from this new breed of young, talented Jazz musicians who aren’t bound by tradition.
Genre-Defying World Beat Groove
Listen to its B-side, “Eastern Prayer,” in this Spotify playlist. It features Nia Andrews’ beautiful chanting, and is a breathtaking genre-bending world beat groove with sensational steel drums, and joyful guitar picking.
Ethiopian Latin Jazz
Ethio-Jazz master, Mulatu Astatke, transitions us into the Latin part of our playlist with “Boogaloo” from his fabulous record, Mulatu Steps Ahead. I love this genre-bending at its best — he makes the hybrid of Latin Jazz and Ethiopian Jazz work perfectly. It’s a mellow, yet stimulating sound made richer by Astatke’s gorgeous vibraphone sounds.
Arabesque Latin Jazz
The Ultimate Genre-Bender
They’re a multi-cultural band based in London with a Venezuelan singer, Luzmira Zerpa. On “Cacao” she sings a far out, potent Venezuelan tambor tune. The story is about a town called Chuao that’s only accessible by boat, and is home to a traditional Afro-Venezuelan village. It knocked me off my feet when I first heard it because it has special meaning for me.
I used to live in Caracas, and went to the “Cacao Coast,” specifically the beach town of Choroní, every chance I could. This long Caribbean coastline is home to Afro-Venezuelan communities that each have their unique drumming traditions. The fisherman play drums all night and sing an exhilarating call & response style, that gets everyone dancing & drinking rum along the malecón. It’s so much fun!
Get into this funky jam! Watch the video of the stellar live version from Jam In The Van…where the bands consistently give outstanding performances. Bonus points to the percussionist for breaking out the cuica!