On Ninja Tune

Antibalas is the spirit of Afrobeat reincarnated as a hard-hitting collective of musicians in New York City. The group carries on the soul of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, founder of the unique Afrobeat sound, which unites highlife, jazz, funk, and traditional African elements with unabashed political messages. Antibalas-which means "anti-bullets" or "bullet-proof"-shoots out monstrous horns and bass layered over polyrhythmic beats coupled with furious lyrics inciting insurrection in English, Yoruba, and Spanish.

Antibalas formed in 1998 from members of Desco Records' Soul Providers and the Daktaris. They were quickly joined by like-minded New York musicians active in the worlds of jazz, rock, improvised music, and traditional drumming from Cuba and Brazil. The union of Latinos, whites, African Americans, Africans, and Asian Americans is based in Brooklyn, NYC.

With fifteen band members, Antibalas-which is run as a collective-cannot easily be described in a traditional biography. The group's players come from such diverse professional, cultural, and personal backgrounds that only a spray of bullets can shed light on the foundation of this musical insurrection.

Antibalas Headlines

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Antibalas Afrobeat Gig Guide


  • "Antibalas horns join The Roots @ Global Citizen Fest, Central Park, NYC"

    Tue Sep 30 15:05:14 2014
  • "Busy weekend. Thanks to The Roots for having the Antibalas horns rock with them at the Global Citizen Festival..."

    Tue Sep 30 05:15:32 2014
  • "RT @okayafrica: Watch @theroots perform @felakuti's "Water No Get Enemy" live at Central Park w/ @Antibalas: http://…"

    Tue Sep 30 00:22:56 2014
  • "RT @DavidDTSS: Reminder: The cops have killed more Americans on camera than ISIS ever has"

    Mon Sep 29 14:09:01 2014
  • "RT @craxy: Dammit, I knew I should have gone to Boat Party. Antibalas has a very handsome horn section."

    Mon Sep 29 14:05:25 2014

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