Both Records Available on BandCamp

April 25th, 2012

Hello, all,

Both of our records are available for download and cd again.  Click here to grab ’em!

Occidental Brothers in Millennium Park

April 24th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce our concert at Chicago’s Pritzker Pavilion on Monday June 25. Will be playing with Chile’s great Chico Trujillo. This event is free, so hope you can come out and enjoy an evening of music at one of the country’s best outdoor venues!

Strobe Session

February 28th, 2012

Just announced… the band will be playing a night of music at Chicago’s Strobe Recording Studio to a very small audience.  Please RSVP to strobesessions @ g mail . com as reservations will go fast!  The evening will be shot to video and posted to the internets.

…in the Chicago Tribune

February 24th, 2012

Thanks to Greg Kot for the nice shout in today’s Chicago Tribune!

Global Dance Night Chicago!

February 17th, 2012

Hey, everybody!  We’re pleased to be playing next Friday February 24 at the Old Town School of Folk Music‘s new Szold Hall–a concert hall with room to move!  The show is part of the new Global Dance Night series started by our friend Mateo Mulcahy, and the evening kicks off with a dance lesson from Kimosha Murphy.  Then the band plays all night–it should be great party, so please join us!

We’ll be joined that night by a couple of new faces.  Greg Ward won’t be back from his trip through southern Africa yet, but DeSean Jones will be on the horn, and killing it!  Also, we’ll be joined on vocals and kalimba by Zambian musician Matthew Tembo.  Matthew moved to Chicago this year, and we really enjoy his friendship and prodigious muscianship.  After many years as a successful reggae musician, Matthew has been focusing on traditional Zambian sounds.  You can look forward to lots of new sounds next Friday, plus Mr. Tembo tearing it up on your OBDBI favorites!

The People The Rain Forgot

February 17th, 2012

We’re pleased to have been able to help out documentary film maker Sophia Tewa.  Her film The People The Rain Forgot uses some of the music that the Occidentals recorded with Samba singing.  Her film documents the story of the most vulnerable victims of climate change in Africa, and just  took Best Documentary Film honors at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood.

Congratulations to Sophia!

Koo Nimo Concert and Masterclass

January 6th, 2012

Koo Nimo is the last of the great Ghanaian Palm Wine guitarists, and this may well be his last trip to the States.  Short acoustic opening set by a couple past and present members of the Occidental Brothers (Rambo Asamoah will be there!. The concert is FREE, but a 5 buck donation is recommended.

Koo Nimo will lead a masterclass on Thursday 1/12, also.

Click here for concert information

Click here for to register for the Palm Wine masterclass

African Dance music all night long!

October 17th, 2011

After all our festival gigs, please join us for our first Chicago club date in over a year as we return to Schubas on Friday October 28th! It’ll likely be the last local one in 2011, too, so please come on out.

We’re joined by our friends l’Orchestre Super-Vitesse who specialize in the music of the Manding bands of Guinee, Mali, and Senegal.

Also, as a special treat our Zambian friend Matthew Tembo will be sharing a couple of his tunes. Matthew just moved to town, and we’re looking forward to hearing more of his music!

Chicago Club Date Added…

October 4th, 2011

We’re happy to announce our first Chicago club date in a long, long time. Coming home to Schuba’s on October 28. More details to come!

Chicago Tribune

September 18th, 2011

Thanks to Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich for the great review in Saturday’s paper!

“Notwithstanding the party-time feeling of this music, however, the Occidentals deal in meticulously conceived, tightly arranged, crisply articulated arrangements. This is not a band that gets together to riff freely, in other words. The precision of their playing, the pinpoint accuracy of their cues and the careful structuring of their songs affirm that they leave very little to chance – at least in ensemble passages.”

Click HERE to read the whole thing!