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 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!

Chicago Jazz Fest this Sunday

September 1st, 2011

Friends! We’re excited to be playing at the Chicago Jazz Festival this weekend. Thanks to Bill Meyer at the Chicago Reader for the kind words…

The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International has, with help from a series of Ghanaian and Congolese singers, turned halls all over town (and well outside it) into joyous African dance parties. But the ensemble got its start playing instrumentals, and alto saxophonist Greg Ward and guitarist Nathaniel Braddock have jazz chops to spare. Here they’ll apply them to tunes from Mali, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in a set that they’ve already taken to jazz festivals in Vancouver and Montreal.

Show this Saturday!

August 27th, 2011

Rave reviews for tomorrow’s show in the Chicagoist

The music schedule for this festival is off the fucking chart. Smoking Popes and Sones de Mexico headline tonight, with Andreas Kapsalis and Goran Ivanovic opening. Tomorrow sees local Afropop stars Occidental Brothers Dance Band International and Angel Melendez & His 911 Mambo Orchestra bring the grooves…

New Chicago Show

April 22nd, 2011

While the guys are busy writing and recording the new cd, we’re happy to announce a Chicago gig on June 18th headlining the second stage at the Taste Of Randolph!  Hope to see you there, and check back soon!

Merci, tout le monde

July 12th, 2010

Thanks you, friends for coming out to three great festivals this past weekend!  We’re big fans or all of them:

Madison, Wisconsin’s La Fete de Marquette: what a town, everyone on the festival grounds was dancing!  What a treat when the Kenyans started singing along with Vunja Mifupa and Malako Disco.

Chicago’s Folk & Roots Fest: a homecoming for the band.  Great to play for such a big, happy bunch!

Toronto’s AfroFest: thanks to Peter Toh and everyone from this great, international city!  A great place to watch the World Cup final, and then to bring the music…

Tinariwen Workshop Revisited

April 23rd, 2010

Back in February, OBDBI guitarist Nathaniel Braddock helped conduct a workshop in Tamasheq guitar of Tinariwen with their amazing guitarist Abdallah Ag Alhoussenyni.  The Old Town School of Folk Music has just completed this video of the occasion…

Lengthy Article for Your Perusal

April 15th, 2010

Friends-  A lengthy new profile of the band was published yesterday in the Chicago Reader.  It features a lot of information on the history of the Occidental Brothers and on our singer, Samba Mapangala.  Thank you to Peter Margasak for putting so much time into it, and thanks to Chicago Reader for making it their cover story.

Click HERE to take a look-see, and hope to see you at Schubas on Saturday night

OBDBI in the Schools

March 27th, 2010

The OBDBI just finished a series fo 23 concerts in the Evanston, IL school district. We reached over 7,000 students, and the pool of musicians included Nathaniel Braddock, Makaya McCraven, Marcus Evans, Joshua Ramos, Steve Doyle, and Jeffrey Greene.