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