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Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: The Rhythmic Revolution

Jan 19, 2024
Since 2003, the Alma Afrobeat Ensemble has become a trailblazer in modern Afrobeat. Originating in Chicago and later moving to Barcelona, the group has created a unique fusion of global sounds, blending Afrobeat with Latin, hip-hop, soul, and Americana. Their diverse discography, including acclaimed albums like "Monkey See, Monkey Do", highlights their evolution and commitment to Afrobeat's ethos of cultural connection and social engagement.
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: The Rhythmic Revolution Since its inception in Chicago in 2003, the Alma Afrobeat Ensemble (AAbE) has evolved into a prominent figure in the world of modern Afrobeat, establishing itself as a creative and dynamic force. Relocating to Barcelona in 2006, AAbE took on a journey of musical exploration, embracing a diverse array of sounds from across the globe. This cultural melting pot has shaped their unique style, marked by a blend of Afrobeat with Latin, hip-hop, soul, and Americana influences.

The ensemble's discography is a demonstration of their evolving sound, featuring albums like "Toubab Soul" with its Latin flair, "Life No Get Dublicate" infusing hip-hop elements, the soulful "It’s Time", and the eclectic "Monkey See, Monkey Do" which incorporates Americana roots and electronic touches. The band's latest album, “Monkey See, Monkey Do”, has garnered acclaim, being highlighted as one of the year's standout world music albums, and achieving notable positions on European and Transglobal music charts.

AAbE’s commitment to Afrobeat’s ethos of social engagement and its role as a bridge across cultures is evident in their participation in projects like the "Republicafrobeat" collection, emphasizing the genre's significance in the Iberian Peninsula. This initiative showcases the band's involvement in a wider community of Afrobeat artists, celebrating the genre's capacity to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries.

The ensemble's collaboration with various artists continues to expand their musical horizons. In 2023, AAbE teamed up with Beto Bedoya for the track "Shoruba 3", showcasing their ability to merge different artistic visions while maintaining their distinctive Afrobeat essence.

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble's reputation as a live act is unparalleled, with performances that are not just concerts but experiences. They have captivated audiences at various festivals and events, such as the WOMAD Canary Islands festival and the Fiestizaje music and arts festival. Their live shows are a vivid display of their musical journey, resonating with audiences across Spain, France, and the United States.

In recent years, the band has seen notable developments, such as the addition of Joe Psalmist, whose soulful voice and dynamic stage presence have elevated their performances. The band's touring history includes diverse locations, from the Iberian Peninsula to the Balearic Islands, and even ventures into Africa, reflecting their commitment to bringing their sound to a global audience.

As the Alma Afrobeat Ensemble continues to evolve, their journey represents more than just a musical endeavor. It's a testament to the unifying power of music, transcending geographical, cultural, and linguistic barriers. With each album, collaboration, and performance, AAbE redefines the boundaries of Afrobeat, inviting listeners worldwide to join in their rhythmic revolution.