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Afrobeat Tribute To Michael Jackson





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Uploaded on Dec 30, 2009


Calling all P.Y.T.s!

Put on your dancing shoes for an Afrobeat concert inspired by Michael Jackson's music. Innovative Portland-based composer Ben Darwish leads a ten-piece band interpret Jackson's songs using Afrobeat techniques popularized by Fela Kuti. Don't stop till you get enough!

"It was, after all a mere piece of technically prodigious musical whimsy: dance meeting dance on the floor."
-Willamette Week

"The groove was only about 20 seconds old when the first hardy soul took to the dance floor Monday night at The Works. And as he waved his arms to encourage the rest of the seated crowd, it was as if the principal had just granted the student body permission to let loose. The open area in front of the stage in this old high school auditorium filled suddenly, and stayed that way through the 90-minute-long Afrobeat tribute to Michael Jackson that closed the Labor Day weekend on a celebratory note for the ongoing Time-Based Art Festival."
-The Oregonian

"Darwishs ensemble was pretty amazing with a bold horn section and spot on rhythm. Darwish, for his part, directed them well, jumping around the stage and coaxing them on. His arrangements were fantastic and it was cool to hear Jacksons work pulled, stretched, and wrapped around afrobeat rythyms. For instance, phrases from Smooth Criminal would be repeated by the horn section while the syncopated beat pumped away, or Darwish would slowly sing the lyrics of Billy Jean in deep Fela Kuti baritone while the fantastic back-up singers responded in classic afrobeat style. It worked both as a live mash-up, and the collaboration you never knew you always wanted to hear."
-Portland Mercury


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