Having just hosted its final party at San Francisco’s Elbo Room in June after a seven-year weekly residency, the wild dance band Afrolicious has broken out with a new album, “California Dreaming Remixed.” In the midst of its 2014 summer tour that has taken it from the High Sierra Music Festival to clubs and festivals across California and Colorado, Afrolicious makes its Ashkenaz debut tonight with Ghanaian star Paa Kow opening.
Afrolicious has established itself as one of the top live/electronic bands on the scene. Launched as a weekly dance party featuring DJs and brothers Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz alongside percussionists, MCs, and horn players, over the years the band has evolved as founding DJ/producer Pleasuremaker (Joe McGuire) alongside his brother Señor Oz (Oz McGuire) hooked up with some of the most exciting personalities in the Bay Area music scene and started writing original music under the alias Afrolicious. By 2010 the live band version of the music had also adopted that moniker. The 8-to-12 member ensemble mixes its live sound with club-heavy beats and textures. The new CD features some of its best-known original songs remixed by Jamaican dub producer Scientist and Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation among others.
Ghana’s groove master, Paa Kow (pronounced Pah-Ko), brings a new sound as he fuses Ghanaian rhythms with jazz and African pop to build what he calls "the perfect groove." With his second studio album, “Ask,” due in August, Paa Kow is crossing the U.S. as part of his mission to spread the music and culture of his homeland by touring the world with his Afro-Fusion orchestra.
Paa Kow is an internationally renowned drum set player, bandleader, composer, and music teacher. Growing up in the small village of Enyan Denkyira near Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa, he began to play music and tour with his family’s concert band at an early age. As he grew, so did his talent. Paa Kow became famous in the region as the “small-boy drummer.” He says, “Music was everything I wanted and I followed my dreams.” In his early teens he left home and was soon playing with Ghanaian pop star Amakye Dede, and eventually with an array of West Africa’s best musicians, throughout Africa and Europe. He has since grown to be widely recognized as one of the most remarkable drum set players to tour in Africa, Europe, and America.
In his travels he met by chance a University of Colorado (Boulder) student, Peyton Shuffield, who was looking for a highlife drummer to study with. Through that friendship, in 2007 Paa Kow was invited to the University of Colorado as a guest artist and teacher. There he put together his Afro-Fusion orchestra and in 2012 released the double-disc album “Hand Go Hand Come.” With the new album “Ask” already recorded, Paa Kow and his band are touring across America, featuring Shuffield (percussion and congas), Justin Fichtner (congas and percussion), Paul Wallace (bass), Joel Michael Timm (trombone), Noah Fulton-Beale (trumpet), Michael Silverstein (tuba), Jonnie Cohen (guitar), and Solomon Goldbas (keyboards).
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).