Big Brothers

Mixed-race ensemble play authentic afro-pop

Though they’re based in the States, the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International are the real, world-music deal.

Inspired by traditional Congolese, Nigerian, and Ghanaian ensembles, the five-strong, Chicago-located group play an infectious blend of afro-pop, American jazz, and classic-esque rock that’s held tight with Latin rhythms and boom-bastic percussion. On its ten-track album Odo Sanbra (2008) – an awesome recording that includes an appearance by Andrew Bird on violin –Kofi Cromwell’s positive and upbeat vocals really shine.

The most surprising aspect about the Brothers? It’s hard to imagine that a five-person group can produce such a full-bodied sound.

The Bros perform at the Rhythm Room. The not-enough-positive-things-can-be-said-about-him DJ Seduce opens, potentially making this one of the top shows of the year.

Sun., June 21, 8 p.m., 2009
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