It's hard to believe that Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra have only been around since 2010. In those 13 years, PAO have truly become an integral part of the local arts scene. Part of that is that the band, founded by musician-activist David Marquez, have always done things exclusively their own way, like waiting six years to release a proper debut album. That "rebellious" streak carries into the music itself, as they've explored the fringes of this robust, multifaceted sound while gigging across the Valley and beyond. Blending everything from funk to folk, that sound remains perfect block-party music even as their political insights and activism infuse their various projects with greater depth and intent. (Their latest album, February 2023's "The Times," expertly encapsulates our weird era with ample warmth and purpose.) Their relationship with the city is one that's ebbed and flowed accordingly, keeping pace with new trends and ideas even as they blaze a trail ever forward through the power of earnest art. PAO are an avatar for this city, and we're glad to have them playing on and on.