Press release from Sabra Music:
The Mothlight will present an evening of afro-funk dance music on Wednesday August 1st. The concert features the veteran afrobeat musician, Leon Ligan-Majek, aka “Kaleta,” who hails from Benin, West Africa by way of New York City. Backed by the six piece, explosive Brooklyn funk and soul dance ensemble, Super Yamba Band, Kaleta brings a high-energy, charismatic performance reminiscent of James Brown or Fela Kuti.
Kaleta’s career in afrobeat is legendary. As a guitarist, vocalist, and producer, his body of work includes extensive international touring and recording with both Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, plus recently Lauryn Hill. Kaleta’s musical story starts as a youngster in Benin, where drumming and singing was part of everyday life and eventually led Kaleta to the guitar and performances at church. He was soon after picked up by iconic Juju master and world music pioneer King Sunny Ade. A few years later Fela Kuti came calling. Kaleta would go on to tour the world playing guitar for the King of Afrobeat in his iconic band Egypt 80 through the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country. Super Yamba takes its cues from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, El Rego and The Funkees, all legends in their own right for pioneering the classic styles of Afro-Funk and Afro-Rock in Benin and Nigeria. Super Yamba Band have dialed in the nuances of some of the rarest grooves out there with a timeless sound that will move everyone in the room to dance! Audiences will hear Kaleta sing in several different languages native to West Africa including Fon, Goun, Yoruba and Ewe, along with French and Pidgin English, “the official language of Afrobeat” he says with a grin.
Afropop Worldwide said “their ace-up-the-sleeve: the singer Kaleta, whose James Brown grunts have got to be some of the best in the business.” With Kaleta at the helm Super Yamba Band have recently erupted onto stages at Paste Magazine’s Emerging Music Festival, World Music Institute’s Masters Of African Music Series, The Untitled Action Bronson Show (Viceland TV), and more, giving audiences an unforgettable experience of world-class Afro-Funk dance music.