Odu Afrobeat Orchestra at Alvins – Detroit
Friday, February 5, 2010 at 9:pm-2:00am
In Yoruba mythology, an Odù is one of 256 divinatory principals, each associated with a traditional set of verses (or Ese), representing thousands of years of observations and predictions. In the Detroit music scene, Odu is an Afrobeat Orchestra comprised of the city’s best musicians, each of different genres, age, race, and background, representing Detroit’s strength in it’s musical diversity, and always delivers nothing short of a spiritual experience with every performance they give. The group is led by Adeboye Adegbenro on vocals/alto/tenor saxophone, who came to Detroit via Lagos, Nigeria, where he used to sit it with the great bandleader Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela Kuti, founder and namesake of Afrobeat, whose countless vinyl re-issues and work with greats such as Cream’s Ginger Baker have brought Afrobeat to the forefront of African music in recent years. Although the primary output of Afrobeat music was recorded in the nineteen seventies, many have continued to carry on its unbelievably funky rhythms and unmistakable sound. Over the years we have witnessed everyone from Brian Eno and David Byrne to Ann Arbor’s Nomo taking cues from Afrobeat’s grooves, yet few have managed to do this while retaining the spiritual roots woven deep within the beat—the soul, of you will. Odu is one of the few that do, a child of tradition, bringing dance and even (their namesake) The Odù Ifá, whose sixteen principals of divination also double as rhythm patterns.
Adegbenro has kept a good family of musicians behind him over Odu’s five years or so as a band. The current lineup includes the exiled Bohemian National Home’s founder and coordinator Joel Peterson on bass; Emmanuel on drums; Nick Schillace on guitar; Dan Velic on guitar; Marko Novachcoff on baritone sax; Michael Carey on tenor sax; Sam Beaubian on trumpet; Jennie Knaggs with vocals/percussion; Ryan Gates on percussion; and Bill Hafer on percussion.
The Odu Afrobeat Orchestra is currently gearing up for a show at the newly renovated Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave Detroit, MI 48202) on February 5th where they plan to make a live recording of their set.