Occidental Brothers Dance Band International in Concert

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Occidental Brothers. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Occidental Brothers Dance Band International will be in concert at Freedom Hall in Park Forest, IL on Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m.

OBDBI’s blend of high-energy soukous, Ghananian Highlife and African Jazz conjures the golden age of the African guitar band, and has made them favorites of music critics and devotees of the style. Their sound has seduced an audience of listeners as diverse as the members of this multi-racial band.  OBDBI is led by guitarist Nathaniel Braddock, an instructor at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, twice profiled in Guitar Player magazine.  Braddock is joined by singer Jonal, Greg Ward on alto, Joshua Ramos on bass, Antonio Carella on rhythm guitar, and Makaya McCraven on drums.  

Jonal has previously performed with Occidental Brothers and is a veteran of many important central African orchestras.  Born Buya Di Lutete in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, Jonal came up through that city’s vibrant music scene singing for years with Orchestre Veve.  In 1984 Jonal joined Orchestra Virunga and sang with Samba Mapangala for two years, traveling in Uganda, Kenya, and Congo.  Jonal left Virunga to return to Kinshasa and become singer in the greatest of all Congolese dance bands: Franco’s l’Orchestre Tout Puissant OK Jazz.  Jonal stayed with TPOK until Franco’s death, moving to the United States and performing periodically with Soukous Stars and other Congolese all-star bands.

OBDBI played the Pitchfork festival in 2008 and then experienced a meteoric rise to the stages of Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, to name a few. “Occidental Brothers Dance Band International earns a place alongside their highlife forebears by doing their own thing with the music and emerging with a sound that pays tribute to the past while moving the form forward… If highlife is going to get the revival it deserves, it could scarcely ask for better ambassadors.”

-Joe Tangari, Pitchfork.com.

Tickets for this concert are $20 and can be purchased at Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest, IL.  Series package discounts are available. For more information call the Freedom Hall box office at 708/747-0580 or visit the website at www.freedomhall.org .