The TransAtlantic Festival will be re-imagined for its 14th edition, at the North Beach Bandshell April 8- 9, 2016. Headline artists Beirut will set the stage for the long-running music series that brings modern world music to the Bandshell. New this year, the festival celebrates the special alchemy of North Beach and the historic Bandshell that has been the festival’s home since year one. The festival expands this year to spaces surrounding the Bandshell, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to festival producers the Rhythm Foundation. This ambitious programming cements the Rhythm Foundation’s new role as managers of the facility. Some activations will include performances in adjacent Bandshell Park, a visual arts takeover of the LED marquee, video screenings on the North Beach trolley, a sunset raga on the Beatles Mandala, and after parties at neighboring bars and clubs.
Check out the 2016 line up:
Beirut, formed in 2006, is an American folk pop band fronted by founder and brainchild Zach Condon. Opting out of high school, Condon traveled through Europe at 16, immersing himself in Balkan folk and Gypsy music. Back home in Albuquerque, Condon crossed paths with fellow New Mexican Jeremy Barnes, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel. Condon recorded the songs that would make up Gulag Orkestar largely on his own, playing accordion, keyboards, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele, horns, glockenspiel, and percussion along with Barnes’ drums and Trost’s cello and violin. An immediate sensation with next-generation folk-loving indie music fans, Beirut has gone one to release several CDs, accompanied by sold-out tour dates worldwide. When Beirut perform live, their line up consists of Condon on trumpet, flugelhorn and ukelele, and members rounding out the band with accordion, cello, drums, melodica, electric bass, double bass, trombone, sousaphone and glockenspiel. The group’s most recent album, No No No, was released on 4AD in September of 2015. This is their Florida debut concert.
EMEFE has been making people dance uncontrollably since 2010, when the eight-member collective started as a horn driven, instrumental project with heavy afrobeat, funk and jazz influences. Frontman Miles Arntzen (a member of Antibalas) has evolved the group into a more experimental hybrid that opens the project up to exciting collaborations. EMEFE’s beats have been compared to a cross between Fela Kuti and Prince, with vocals reminiscent of the Talking Heads’ candor and the Beach Boys’ lush pop sensibility. The NYC-based group is visiting Miami Beach as part of a tour that kicks off at SXSW.
If Salvador Dali ever made a heist movie, then Mexico’s Troker would provide the perfect soundtrack. The six-piece group arose in the frenetic grooves and playful jam sessions of the growing jazz scene of Guadalajara. Their music is a blend of frenetic of the composed and the improvised, where metal riffage merges with powerhouse funk drumming and DJ scratching, and horn lines pull from jazz and the mariachi tradition of the band’s homeland. Troker shined particularly bright in 2014, becoming the first band to play two consecutive years, at the West Holts Stage at the legendary Glastonbury Festival in England. In 2014, they were both SXSW and WOMEX official showcasing artists. They are now touring internationally, as well as developing their own silent film project,The Grey Automobile.
Miami boogie supergroup Psychic Mirrors employs a mountain of synths, keyboards and drum machines in addition to the traditional bass, guitar and vocals set-up. At the center of the group is the one of a kind Mickey de Grand IV, whose love of low-slung boogie and synth-fun was on show at the 2015 edition of the Academy in Tokyo and the Red Bull stage at SONAR in Barcelona. While the adjectives irreverent, imaginative and psychedelic all apply here, the best description of their sound is by the band itself: “On some next level.”
Indie-Haitian group Kazoots is led by Inez Barlatier, in partnership with Jayan Bertrand. The lifelong friends grew up with Miami’s iconic Haitian voudou music group in the 1980s, led by both of their fathers. Kazoots fuses the two young musicians’ love of indie rock and folk music with the Caribbean roots music of their upbringing. Jayan’s playing style ranges from psychedelic-blues to soukous. His parts weave over and under the roots rhythms, complimented by Inez’s amazing voice – often described as a mix of Tracey Chapman, Joan Armatrading and Adele.
Chantil is a young singer who moved to Miami from Alaska, to pursue a music degree at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami. She has been writing music since she was 7 years old, and as her playing morphed through classical music, jazz, and popular music, so did her writing. Presently, her band CHANTIL AND THE DUKES OF ART plays a mix of funk, jazz, mo-town, and R&B.
TransAtlantic Music Festival 2016 takes place at North Beach Bandshell in Miami on Friday, April 8th, and Saturday April 9th. T0 purchase tickets, click here! Check out TransAtlantic’s full schedule and activities here.