CONTEST OVER Win tix NOW to see Afrobeat band EMEFE Thursday at Asheville Music Hall

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Love Antibalas and Fela Kuti? Check out some live Afrobeat sounds Thursday night at Asheville Music Hall.

Two tix to the first reader who can tell us the name of Fela Kuti’s famous eldest son.

Only commenters who have not won anything from Ashvegas in the last 30 days are eligible to win. Please use your correct first and last name when you comment, so we know who to hold your tickets for.

Ticket contests on Ashvegas (USUALLY) happen at 9 a.m. and/or 3 p.m on select weekdays only, though we reserve the right to run a contest anytime.

Check in Wednesday at 9 a.m. for our next contest, Mipso Trio with Overmountain Men at the Grey Eagle on Saturday.

Asheville Music Hall link



w/ The Brand New Life

Friday, January 25th

Location: Asheville Music Hall
Cover: $8adv. / $10 d.o.s.
Purchase Tickets
Doors: 9pm
Visit Their Website

Opener: The Brand New Life
Opener’s Showtime: 10pm
Visit Opener’s Website

EMEFE has only one intention: to play music that frees everybody in the audience, everybody listening at home, and everybody in the band. The band was created by drummer Miles Arntzen in 2009 to explore and share the afrobeat music pioneered in the 1970′s and 80′s by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and carried on today by Antibalas. In the same way that Fela used afrobeat music as a confrontation against corr upt politics, EMEFE uses its music to fight the inner authorities that we put on ourselves, each for our own specific reasons. EMEFE draws heavy influence from the funk music of Sly Stone, James Brown and Earth Wind and Fire, as well as hip hop and neo-soul influences. Mixed with a rock and roll edge, the powerful and exciting EMEFE sound never fails to get audiences jumping. EMEFE hopes to spread awareness of the healing power of music, dancing and smiling, which explains their reputation as one of the most exciting and engaging live bands in New York. EMEFE consists of a drummer, a bassist, 2 guitarists, a keyboardist, two percussionists, and a 4-piece horn section. Members of EMEFE have played with and studied with artists such as Antibalas, Sharon Jones & the Dapkings, Soulive, Charles Bradley, Menahan Street Band, TV on the Radio, Tower of Power, Medeski Martin and Wood, and many more. EMEFE – it’s the way!

The Brand New Life opens:

The Brand New Life, an eight piece “Afrobeat/Free Jazz” group from North Carolina, is fusing world music traditions with jazz and modern techniques as well as any group today. A rare collaboration between a group of young jazz enthusiast from North Carolina, and a Senegalese griot from West Africa, has created a special sound and an impressive repertoire of completely original music. “The Brand New Life’s jazzy chassis rides on West African power grooves, like Mbalax and Afrobeat, featuring Senegalese talking drummer Mamadou Mbengue,” says The Independent Weekly. The Brand New Life have convincingly become one of the Southeast’s frontrunners on the world-beat scene, recently getting the call to open for Afrobeat heir to the throne Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and American Afrobeat collective Antibalas (Daptone Records).

The founding members of The Brand New Life are Walter Fancourt (tenor sax/flute/clarinets), Casey Cranford (alto sax/baritone sax), Seth Barden (upright and electric basses), Daniel Yount (drum set/percussion) and Evan Frierson (congas/percussion). Their current roster includes the additions of Mamadou Mbenge (tama), Sean Smith (trumpet) and Will Darity (guitar). Mamadou Mbenge is a Wolof griot from Senegal, West Africa, who comes from a long line of tama (talking drum) masters in his family. For years Mamadou has toured internationally with African pop stars like Abdou Guite Seck and Abou Thioubalo. Sean Smith was one of the lead horns for the nationally touring afrobeat group “The Afromotive” from 2006-2010. Sean has been touring with The Brand New Life since September of 2011.

The Brand New Life have shared the stage with groups such as Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, Antibalas, Orgone, Zechs Marquise, Jeff Sipe, Gregg Ginn and Diali Cissokho. The band has performed at major music festivals including Floyd Fest, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Lake Eden Arts Fetsival (LEAF) and more.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Nate January 23, 2013

    MFA? Seems like a decidedly un-funky name for a band . . .

  2. Ashley W January 22, 2013

    Femi Kuti

  3. Charmaine Kirsch January 22, 2013


  4. Charmaine January 22, 2013

    Femi Kuti

  5. Jeremy Horton January 22, 2013

    Femi Kuti

    1. Jennifer Saylor January 23, 2013

      Also a winner!

  6. jason G January 22, 2013

    seun kuti

    1. jason G January 22, 2013

      actually its femi kuti

    2. Jennifer Saylor January 23, 2013



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