Chicago Afrobeat Project, emerging in 2002 from an industrial, urban Chicago art community, has established itself as leaders in the non-traditionalist side of the afrobeat movement. The 7-14 person ensemble energizes the classic afrobeat influences of juju, highlife, American funk, and afro-Cuban music with a formative infusion of experimental jazz and rock elements that thrive in the Chicago music scene. Inherent in the group's sound is an expression of world cultural unity and social awareness within a medium of music, dance and rebellious celebration.
Afrobeat's range of influences sit in a restless state of hypnotic, dance-compelling energy at times juxtaposed against a left-leaning poignant political message. The CAbP formula injects unique songwriting and solo experimentation to push the group's sound forward at their live performances. The individual players, coming from diverse backgrounds, each hold their own as soloists to add uniquely musically-informed characteristics to the performances. Melodic and hard-hitting horn lines create a lyrical flow delivered by a cutting, driven rhythm section dynamic. African dancers from Chicago's Muntu Dance Theatre accompany the band at select performances. Combine these organic musical and visual elements together, and the overall presentation contributes further to the impact and originality of the band's music.
Chicago Afrobeat Project has released four albums to date including a self-titled album (2005), (A) Move to Silent Unrest (2007), Off the Grid (2008), and Nyash Up! (2013). CAbP has collaborated with many notable Chicago guest musicians at its live performances including J.C. Brooks, Bill Kreutzman of the Grateful Dead, Howard Levy of Bela Fleck, Fareed Haque, seven-time Grammy-winner Paul Wertico, Bobby Broom, Jeff Parker of Tortoise, Diverse, Ugochi, Morikeba Kouyate and many other Chicago greats. Chicago Afrobeat Project has been exploding nationally with shows at the most prestigious festivals, clubs and schools from coast to coast. In addition to playing excellent concerts, the band can provide workshops on a variety of topics ranging from Afrobeat music to African jazz. Certain shows could possibly be budgeted to include dancers as a part of the show. Special musical guests could also be incorporated as a part of the program featuring other acclaimed world musicians.