Classical, Blues/Jazz

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

When: Sat., Sept. 26, 8 p.m. 2009

New York’s Vampire Weekend had considerable success — artistic and commercial — last year by deploying Afropop elements into their basic indie-rock sound. But if America’s produced a better pure Afropop band than Chicago’s Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, this enthusia=stic dabbler in African music hasn’t heard it. Featuring a blend of musicians from the U.S. (Chicago jazz-scene vets) and Ghana (two members of the band Western Diamonds), the Occidental Brothers are purveyors of highlife, the West African genre marked by bright, dynamic guitar lines and jazzy, elegant horns. The band’s 2008 debut album, Odo Sanbra, contains a highlife cover of New Order’s new-wave hit “Bizarre Love Triangle” but otherwise plays the genre straight, from the soaring (“Nyenko”) to the graceful (“Yaa Amponsah”). The Occidental Brothers Dance Band International plays the Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center at St. Mary’s School Saturday, September 26th. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. See for more info. — Chris Herrington

Chris Herrington

Price: $25

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