Albino Afrobeat

ALBINO! at the Shattuck Down Low.

Afrobeat is an unassuming, almost happy-go-lucky name for a genre so intimate with protest and political activism. Conceived in the early ’60s and practiced almost exclusively by Nigerian star Fela Kuti over the next two decades, Afrobeat became as defined by its funky low-end and boisterous jazz horns as by Kuti’s radical messages. Berkeley Afrobeat ensemble ALBINO! makes no secret of striving for Kuti’s footsteps, although its twelve members are mostly white and face a new set of challenges. Instead of railing against an exploitative Nigerian government, the group calls out media saturation and dysfunctional democracy through music that’s aptly rousing. The band’s CD release party for debut studio record Rhino happens Friday, August 17 at the Shattuck Down Low in Berkeley. 9 p.m., $10, $5 with student ID. ShattuckDownLow.com

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