Awesome Tapes From Africa and Gato Loco Kick Off WMI's 'Global/Local' Initiative at BAMcafe, 11/20-21

World Music Institute dedicates two nights at BAMcafé to its new initiative "Global/Local", giving greater exposure to local "world" artists, with Awesome Tapes from Africa (DJ Set) on Friday, November 20, 2015, 9:00 p.m. and Gato Loco on Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Ethnomusicologist Brian Shimkovitz brings his vast cassette collection of obscure African music to life, blending folkloric pop, left-field dancefloor gems,
and hip-hop bangers he's collected in the African marketplace. The group's bewitching fusion of Latin mambo and 21st century rock transforms any space into an instant party.

From World Music Institute's Artistic Director Par Neiburger: "We are very excited to present a DJ set from Awesome Tapes from Africa, our first performance presented in conjunction with BAM. Brian from Awesome Tapes from Africa is a man after my own heart, an avid music collector. He has taken the opportunity to spread his collection of rare music with the world through his now very popular blog and DJ sets. In my view, he very much encapsulates an important spirit of World Music Institute, that mission to bring lesser known international musicians to a wider audience. Gato Loco are simply one of my favorite local bands. Everyone who comes to that show should be ready for a real good time. Their hybrid of mambo, salsa, avant-garde jazz, and punk make for an incredible live performance."

World Music Institute launches GLOBAL/LOCAL, a new element of WMI programs dedicated to celebrating and supporting the rich diversity of the world music and dance artists living in and coming from the New York area. In addition to this dedicated weekend at BAMcafé in November, numerous local artists appear throughout the season as opening acts, giving them exposure to a much larger audience than they would normally have, and simultaneously exposing WMI's audience to genres that they might not discover on their own. Examples include the local Cape Verdean singer Fantcha (who opened for Brazilian star Ana Carolina at Town Hall 9/17) and the local Afrobeat group Underground System (who opened for Afrobeat legend Orlando Julius at Le Poisson Rouge 9/25).

Awesome Tapes From Africa (DJ Set)
Friday, November 20, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
30 Lafayette Ave
Free Admission

After spending time in Africa on a Fulbright Scholarship for ethnomusicology, Brian Shimkovitz brought back huge collections of tapes. Sitting in his Brooklyn apartment trying to figure out what to do with them, he thought that he should share them. The resulting blog has become a phenomena unto itself. Brian Shimkovitz's Awesome Tapes From Africa sheds light on obscure and wonderful sounds from across the continent. As a DJ, Shimkovitz brings the blog to life with 2-3 hour sets blending folkloric pop, left-field dancefloor gems, and hip-hop bangers he's collected on African marketplace finds.

Traveling from club to festival to DIY space, Awesome Tapes From Africa's DJ sets celebrate the music and musicians whose cassettes Shimkovitz has collected over the years. In 2011 ATFA developed into a critically acclaimed vinyl label, re-releasing records by African artists including Bola, Dur-Dur Band, Hailu Mergia and Penny Penny. The label plays an essential role in furthering Brian's mission to build an international audience for African music through touring and re-issues.

Gato Loco
Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
30 Lafayette Ave
Free Admission

Gato Loco was born from the streets of New York: exotic and foreign, urban and familiar all at once. A fusion of a Latin mambo ballroom and 21st century rock show, the group takes its cues from scratchy pre-war Cuban records and vintage Betty Boop cartoons, while freely incorporating a modern schizoid mentality.

Finding the surprising connection between early mambo and salsa of the 50s & 60s, early punk of the 70s, and post-modern avant-garde jazz of the 80s, Gato Loco embraces an all-encompasing sound of irreverence, rebellion and abandon.

Formed in 2006 by NYC native Stefan Zeniuk, Gato Loco's members have performed and recorded alongside remarkably diverse range of artists including Vampire Weekend, The Violent Femmes, Dillinger Escape Plan, Zakir Hussain, Lauren Hill, Duncan Sheik, Bright Light Bright Light, Zola Jesus, T.S. Monk, Brazilian Girls, Slavic Soul Party, among others.

They have released two records on the legendary Winter & Winter Records: Gato Loco (2010, live in Bordeaux) and The Enchanted Messa (2014), a reimagination of Giuseppe Verde's Requiem.

The current touring group consists of Stefan Zeniuk (tenor & bass saxes), Tim Vaughn (trombone), Joe Exley (tuba), Lilly Maase (guitars), Ari Folman-Cohen (bass), Kevin Garcia (drums), and Rich Stein (percussion).

About WMI ( - Since 1985, World Music Institute has been the leading presenter of world music and dance in the United States. WMI is committed to presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world at attainable prices for all, with the goal to promote awareness and engagement of other cultures and to encourage cultural exchange between nations and ethnic groups. WMI collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions to foster greater understanding of the world's cultural traditions and depends on public and private funding to accomplish its mission.

Under new leadership as of 2015-16-its 30th anniversary season-World Music Institute has introduced an ambitious expansion of concert offerings that include contemporary, experimental and avant-garde presentations, as well as the traditional music that WMI has long been known and admired for. In addition, the institution is thrilled to have launched new partnerships with BAM, 92nd Street Y, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, and Drom-while continuing partnerships with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Town Hall, Symphony Space, and the Apollo Theater (the annual Africa Now festival).

Some of the new and already widely-hailed series that World Music Institute created in the 2015-2016 season are the Lusophone Festival, Counterpoint series, Masters of Cuban Music, Masters of African Music, the return of Flamenco dance, and a Global Local initiative that offers opportunities and exposure to emerging NY talent in international music and dance. WMI is committed to continuing its legacy of presenting the world's greatest living masters in Indian classical music as well as in Indian dance, notably with its acclaimed Dancing the Gods series.

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