About

AMAYO’S FU-ARKIST-RA is a unique afro-beat concept, created by Amayo in 2000, which was developed in three countries :in Brooklyn (USA), in Paris (France) and in Bahia (Brazil). The music of  AMAYO’S FU-ARKIST-RA is a combination of traditional Chinese Lion rhythms and Nigerian Afro-beat. This unique blend of styles creates a vivid and magical landscape for stories, lessons, and dances of ancient Chinese and African folklore. Songs in the repertory include ‘Amen-awon’, ‘Wounded Lion’, ‘Lion Awakes’ and ‘Happy Lion’. The result is a lethal fusion called FU-Afrobeat: a blend of African spiritual rhythms, Traditional Chinese lion rhythms, highlife, funk, and jazz, infused with political messages. The band’s diverse spectrum of backgrounds carries the spirit of Kung Fu masters and philosophers of the Orient, Freedom fighters, the Royal warriors of Edo & Ife Kingdoms, and Fela Kuti.

ABOUT AMAYO
SINGER,COMPOSER & PIANIST

As the lead singer, percussionist and composer for Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Amayo has ignited festival crowds and packed audiences into a frenzy across the US, Western and Eastern Europe, and Japan. Continuing in the tradition of Fela Kuti, Amayo presents the world with his one-of-a-kind style of music, dance, and martial arts – FU-ARKIST-RA. In addition to composing and arranging all the songs, Amayo sings and plays piano and organ intermixed with charged performances of traditional African lyrics and movement. He is currently the official Accent coach for the Tony Award winning “FELA” Musical. He has opened for James Brown, performed with The Roots, Tony Allen, Femi Kuti, Co Stared in Seun Kuti’s “RISE” music video, guest with Baba Mal, and Michael Franti and Spearhead.

British-born of Nigerian parents, Amayo’s spirit was first ignited at Fela’s club, The Shrine, in Lagos, Nigeria. While growing up in Lagos, his primary passions were dancing and practicing Kung Fu to the rhythms of Funk and Afrobeat. It was then that the seed of Afrobeat was first implanted within him.

SIFU AMAYO
As Sifu, he is a senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts, rooted in the ancient shaolin school. He has been studying, performing, and teaching Kung Fu for 25 years. He recently choreographed a Kung fu/movement piece for the Washington Ballet, and has guest taught hundreds of NYC public school children for the National Dance Institute. Sifu Amayo has also trained and performed the role of the Lion Head in traditional Chinese Lion Dance for over 20 years. The Ancient Chinese Lion Dance is one of China’s most celebrated traditions. It is a high-energy performance where professional martial artists don the elaborately decorated two-person Chinese Lion body (head and tail), bringing to life a rich oral history that spans many generations of Chinese folklore. The Lion is a symbol of strength and prosperity and is considered to be good luck by all who cross its path. Sifu Amayo begins his one of a kind FU-show by calling the lion to life, performing a salutation ritual and paving the way for dance and celebration of our limitless possibilities. The Lion may be playful and happy, fierce, or bashful, depending on the mood.

 

Members

Amayo – lead vocals, keyboards
Josh Werner – bass
Kevin Raczka – drums
Raja Kassis – guitar
Domenica Fossati – flute
Giancarlo Luiggi – chekere
Kunle Ade – congas, djembe
Dende Timbao – percussion
Dave Egger – cello
Rachel Golub – violin
Jordan McLean – guest trumpet
 
James Luk – lion dancer