Roots and Wires Presents springs back into action in 2018 with two phenomenal shows this March and two more in April. The Spring series starts out this week with a special show produced in a collaboration.
Roots and Wires teams up with local promoter Rule 42 for a double bill of New Orleans brass meets global electronica with the New Breed Brass Band and Filastine with Nova.
The show gets started at 7:30 p.m. Friday (March 2) at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west.
The double headliners are bookended by the Zydeska Players, who open the evening, and Taos DJs Kanizzle and Dubvirus, who close it down in the wee morning hours.
New Breed Brass Band is an eight-piece bona fide New Orleans brass band. The young group of musicians grew up in the second-line brass band tradition, which they blend with elements of funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop for their own unique sound.
The band is headed by bass drummer Jenard Andrews, nephew of Trombone Shorty. Other members are Caleb Windsay (trombone), Douane Waples (saxophone), Marc Francis (trombone), Adolf Sorina (bass drum), Desmond Provost (sousaphone), Aurélien Barnes (trumpet) and Rezert Andrews (trumpet).
"Most of the time in New Orleans most brass bands play the same stuff, but we play a lot of our own stuff. We have a lot of different changes. Most bands don't do that," Andrews said.
New Breed Brass Band is getting ready to release its first CD and already have a second one nearly completed.
Filastine and Nova work with sound, video, design and dance to create a multimedia immersive experience.
DJ Kanizzle (aka Josh Cunningham) of Rule 42 said Filastine plays horns during their show, and he thought it would be an interesting marriage of genres in combination with the New Breed Brass Band.
"It's very global, the rhythms, sounds and timbres are very global," Cunningham said. "They're not your normal electronic or American-type music. There is a lot of social-political commentary in their music. You see that in the video. It's captivating. It's stunning. It's hard to look away."
In a 2013 interview with Tempo, Filastine said, "The mesa near Taos is like my third home. I feel mentally unhealthy if I don't get out there for a few weeks about once a year. The freedom and open space represent everything I love about the American West: wild spaces and wild people, somehow progressive and libertarian at the same time."
Filastine often records his music while he is in the Taos area, according to Cunningham.
"We're looking forward to this show a lot. It's going to be a great night. It's all going to work very well together," John Henderson of Roots and Wires said.
Henderson said this is a bit of a preview show for the New Breed Brass Band who will be returning to Taos Sept. 22 to play in Kit Carson Park with Trombone Shorty, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Galactic and Walter Wolfman Washington.
Next up in Roots and Wires Spring Series is Mokoomba from Zimbabwe on Friday, March 9, at The Mothership. The band mixes Zimbabwean rhythms with Afrobeat and Afrorock. "The name 'Mokoomba' stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings to their music and culture," according to their website mokoomba.band.
"We've been trying to get these guys here for years," Henderson said. "They played Jazz Fest in New Orleans last year, and they were all over the world as well. It's definitely African roots, and they have the soaring harmonies like Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa, but they're also young, so they mix in some rap, and it's super high-energy … There's a lot going on in Zimbabwe these days. There are a lot of positive things happening there, and a lot of changes. I'm looking forward to what these guys have to say."
On April 14, Roots and Wires brings Grammy-award winning Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience from Lafayette, Louisiana to the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership.
"They're one of the few zydeco artists we've never brought to Taos before, so we're looking forward to it," Henderson said.
Then, April 21 Vieux Farka Touré returns to Taos. Nicknamed "The Hendrix of the Sahara" Vieux Farka Touré is the son of the legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré from Mali.
We've had him here twice before. One time he was dressed in traditional African clothing and played a set very much like his father's music … and then we had him before that where he was dressed in western clothes and just totally rocked. I'm not sure what we're going to get this time, his agent tells me probably the rocking show but we'll see what happens…. We're looking forward to having him back."
Opening up at The Mothership for Vieux Farka Touré April 21 is CW Ayon, a musician with Native American roots who is inspired by the blues artists of the Mississippi Hill Country. Ayon is from Las Cruces and has been to Taos before with Roots and Wires, opening up for Bilbo Walker.
Tickets to the season opener with the New Breed Brass Band are $15 at the door, and $12 in advance at taosmesabrewing.com.