Zap Mama & Antibalas

Published on January 6th, 2015

Zap Mama & Antibalas

Antibalas, Zap Mama

Zap Mama

Two distinct voices in world music will join forces for a tour like no other, and it’s going to kick off in Florida. Zap Mama and Antibalas will join one another on stage to merge their two styles in two different sets.

Zap Mama is the brainchild of Congo-born Marie Daulne, who founded the vocal group in 1989 in Belgium. Mixing Euro-pop influences with classy jazz stylings and the rhythmic bravura of hip-hop, Zap Mama is all about the polyphonic sound of voices. Their instruments are their pipes, and their early sound was strictly a cappella, not unlike Ladysmith Black Mambazo. That evolved over time, but they are most loved for using voice for both beautiful harmonies and skittering rhythms.

Antibalas, meanwhile comes from Brooklyn and features its own brand of fusion. Their name means “bulletproof” in Spanish and features infectious Latin grooves and doubly infectious African rhythms. Founded in 1998 by MartÌn Perna as “Conjunto Antibalas,” their sound is modeled after the hypnotic stylings of Fela Kuti with a distinct Afro-Cuban jazz quality. Songs often meander for over 10 minutes but never grow tiresome, filled with fluid horn solos and rhythmic breakdowns.



Zap Mama has not released an album since 2009’s Recreation. That album was a collaboration with various musicians that, as the title implies, was supposed to be a rebirth of sound. Daule collaborated on vocals with Bilal, G. Love, and even French actor Vincent Cassel. No album has been released since, but the aspiration for reinvention should make for a kinetic experience when Zap Mama joins Antibalas on stage in this new stage for both groups.

Zap Mama & Antibalas will perform at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts as part of its Third Annual PEAK Series at the Gosman Amphitheatre – an open air facility on Friday, January 23, at 7pm Picnic baskets, lawn chairs, blankets and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome inside. Every ticket comes with a complimentary drink ticket. Visit:

The following day they play the South Miami-Dade Cultural Center in Cutler Bay, FL at 8pm

~ Hans Morgenstern, IndieEthos (