Bayonics, Kobo Town

Bayonics are a 10-piece powerhouse combining hip hop, funk and r&b with elements of Latin music and reggae to create a soundscape that reflects the emerging face of urban music and culture on the West Coast and abroad. Bayonics have performed for packed houses from San Francisco to Miami, including The House of Blues, The Mezzanine, Yoshi’s, The Independent and The Roxy, and have also rocked the crowd at many music festivals and outdoor stages across the country.
Bayonics have shared the stage with international touring acts ranging from Ozomatli, Katchafire and J-Boog to Wu-Tang Clan, N.E.R.D., Mos Def, Common and The Black Keys. They have also performed as a backing-band for R&B and soul singers such as Jaguar Wright, Lady Alma, Al B. Sure and Eric Roberson.

For those used to watching rappers posture onstage by themselves, or backed by a DJ, experiencing a group like Bayonics is a real eye-opener. As Jairo later explains, hip-hop is "definitely the easiest way" to reach young people these days. However, "when you see a live band playing hip-hop, it kinda blows your wig back."

Some call it a movement. Others say it's a revival. But there's no denying that the blending of hip-hop with live instrumentation and a variety of other genres -- including funk, jazz, salsa, reggaeton and rock -- is one of the freshest, most happening things going in the Bay Area's multicultural music scene.

The idea of a band fusing hip-hop with live instrumentation is far from an anomaly in the Bay Area -- it's part of local tradition. During the mid-'90s heyday of the acid-jazz era, groups like Alphabet Soup, the Mo'fessionals, the Broun Fellinis, Mingus Amungus and Jungle Biskit enthralled hipster crowds at such San Francisco venues as the Up & Down Club and the Elbo Room. For these artists, soul, jazz and hip-hop were all interchangeable elements of the musical mix. But though acid jazz eventually fell out of fashion, the music never stopped -- it's just taken on new forms.

Bayonics' multifaceted sound could be seen as the hip-hop generation's answer to the Latin fusion of the '70s -- think Malo and Santana, minus the guitar pyrotechnics and with a more street-wise style. Getting that sound has been an evolutionary process. The band started six years ago as a traditional salsa group, Mala Fama, that emerged out of the Loco Bloco drum ensemble.

Kobo Town has emerged in recent years as one of the most original artistic voices of the Caribbean diaspora and one of the grooviest touring bands anywhere. Founded and fronted by emigre Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, an engaging storyteller whose songs draw heavily from the lyrical inventiveness of early calypso, their music has been described as “a unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism.”(Exclaim!)

From their home base in Toronto, Kobo Town has brought this distinct calypso and dub inspired sound to festivals, clubs and theatres across North America, Europe and the Caribbean, and their live act has thrilled audiences from Port-of-Spain to London and from Vancouver to Berlin. While Gonsalves' songs betray a deep interest in Caribbean folk music, the band delivers them with an energy, intensity and attitude more akin to indie rock, earning them a considerable audience beyond the niche of world music enthusiasts and calypso fans.

Independence, their much-acclaimed debut album was released in 2007. Recorded between Trinidad and Toronto, it was nominated for an Indie, a Canadian Folk Music Award award and Folk Alliance Award. It recieved frequent spins on the CBC, BBC and community stations on both sides of the Atlantic, and it garnered praise for its strong lyricism as well as its “traditional instrumentation and joyous vibe.”(Global Rhythm).

DJ Leydis

DJ Leydis was born and raised in Cuba and involved in the Cuban Hip-Hop movement since it’s inception. Since moving to the bay area, she has been a huge asset to bay area culture mixing Cuban jams with American Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul and more, and worked with artist such as Erykah Badu, Nneka and Questlove from the Roots.

$12 adv - $15dos


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