The Nation Beat
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The Nation Beat

New York City, New York, United States | AFM

New York City, New York, United States | AFM
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"And You Will Dance"

A Brooklyn-based group, Nation Beat has taken the seemingly impossible task of melding Afro-Brazilian rhythms of Maracatu, Chico Science and the Mangue Beat movement of Recife, Brazil, with the funk and jazz from New Orleans. Don’t let this overwhelm you; they play it flawlessly, taking your mind on a wild ride through so many countries, it’s possible you could forget where you actually started.

Within each song, your imagination is safe to be swept away only to find yourself on a safari through Africa, where tribes are beating their drums. Without notice you’ll find yourself dancing up a sweat on an outdoor, makeshift dance floor. Before you know it, magically, you’re on a raft, floating down the bayou, where the history of New Orleans’ big-band jazz days finds its way to your feet-which have already begun to move, without a doubt.


The end product of such masterful musical talent is an album that may make the average listener’s mind short-circuit. And don’t bother popping Nation Beat’s debut, Maracatuniversal, in for a relaxing night by the fire, ‘cause if a name like that doesn’t shed some light on what you’re in for, then my friend you’re on your own. Trust me, as soon as the first track begins to play, you instantly find every part of your body dancing and grooving like you didn’t even know it could. Take for instance, “Old Wooden Chair.” I’ve never heard anything like it. Upon hearing it, I found myself in the middle of a funky swing number, then, hello, samba anyone? It’s almost just too much fun to have in one five-minute song.

Unfortunately, I was only able to listen to five measly song selections from Nation Beat’s upcoming album, meaning luckily for those of us who will be making Maracatuniversal a part of ou music collections, there will be five more songs to enjoy from its release.

By now you have questions, I’m sure. First off, who in the heck is Nation Beat. Well, it’s as difficult to say as it is to describe their sound. One thing that can be determined, however, is that their founder, Scott Kettner, is really on to something here. Kettner, a drummer, percussionist, composer and recording artist appears to have started Nation Beat out of his passion for all genres of music, especially Brazilian, and even more precisely his love for the rhythms and instruments of Brazil. Thanks goodness for Kettner, too, else the cultural diversity presented in this music would be amiss. And according to my prediction, Kettner’s sound needs to sweep the country and enlighten our spirits.

While there may not be a test to see if you can actually pat and rub simultaneously, there is a requirement that when you see Nation Beat at the Soapbox, on April 1 at 9pm, you must dance. You’ll see, you just wait…..

-Lindsey Pendola
- Encore Magazine. Wilmington, NC


Discography

Nation Beat's debut album "MARACATUNIVERSAL" released in May 2006 independently and re-released in 2007 by MODIBA.

"Legends of The Preacher"
Released in 2008
Label: MODIBA

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Bio

Nation Beat transcends borders musically and literally. In 2005, with sponsorship by the Brazilian Department of Culture they became the first North American group to collaborate and record in Brazil with the legendary Maracatu Nação Estrela Brilhante. In 2008 they were personally invited to perform at Farm Aid by Willie Nelson who performed with them for their entire set in front of 20,000 fans and national television.

Which nation, and which beat? What makes this group of musicians special is that they offer no simple answers. Nation Beat plays American music…both North and South American music. They are rhythm gatherers, harvesting the fruit of 500 years of cultural cross-breeding, which is why the sounds of the northeast of Brazil and the southern United States blend together so seamlessly.

The group is fronted by the soaring powerhouse vocalist and rising
Brazilian star Liliana Araujo - and led by drummer/founder Scott Kettner, a 2006 Latin Jazz Ambassador, who at once is following the path of such Brazilian luminaries as Lenine and Chico Science, and forging new trails in a distinct contemporary interpretation of the traditional 19th century Pernambuco-born maracatu rhythm.