Toast Of The Nation

Henry Cole And The Afrobeat Collective: Live From 92Y TribecaWBGO

Henry Cole And The Afrobeat Collective In Concert

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The Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole is probably best known in the U.S. as a stellar jazz accompanist, with bands led by compatriots and saxophonists David Sánchez and Miguel Zenón. Back in San Juan, Cole also works with poets and rappers, bomba musicians and pleneros, rockers and salsa ringleaders. He found they could all get down to Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat, and many jam sessions later, he found a way to record that sound for the 2012 album Roots Before Branches, with top New York jazz soloists coursing through it. Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective, chock-full of hand drums and horns and hollers, convenes for this live date.

The band headlined a double bill with the Gilad Hekselman quartet in downtown New York, presented by The Checkout: Live concert series and broadcast by WBGO and in an online video webcast at NPR Music. For more information about this series and the full concert archive, visit

Excerpts of this concert were featured on the Toast of the Nation New Year's Eve broadcast.

Set List
  • "Trabájala"
  • "To Believe Without Seeing"
  • "Año 2010"
  • "No Eres Tu Soy Yo"
  • "Una Para Isabel"
  • "Solo Dos Veces"
  • "Comienzo" [video highlight]
  • "Uncovered Fears"
  • Henry Cole, drums/percussion
  • Philip Dizack, trumpet
  • John Ellis, tenor saxophone
  • Billy Carrion, Jr., baritone saxophone
  • Ricky Rodriguez, bass
  • Soren Moller, keyboards
  • Matt Stevens, guitar
  • Beto Torrens, barril
  • Bryant Huffman, chekere
  • Hermes Ayala, voice
  • Obanilu Allende, percussion/voice

Producer and Host: Josh Jackson; Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Production Assistant: Michael Downes; Video Director: Stew Nachmias. Recorded May 30, 2012 at 92Y Tribeca in New York, N.Y. Photo by John Rogers/

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