Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 6 PM

Moss Arts Center lawn

Free

"As a showman, he has been compared to James Brown, but his flair comes from the Afro-Cuban rhythms that inspire his music. Cimafunk’s magic is at its peak when he’s singing live…”

—The New Yorker

Gather your friends and join us for an outdoor dance party led by one of the most exciting new performers in Latin music. With a joyous rhythm section, backup singers, and a horn line, young Cuban sensation Cimafunk offers a bold mix of funk, Cuban music, and African rhythms that is revolutionizing the island’s music scene.

Cimafunk’s name refers to his heritage as a cimarrón — Cubans of African descent who resisted and escaped slavery — as well as to the essence of his music that aims to subvert conventional sounds with rhythmic innovation. By bringing out the best in Cuban rhythms and traditions and infusing sounds and styles from Africa and the U.S., Cimafunk has created something unique and special. He is redefining contemporary Cuban music, as well as Afro-Latin identity and the fusion of Black cultures.

Cimafunk’s monumental second album, El Alimento, was released in October 2021, receiving overwhelming praise. Rolling Stone ranked it number three of the Best Spanish-Language and Bilingual Albums of 2021 and number 23 of the 50 Best Albums of 2021. The album was also among NPR’s Best Latin Music of 2021 and number one of Le Monde’s Latin music favorites.

Co-produced by Cimafunk and Grammy-award winning producer Jack Splash (CeeLo Green, Kendrick Lamar, and Alicia Keys), the sonically dynamic collection masterfully blends Afro-Cuban sounds and rhythms with global funk, hip-hop, and soul — resulting in a progressive, head-bopping celebration of Black music’s power to eclipse borders and cross-pollinate across cultures. Written and recorded over 2020, the album served as an alimento for the soul, a motivation to persevere through the pandemic, as Cimafunk spent countless hours studying decades of musical influences to help understand who he is musically and culturally, and thus, where he wanted this album to take him.

“Cimafunk takes it back there while keeping it in the now," says innovative funk forefather George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic), who sings alongside Cimafunk on the opening track Funk Aspirin. "It’s what we do, always reinventing the funk to keep it fresh.”

El Alimento also includes collaborations with U.S. hip-hop stars Lupe Fiasco and CeeLo Green, Jamaican dancehall singer Stylo G, and Afro-Colombian hip-hop group ChocQuibTown, as well as Afro-Cuban jazz icon and '70s funk pioneer Chucho Valdés (who performed at the Moss last season), Afro-Cuban rapper and Reggaetonero El Micha, and Los Papines, a Cuban Rumba group whose career spans six decades.

Valdés credits him with “uniting Afro-Cuban and African American,” and Rolling Stone describes his music as “an electrifying combination of funk and soul, layered over the five-beat clave, or the heartbeat of Cuban music, brought to Cuba by enslaved people from West Africa.”

Cimafunk became a household name in Cuba with his 2018 hit, Me Voy, from his debut album, Terapia. The album generated a frenzy, creating a movement in Havana and throughout the island, selling out venues with thousands of fans excited to dance to the groove of Afro-Cuban funk and millennials replicating his style and appearance, one that draws heavily on his African roots and the Black showmen of the 20th century.

"When we look back on 2019, the history of contemporary music will be marked by the emergence of the visionary Cuban musician… Cimafunk.”

—NPR's Alt.Latino

Named by Billboard as a “Top 10 Latin Artist to Watch,” Cimafunk stole the show at the 2019 South by Southwest Music Festival and has toured throughout in the U.S. and Europe, performing an electric live show with his nine-person band from Havana. Just prior to the pandemic, Cimafunk and his band received overwhelming praise for a moving performance on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, which NPR chose as one of the overall best Tiny Desk Concerts of 2020.

This is Cimafunk's first performance at the Moss Arts Center.