Brooklyn afro-funksters Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are fronted by legendary Afrobeat veteran Leon Ligan-Majek a.k.a. Kaleta. The composer, singer, guitarist, percussionist and producer from the West African country of Benin Republic lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria where Afrobeat was born. Kaleta performed and toured the world with the two most popular musicians from Nigeria, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, along with Majek Fashek and recently Lauryn Hill.
Now based in New York City, Kaleta was overjoyed to find Super Yamba Band and hear their take on the vintage, psychedelic sounds of his native country Benin in the 70s and 80s. Super Yamba takes it’s cues from artists like Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, El Rego and Gnonnas Pedro, all legends in their own right for pioneering the classic styles of Afro-Funk in Benin. Touching on rare grooves such as “Vodoun” and “Sato,” Super Yamba Band have dialed in the nuances of a timeless sound that will move everyone in the room to dance! Kaleta sings in several different languages native to West Africa including Fon, Goun, Yoruba and Ewe, along with French and Pidgin English, “the official language of Afrobeat” he says with a grin.
Kaleta got his start in the late 70s performing in church and was soon after picked up by iconic Juju master and world music pioneer King Sunny Ade. A few years later Fela Kuti came calling. Kaleta would go on to tour the world playing guitar for the King of Afrobeat in his band Egypt 80 through the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Super Yamba Band’s live performances with Kaleta are absolutely explosive. Afropop Worldwide said “their ace-up-the-sleeve: the singer Kaleta, whose James Brown grunts have got to be some of the best in the business.” With Kaleta at the helm Super Yamba Band have recently erupted onto stages at Paste Magazine’s Emerging Music Festival, World Music Institute’s Masters Of African Music Series, Felabration NYC 2017 and more, giving audiences an unforgettable experience of world-class Afro-Funk dance music.