The Hot Zone had the opportunity to attend an amazing music performance by Chop and Quench, the Fela! band. Their style of music is called Afro-Beat.
Chop and Quench performed at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem, NY. An intimate music lounge just downstairs of the popular restaurant “Red Rooster”. When you enter Ginny’s Supper Club you feel as though you have just stepped into another world. The lights are dimmed and you can feel the beat from the music playing in the background. Everyone is laughing, smiling, drinking and dancing the night away. Not worried about the outside world and stress. The entire staff was very welcoming and professional. I had the best seat in the house. I sat directly next to the stage where I witnessed Chop and Quench’s hot performance!
While waiting for the Chop and Quench band to set up, I ordered the crab cocktail appetizer, apple and wine (Moscato D’ Asti).
For the entree, the manager recommended the apple wood smoked salmon and it was the perfect choice. The food and drinks were absolutely delicious!
Chop and Quench’s presence on stage was intoxicating. This talented group is comprised of members of the cast and band of Fela! the musical.
The members of the group are Sahr Ngaujah (lead vocals), Greg Gonzalez (drums), Ricardo Quiñones (guitar), Bryan Vargas (guitar), Tim Allen (bass), Michael Kammers (saxophone), Morgan Price (saxophone & keys), Jeff Pierce (trumpet), Dylan Fusillo (percussion), Yoshi Takemasa (percussion), Malaiyka Reid (vocals), Shakira Marshall (vocals), and Oneika Phillips (vocals).
The musicians from the band have played alongside some of the best artists in the industry, such as The Roots, India Arie, and Femi Kuti.
The entire band have worked with music icon Beyonce, and artist Angelique Kidjo. They’re known for their hit musical Fela! on Broadway, and have performed all around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival.
The lead singer, Sahr Ngaujah, was nominated for a TONY Award for his performance in the Broadway show and has been featured on film and television. Among his other awards and recognition’s for Best Actor in Fela!, he has won the Helen Hayes Award (2012), Toronto Critics’ Award (2012), Obie Award(2010) Lucille Lortel Award(2009), and Drama Desk Award (2009).
Chop and Quench returned to their hometown, New York City, to begin working on their first recording since Fela! They are currently preparing to perform on Monday night’s at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.
From the moment the show began, Sahr grabbed everyone’s attention. He welcomed the audience to the show and discussed his excitement for an upcoming project they have been working on, in Los Angeles, CA. They played a tune from the Los Angeles 69 session, and a song called Underground.
Sahr, and the three gorgeous singers and dancers, Malaiyka Reid, Shakira Marshall, and Oneika Phillips brought heat to the stage. The ladies wore bright colored, Africana inspired, two piece outfits accessorized with tribal facial/body paint and beautiful dazzling jewelry.
They moved their bodies to the beat of the drums and whined their hips to the rhythm. They took “twerking” to another level! Trust me when I say, Miley Cyrus has nothing on these ladies. The audience was whistling, clapping, and cheering them on.
Sahr and the ladies freely interacted with the audience. People jumped up out of their seats and began dancing on the stage with them. Cameras were flashing and cheers were coming from every direction. There was a party going on!
It did not matter if you were not familiar with the lyrics (since they were in a different language). Everyone loved the music and showed a tremendous amount of love and appreciation.
Chop and Quench were on fire from the beginning to the very end of the show. The audience gave them a standing ovation. Numerous people yelled out “Perform one more song, Do another”. Afterwards I had the opportunity to meet and greet with the band.
If I had to describe Chop and Quench’s performance in three words, it would be unforgettable, unique, and hot!