Friday marked the beginning of the Year of the Horse, contrary to BBC’s subtitles. According to Chinese astrology, this year will bring prosperity and good luck.
The Knitting Factory celebrated the new year paired with the start of Black History Month with Amayo’s Fu-Arkist-Ra, playing a funky fusion of afro beat, jazz and Chinese lion rhythms. The massive 11 piece band takes up every inch of the stage, lead by Amayo on lead vocals and keyboard.
The show started with the mystic and entrancing Lion Dance then transitioned into an all out jam session. Everyone in the small crowd was moving, swaying to the syncopated drum beats and dancing to melodies of the violin, trumpet and flute. The band effortlessly build off each solo with Amayo acting as conductor and encouraging each member to steal the spotlight at exactly the right time. In between sets, Amayo handed fortune cookies to the attendees.
If you are fortunate enough to see Amayo’s name on a bill, be sure to buy a ticket. The band only plays once or twice a year, and show is not to be missed.
Best wishes for the Year of the Horse!
马年大吉 Mǎ nián dàjí