What to Do Tonight: Grupo Fantasma

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A ghastly funk
  • A ghastly funk
The Austin-based 11-piece Latin funk troupe Grupo Fantasma has built a fervent grassroots following over the past decade with its vibrant percussive swing, fueled by sweaty live shows that shake the building with high-spirited energy. They could be Ozomatli’s younger Texas kin, blazing their own path. Indeed, their Latin vibe is more steadfast, right down to the lyrics, which are almost entirely in Spanish. While their West Coast siblings in Ozomatli explore hip-hop, club, and even disco, Grupo Fantasma don’t stray far from their moneymaker wriggling mélange of cumbia, salsa, mambo, and old-school funk (peppered with a dash of sultry southwestern rock). They formed in 2000 and have grown steadily ever since, highlighted by several stints backing Prince in the mid-aughts. They’ve undergone a number of lineup changes over the years, most notably the departure of singer Brian Ramos just prior to their third album, 2006’s Comes Alive. Timbales player and primary songwriter Jose Galeaño stepped into the breach without missing a beat, and they’ve since released two albums, including the recent El Existential, which explores some slower, more meditative tempos. They play the Beachland Ballroom with Funk You opening at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12. — Chris Parker

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