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Mifuné

Sunday, December 31, at the Grog Shop.

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Mifuné once wrote a song called "Patsy Cline," yet the group's sound isn't informed by country & western, but the rebellious West African dance grooves of bandleaders like the late, great Fela Kuti. While this might come off as a strange cultural mix on paper (Mifuné consists primarily of white Clevelanders), the sound created by this horn-heavy nonet is a surprisingly natural amalgam.

In addition to releasing its debut, Afro-Electronique, 2006 saw Mifuné curate what you'd hope manifests into a new local tradition: Afro-Fest, a concert featuring such like-minded tribal funksters as New York's famed Antibalas. And with scathing political commentary like the tune "Storm Troopers" -- as well as a censorship flap over some anti-Dubya T-shirts worn at the last JazzFest -- Mifuné just might be Cleveland's version of the Dixie Chicks. But don't let that get in the way of discovering this smart and unusual talent.

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