TCHOMPITOULAS once again sees Galactic enlisting a diverse array of talent that includes their own vocal powerhouse Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph along with Afro-Cuban rockstar Cimafunk, who is looking to win his first Grammy at this year’s award ceremony. Also featured on the EP are rapper Eric Biddines, singer/songwriter Eric Gordon, and fellow New Orleans musician Glen David Andrews. Highlights include the fiery instrumental workout, “Big Whiskers,” available everywhere now for streaming and download.
“In the true collaborative spirit of Galactic, we approached this EP as a way to connect with some of our new favorite singers and rappers including our new(Ish) singer Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph,” says Galactic co-founder/bassist Robert Mercurio. “Recording with a different artist influences our songwriting and can bring out some exciting results. This also gets our creative juices flowing.
“Last year Cimafunk had a couple of days off in NOLA, so he stopped by our studio and we were working on a new demo,” Mercurio continues. “He immediately came up with his verses and idea for the hook. He hit the vocal booth and just killed his parts. We all agreed it would be cool to add some English to his Spanish verses, so we mentioned getting Jelly in to sing with him and he was thinking the exact same thing. Today, the release date of this single, we are heading to Cuba to perform and hang with him. We are very much looking forward to continuing our collaborations with Cimafunk – he is a force of funk!”
“I love the connection that Cuba and New Orleans share musically and culturally – it’s so FUNKY!” Says Cimafunk. “Galactic and Jelly have become brothers and sisters to me and you can feel that connection on the track, that love comes out in the groove. We had a lot of fun in the studio, but also walking the streets on New Orleans together and jamming out from time to time. Now I got them coming to see me in Havana and I’m going to return the favor and how special to release the track and perform together on a Havana rooftop the same day!”
As noted, Galactic – joined by GRAMMY® Award-winning New Orleans icon Trombone Shorty – is currently visiting Cuba as part of the “Havana Funk Expedition,” an educational partnership with Cuba Educational Travel. Hosted by Cimafunk, the New Orleans travelers will join Cuban music students and local artists to create a musical experience capturing the long-standing cultural ties between the cities with the goal of supporting young musicians in Cuba and New Orleans. The five-day trip will see young New Orleans musicians from the Trombone Shorty Foundation and Cuban music students accompanying the star-studded lineup of professional musicians along with additional surprise guests from Cuba, including emerging acts and established superstars. The Havana Funk Expedition is organized by the Trombone Shorty Foundation and Cuba Educational Travel, organizations with long histories of cross-cultural exchange, community engagement and arts development. It is supported by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, a foundation dedicated to fostering music and the arts at a youth and community level. For additional details and more information, please visit www.gettingfunkyinhavana.com/
From there, Galactic will celebrate TCHOMPITOULAS with a wide-ranging series of live dates including a very special five-night, 10-show residency at New York City’s world-famous Blue Note Jazz Club, set for January 25-29 and featuring special guests James Carter (January 25), Robert Randolph (January 26-27), Matisyahu (January 28), and Nicholas Payton (January 29).
“We’re very excited about our upcoming Blue Note NYC residency,” says Galactic’s drummer Stanton Moore. The history of the club and the great musicians that have played there looms large and we are honored to be included in the Blue Note story. We love New York and we are looking forward to spending some time in the city and playing for everyone for what I’m sure will be a very fun multiple night run with some very special guests.”
Headline dates, festival performances, and more will then continue through November, with additional dates to be announced soon. Highlights include “Funk N Soul Tahoe,” a two-night festival headlined and curated by Galactic and featuring special guests Eric Krasno, Robert Randolph, March Fourth Marching Band, Here Come the Mummies, Eddie 9V, and The Stone Foxes, set for February 24-25 at Stateline, NV’s Bally’s Resort & Casino. For complete details and ticket availability, please see galacticfunk.com/home/tour-
In addition, Galactic recently announced the inaugural Big Easy Cruise, sailing November 4-11 aboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to New Orleans and Cozumel, Mexico. The Big Easy Cruise will let the good times roll with over 70 live performances by New Orleans-inspired acts (including Little Feat, Tab Benoit, Samantha Fish, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Leo Nocentelli from The Meters, Anders Osborne, and more), highlighted by a very special exclusive performance by Galactic featuring Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph at the famed New Orleans club, Tipitina’s, while the Big Easy Cruise visits New Orleans. For reservations and more information, please visit bigeasycruise.com/GALACTICFAN.
Galactic is: Ben Ellman (saxophone, harmonica), Robert Mercurio (bass), Stanton Moore (drums, percussion), Jeffrey Raines (guitar), Richard Vogal (keyboards).