New York band Antibalas - bulletproof in Spanish - is largely responsible for the global explosion of Afro beat music.
Founded in 1998 by Martin Perna, the ensemble has had many line-ups during its tours to about 40 countries.
Speaking before the band's concert to close the Perth Festival Gardens tomorrow night, Perna said the melting pot of New York had always attracted musicians from a wide range of nationalities and influences.
"Latin America and Africa, among other places, have really made it a diverse location for music and that has helped to connect us," Perna said.
From performing on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to releasing an EP dedicated to reggae artist Bob Marley, the crew is industrious, even helping out with Fela!, a musical honouring the life of late Nigerian Afro beat legend Fela Kuti.
"Music is the common language for many of us and when Fela was playing Afro beat wasn't so popular in the US, but a lot of other musical languages, so to speak, were," Perna said.
"In the States, we've had African rhythms for some 500 years, which has obviously taken a while to permeate into the culture."
Perna said Antibalas shows were a mixture of planning and improvisation.
"As far as improvising, we go with the groove and so whenever you see us, expect the same songs to sound slightly different," he said.
"The same is true with the vocals. The choruses are planned but the dialogue with the audience differs. Although the music is structured, there is a lot of flexibility."
Tomorrow's concert, part of the Perth International Arts Festival, will conclude three weeks of indie pop, rock, jazz, electronica and world music at the Festival Gardens, the temporary outdoor venue behind the WA Museum.
Highlights ranged from hot hip-hop star Macklemore to Tim Rogers and the Bamboos and Maceo Parker.Antibalas will share the stage with British act the Herbaliser before heading south to play in Dunsborough on Sunday ahead of shows in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.
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