MK Groove Orchestra – Afro-Cuban Americana ‘AKA’ (Live at Studio BPM, Vol. 2)

Stream and buy Live At BPM Vol 2 at

On May 20th, 2012 Brooklyn based, 15 piece Space Funk big band The MK Groove Orchestra performed one of the final concerts at the iconic Williamsburg loft space Studio BPM NYC. This video captures the performance of a cornerstone of the bands repertoire, Afro-Cuban Americana…

The only piece in The MKGO’s repertoire written before MK moved to NYC from his hometown of Syracuse, NY in the late summer of 2001, Afro-Cuban Americana, or AKA as the band calls it in their slightly modulated acronymic short hand, is possibly the most played piece in the band’s history (Tomo’s Tenacious Trio and Shady Blues being the other tunes which could possibly claim said title.) The band performed it at their first show in Mattydale, NY at Fat Freddy’s on August 24th 2002 and have played it consistently at shows ever since.

Written on MK’s mother’s piano which he moved into his bedroom when he was 17 (having to move his bed out in the process to make enough room and sleeping on his floor for the rest of his life at home , eat your heart out Jack White) the nuts and bolts of the composition haven’t changed too much since it’s inception, however, the band’s approach to it has developed quite a bit over the years as their knowledge of Afro-Caribbean rhythms has grown and since MK3 began performing it regularly adding various elements of heavy distortion to the vamp section as well as a few other details, leading to the arrangement in the form you see in this video, in May of 2012, one day before our fearless bandleader quite his day job for good, never to look back.

Thanks for listening and we sincerely hope you enjoy!

MKGO Live at Studio BPM, Vol. 2 available worldwide on Ropeadope Records May 20th 2014.

More info:

MKGO Live at Studio BPM Vol. 2
Recorded May 20, 2013
Recorded by Fuso Murase & Hiroyuki Sanada

Mixing: Abe Seiferth (Space Bar Studio)
Album Mastering: Scott Hull (Masterdisk)

Video by Becky Yee and crew
Editing by MK

Drums – Tomoaki Kanno
Percussion – Aaron Shafer-Haiss
Bass – Kevin Smith
Guitar – Thomas Cumming
Guitar – Chris Kuklis
Trumpet 1 – Bryan Davis
Trumpet 2 – Clynton Wayne Yerkes
Trumpet 3 – Alex Bender
Trombone – Joe Beaty
Bass Trombone – Mark Broschinsky
Flute – Nicolas Cowles
Alto Sax – Jenny Hill
Tenor Sax – Mathew Silberman
Bari Sax – Michael Kammers
Vocals – Lisa Mcquade