ESSO's second full length album on their own "Sonic Octopus Records" brings a more concise and focused approach for the diverse multi-faceted band. "Juntos" is a step forward in the arrangement and definition of this Chicago based collective.
"ESSO might just be the band the country needs in these dark days of the Trump presidency." -Agúzate.org
Esso Afrojam Funkbeat is a large conglomeration with a rich guest list, mixing upbeat salsa on pieces like “Baila” and “Mariposa Negra” to hip hop tunes such as “Mi Gente” and the electric grooved “Cumbia Del Encanto.” Some folk guitar and lovely voice by Diana Mosquera create a rich atmosphere on “Cumbia Triste” and folk driven flute from Matthew Davis teams with indie moods on “Stone Eagle.” Traditional sounds with Millennial hearts - JazzWeekly (November 2017)
"Music is an amazing thing. You don't have to understand any of the lyrics of a song to be moved by the melody and the rhythm. Juntos, the latest album from Esso Afrojam Funkbeat is a great testament to this phenomenon. Even if you don't understand a word of Spanish, you're likely to find yourself moving when you listen to it." - AXS (Sept 2017)
"Groove-tastic local band ¡Esso! Afrojam Funkbeat mix up a swirl of global sounds—their massive musical range covers funky Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat, Hendrix-flavored psych rock, Latin boogaloo, and more. ...You'll want to put on your dancing shoes every time you hear 'em! The group released a thumping new self-titled LP recorded during the past year or so at Belmont Electric Studios, and it's a nonstop blast of dance-floor power." -Chicago Reader
"Best New Band" & "Best World/International Music Act" 2016 - Chiago Readers Poll Award Winners
"The vibrant energy of Chicago based ¡ESSO Afrojam Funkbeats’ unique sound brings a funky Latin vibe to the best Funk songs of 2017. Their sensual 2017 album, Juntos, is full of tropicalfunk and “Cumbiation.” Each song on Juntos is a journey. In the album’s Afrobeat-Funk song “LaCalle,” ESSO shares the experience of growing up in the streets of Chicago. Check it out, this tune will have you dancing in the streets!" - Funkish (2017)
It's appropriate that ¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat is based in the Heartland. The group sounds like love, with pulsing, vital rhythms and a knack for putting together warm sounds from funk, hip-hop, tropical Latin music, Afropop, and cumbia in such a way that they raise each other up high. - POPMATTERS (November 2017)
¡ESSO! Afrojam Funkbeat is:
Armando Pérez, Kevin Miller, Dan Lieber, C. Ezra Lange, Diana Mosquera, Logan Lu, Lessic Franco (Puerko Pitzotl), Jess Anzaldúa, Matthew Davis
Featuring: Jasmine Malika Luevano, AfroQbano, Natalie Lande, Doug Abrams, Boleszek Osinski, Julian Harris, Rebel Diaz, DJ illanoiz, AQ, Rojo Córdova, Jesus Camacho, Hugo Koatl, Patrick Donley, Klára Moldová, Ruben Jimenez, Juan Lugo, Pris Anzaldúa, Mark Ettinger, Aaron Feder, Maritza and Belinda Cervantes of The Luna Blues Machine
Muchas gracias: A las Familias, amigos y amigas, supporters, fellow bands, Syncretik Productions, Artisticos Contenidos, Rollin Weary, DCASE, David Chavez, Fausto Lopez, Future Rootz crew, Ryan Schoen, Cristina Vásquez, Carlos de Leon, Alejandro González, Mera Barcy y El Reflektor, Sofar, Daniel Martinez, Daytrotter, Vocalo, Sandy and Andrew Abbatiello, and all the musicians and organizers that make this all possible. ¡Adelante!
This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.