The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is this weekend and our music festival hype is at its highest. Just in case you haven’t been clued in yet, for the first time ever, the annual festival will be held within Metro Manila this year, not its home base of Puerto Galera. With Malasimbo closer than ever, it’s now easier to catch amazing artists and musicians in their element. Though Malasimbo isn’t just a music festival (it’s also got art installations, workshops, and more fun activities for the whole family), we’re especially psyched for these acts in the Malasimbo 2020 lineup.
Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and producer Cory Henry started playing the piano and B-3 Organ at the age of 2. By the time he was 6, he had already played a show at the Apollo Theater. He’s collaborated with big names like Frank Ocean, J. Cole, Lauryn Hill, and Quincy Jones. In 2018, Cory released “Art of Love”, his first collection of songs with his band The Funk Apostles, five amazing musicians who were hand-picked to bring his vision to life. Together, Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles create a blend of blues, R&B, gospel, soul, and jazz that will surprise and wow you.
Jesus Molina Quartet
Jazz isn’t dead, as evidenced by the music of Colombian jazz pianist Jesus Molina. One of the rising stars of the international jazz scene, the 24-year-old musician has worked with prominent jazz artists like Jordan Rudess, Eric Marienthal, Gabriela Soto, and many more. If those names don’t mean anything to you, or if you don’t know much about jazz, that doesn’t matter. Just sit back and listen to his quartet’s musical stylistics and let them blow your mind.
If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, Mike Love’s music might just be the thing for you. Reggae musician Mike Love blends the sounds of classic rock, pop, blues, and jazz to create a sound that’s unique yet resonates with a large audience all over the globe. Bright and joyful, his music will lift your spirits and make you believe that the world is good again.
Formed in 2005 at the UP College of Music, Brigada is an Afro-Brazilian percussion ensemble that has long been a crowd favorite at music festivals. Their energetic beats are so infectious that you’ll be itching to get on your feet and dance. (Protip: Don’t fight the feeling, just do it and boogie.)
Laneous is the brainchild of Australian musician Lachlan Mitchell, who before launching his solo career with his 2019 debut album Monstera Deliciosa, was part of two bands: the groove-heavy The Family Yah and the jazz-inspired Kafka. His neo-soul sound and smooth signature croon has inspired many in Melbourne’s music scene, and will probably have a similar impact on Filipino music lovers.
Sydney natives Kristian Attard and Serg Dimitrijevic make up electro-funk duo Intergalactix. For more than a decade, the duo has been collaborating with big names like Jason Mraz, Earth Wind & Fire, Good Charlotte, Ariana Grande, and Kelis. Now, they’re ready to take the spotlight. Their 2014 debut single “Tuesday” showcases their trademark sound of soaring vocals, electronic beats, and twisted synths, and if you like that, there’s more where that came from.
One thing that sets Malasimbo apart from other similar festivals is its heart for the local community and environment, and acts like Kadangyan examplify this. Years ago, Kadangyan had the local music scene buzzing with their single “Babanam”, which introduced many of us to their ethno-tribal sound. Kadangyan is the Ifugao term for “datu sa kultura” or “rich in culture”, and their music lives up to its name. Using indigenous instruments to create music, the band aims to reconnect listeners with the Earth.
To view the complete Malasimbo 2020 lineup, visit their official website. We hope to see you there!