Genre: Global Indie Soul
Languages: English, Russian
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Born on the road, Karikatura hasn’t stopped moving. The band was conceived in South India in 2009 by Ukrainian-born, Brooklyn-bred guitarist, “Dima Kay”, while on a globetrotting journey in which he directly experienced the power of music to unite. Back in NYC, he set out to form a group that could both educate and inspire people to see that the places where we intersect are far more common than where we diverge. Karikatura tries to educate and inspire people to recognize commonalities rather than divisions.
Members of Karikatura have diverse musical experience crossing genres and including university degrees in theater, dance, and trombone, percussion studies in Cuba and Ghana; work on the State-Department funded Rhythm Road program for Jazz at Lincoln Center; music journalism; and self-taught studio and live sound engineering. Vocalist Ryan Acquaotta also engages with racial justice and equality organizations, while drummer Morgan Greenstreet produces nationally distributed radio shows for Afropop Worldwide.
Karikatura’s debut EP “Muzon” (Russian slang for music) was released in late 2010 and launched the band on a DIY world tour for most of 2011, beginning with Japan and continuing with spring in Europe, where the band played twenty-one cities in seven countries. They returned to Europe later that year, playing 28 shows in 30 days, before closing out 2011 with a US tour from New York to New Orleans.
In 2012, Karikatura released their second EP, Departures, which featured the single “Suitcase,” a collaboration with producer Strikkly Vikkly (Sao Paulo,Brazil), and a music video. Before taking off for their third European tour, Karikatura spread their worldwandering sound in venues around NYC as well as conducting their first workshops to local youth groups. They were also selected for the Music Under New York Program (MUNY), one of only 18 new acts chosen by the MTA out of 300 applicants for permits to perform in the subways of NYC. After just a few months with MUNY, Karikatura was invited to participate in the Red Bull Sounderground Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, alongside other musicians from around the world. They made a major impact on Brazilian audiences, instantly winning fans.
In 2014, Karikatura released their debut full-length album Eyes Wide. The music, a diverse mix of songs and sounds from various international influences, was a covert tribute to their home of NYC. The album reached #1 on the iTunes World Music charts on its day of release and the Wall Street Journal featured the video for the title track on their Speakeasy blog. The rest of the year saw them making tours across the US to the SXSW festival in Austin, play 21 shows over 3 weeks as well as a fourth return to Europe in October & November, playing 26 shows in 5 countries.
In 2015, Karikatura toured up and down the east and west coasts, preparing material for their forthcoming EP, Speak Now. The EP contains four songs that address the ‘ghosts’ in our society directly: racism, gun violence, war and identity. The lead single, Ghost Town, features NY rapper Akil B. Strange paying tribute to the original Specials tune with a powerful indictment of the climate in the US. Karikatura is celebrating the spring 2016 release of the EP with tours of both the US and Europe. Their 2016 EP, Speak Now, contains four songs that directly address societal issues of racism, gun violence, war, and identity.
The American Music Abroad program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
To learn more, please visit: www.eca.state.gov