When you come into contact with Will Magid’s music, don’t be surprised if it’s hard to place in the proper time or context. For him, that deliberate confusion is part of the fun.
The Will Magid Trio will headline the next installment of World Wide Dance Party!!, happening March 1 at Redwood City’s Club Fox.
The first three installments were sold-out successes in San Francisco. This time, the world beat moves to the Peninsula. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Magid, who was born in Redwood City and grew up in nearby Palo Alto.
Last June, Magid released his debut, “Midnight High,” a musical paper trail of his diverse travels and influences that pairs afrobeat, jazz and Balkan brass with an electronic backbeat. It’s a dynamic he first was drawn to thanks to the Afro Funky! Party in LA and later through San Francisco-based collective Afrolicious.
An Ethnomusicology graduate from UCLA, Magid is fascinated with tracing musical connections between genres and cultures. His choice to complement vintage sounds with EDM’s four-to-the-floor base helps him revive old sounds for a new audience.
“Electronic music is this cool equalizer where, as long as the music is danceable, you can throw in all these different sounds and take the listener to a variety of different contexts and, in many ways, paint your own history of the world,” Magid says.
Old school 12-piece reggae outfit RAFA join Magid on the bill, as will Babá Ken Okulolo, whose connection with the trumpet player stretches back to Magid’s college days.
Okulolo’s son, a singer, was in the Afrobeat group Magid joined as a freshman. This later led to meetings with the master Nigerian musician himself, who has worked with such African greats as Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé. The two share a mentor relationship that continues to this day.
World Wide Dance Party!!, through a partnership with Amnesty International, also works to raise awareness on global issues tied to the music it presents. For this installment, the focus is on the Arms Trade Treaty, set for UN vote in March. The treaty aims to keep weapons away from dictators and armed groups who commit crimes against civilians.
A seasoned world traveler, Magid’s curiosity with the sounds and rhythms of the world has taken him to six continents thus far. He hopes in time he’ll be able to claim all seven, with Antarctica still a destination he plans to one day tour.
“It’s a work in process,” Magid offers with a laugh. “Hopefully it won’t be melted by the time I get the tour booked.”
World Wide Dance Party!!
Friday, March 1
Club Fox, Redwood City