“[Belizbeha] renews your faith in the funk.”—CMJ New Music Report
“If you aren’t yet hip to Madaila now is your chance . . . [they are] one of the coolest young bands in the scene.”—Live For Live Music
In 1993, a fusion of acid jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, and R&B came thrumming from the house parties of Burlington, thanks to the no-holds-barred beats of Belizbeha. The band, a mix of UVM and Champlain students, planted their roots locally before stretching out nationally, becoming a tour de force from 1995-2001, playing over 1,000 live shows throughout the US, Canada, and Germany, and finding success opening for A Tribe Called Quest, Kool and the Gang, Maceo Parker, and others. The band previously reunited at Discover Jazz Festival in 2014 to a sellout waterfront crowd and return this year as co-headliners and local psych-pop sensation, Madaila.
Similar to Belizbeha, Madaila began in the dorms of UVM and has since blasted into the mainstream. Their upbeat, synth-heavy earworms are in the tradition of Prince and Talking Heads, melding spontaneous expression and contagious melody. The band released its debut, The Dance, in 2015.
Opening the evening is Dwight and Nicole, a beloved Burlington three-piece original blues/soul/rock band fronted by Dwight Ritcher and Nicole Nelson. With two acclaimed records and a fervent tour schedule, the group has amassed a fiercely loyal fan base along the east coast.